Here's how to create time-saving shortcuts in Windows 8.

The Metro interface in Windows 8 is likely to be quite popular – after all, it is finger friendly and gives you access to a lot of apps and services. But there are likely to be things you’ll want to use in Windows 8 that are not available in the Metro interface.

While you can move shortcuts around within Metro by simple dragging, creating new shortcuts is a little more convoluted. It can be worth the effort, though, so let’s take a look at creating shortcuts. (See also: Windows 8: the complete guide.)

How to create a Metro shortcut for an app

Windows 8 custom shortcuts

Step 1.
Find the app you want to create a shortcut for by opening the Search charm then looking for the app you are interested in. In this case we’re choosing Paint.

Windows 8 synch settings

Step 2.
Right click on the app and a set of options appear along the bottom of the screen. Choose Pin to Start.

Windows 8 synch settings

Step 3.
Now there is a shortcut to Paint on the Metro start screen. You can drag it around into a new position if you like. Add more shortcuts if you need them – we’ve added one to Windows Explorer, for example.

Windows 8 synch settings 

Step 4. If you decide at a later date that you’d rather remove an app you have pinned, just right click it and you’ll see the option Unpin from Start on the bottom of the screen. Select that and the app shortcut will disappear.

NEXT PAGE: how to create a Metro shortcut for a function >>

Visit Windows 8 Advisor for expert reviews of Windows 8, Windows 8 tips and tricks, as well as expert advice on how to get the most from Windows 8.

Save time and effort in Windows 8's Metro interface by creating shortcuts. Here we look at how to create Metro shortcut for a function. Visit Windows 8 Advisor for expert reviews of Windows 8, Windows 8 tips and tricks, as well as expert advice on how to get the most from Windows 8.

How to create a Metro shortcut for a function

Creating a Metro shortcut for a function like shutting down the computer is a little more complex, but doing so will save you the effort of going via the Settings Charm when you want to close down.


Windows 8 synch settings

Step 1.
On the desktop screen right click with the mouse or and choose the New menu, then choose Shortcut.

Windows 8 synch settings

Step 2.
In the box that appears type the following – “shutdown.exe –t 00 –s”. This identifies the shortcut as running the shutdown procedure. When you’ve typed the text, hit Next.


Windows 8 synch settings

Step 3.
Now give your new shortcut a meaningful name, then click Finish

Windows 8 synch settings

Step 4.
The shortcut is placed on the Windows home screen. The default icon is not very nice, so let’s change it. Right click the shortcut and choose Properties.

Windows 8 synch settings

Step 5.
Choose Change Icon and browse the icons that are available. Choose the one you want with a click then choose OK, then click Apply on the Shutdown Properties window. The icon on the desktop shortcut will change to reflect your selection.

Windows 8 synch settings

Step 6.
Now you can right click on the icon and choose Pin to start, and it will be on the Metro start screen.