In an effort to be all things to all people, Windows 10 throws a lot at you. It needs to work, for example, for both touchscreens and regular screens. Thankfully, there are two secret buttons on the desktop that can help you navigate Microsoft’s behemoth of an OS.
Secret Start button
Even when I’m using a touchscreen, I avoid Windows 10’s tiled Start menu. It’s confusing and filled with tiles I don’t need and didn’t ask for. It always takes me longer to find the tile I’m looking for than it should. Thankfully, there’s a way to trade the confusing grid of tiles for an old-school Start menu.
Instead of clicking the Start menu for the tiles, right-click the Start button for an easily scannable list of tools. You can also access this hidden menu by tapping and holding the Start button for a beat on a touchscreen, or by using the keyboard shortcut Windows key + X.
It’s my go-to menu for accessing the Device Manager, Task Manager and Control Panel. I can access these areas of Windows much faster from this hidden Start menu than from Settings or File Explorer. The last option on this menu lets you clear the clutter of all of your open windows to view your desktop, but there’s another hidden button that’s better for that.
Secret ‘Show desktop’ button
If you move your cursor all the way to the bottom-right corner of your desktop and click, you can view your desktop. Click again before moving your cursor again and your windows return. Your cursor needs to be to the right of the thin, white line at the very right of the taskbar. If you right-click in this area, you can enable Peek at desktop, which lets you quickly view your desktop just by mousing over this right-most area of the taskbar.
You can also enable this Peek at desktop setting by going to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar and toggling on Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show desktop button at the end of the taskbar.