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Get Show Desktop in Windows 8

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‘Show Desktop’ was a nice and useful feature in Windows 8. In essence, it was a button on the right extreme of the taskbar that allowed you to quickly get a peek at your desktop. Clicking on the button minimizes all the windows, allowing you to get quick access to icons or widgets on the desktop.

A lot of people might wonder if the Show Desktop feature has been removed in Windows 8, particularly since the taskbar area that housed the button is bare and empty. Don’t worry though – the Show Desktop feature is hidden in Windows 8. To enable it, right click on the taskbar, choose Properties and check ‘Use Peek to preview the desktop when you move your mouse to the Show Desktop button at the end of the taskbar’.

Taskbar Properties

All you need to do is put your cursor on the right most corner in the taskbar. The button is hidden, but it’s in the same position as it was in Windows 7 – right next to the time displayed in the system tray. Right clicking on the bare area next to the time displayed brings up two options: ‘Peek at Desktop’ and ‘Show Desktop’.

Here’s a bonus tip: if you’re not a fan of the Windows 8 charms bar, you could quickly shut down your computer by right clicking the Show Desktop button. Just install this standalone application from here. Although it was meant for bringing the Show Desktop feature to Windows XP, it just works perfectly with Windows 8 and adds a host of accessible features, as you can see from the screenshot below:


With the Show Desktop tool installed, you can do the following:

  • change the button width
  • change the button opacity
  • change how windows are minimized – toggle desktop or actually minimize windows
  • enable a fading effect during peek
  • add a delay before desktop peek

By applying the last option, you can choose to start the utility when Windows starts so you don’t lose the bonus features it brings when. In addition, there is an ‘exclusion’ feature that helps you pick applications that should not be made invisible when you use the peek option.

As you can see from the screenshot above, you can also quickly get access to shutdown/restart options when you right click on the icon after you install this utility.

What other features are you missing in Windows 8? Tell us in the comments. This is the second in our series of Windows 8 posts. The first one was on using Soluto to skip the Metro/Modern Start Screen altogether when you login.

Written by Killer Tech Tips

December 15th, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Posted in windows 8

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