How to use the app bar in Windows 8.1 Update 1 instead of contextual menu

Start screen in Win 8.1 Update 1

It’s a bumpy ride for Windows 8, Windows 8.1 added many needed improvements, and soon Windows 8.1 Update 1 will bring another handful of changes and features to the operating system. One of this changes is the introduction of a contextual menu on the Start screen to make it easier for users with keyboard and mouse to get access to different options quickly and easily.

However for those who got used to the now old app bar — the bar that appears at the bottom of the screen when right-clicking a tile with options available for a particular app — you’ll be happy to know that it isn’t going away.

If you already installed the RTM version of Windows 8.1 Update 1 (a.k.a Windows 8.1 spring update, a.k.a Windows Feature Pack), you can ditch the right-click contextual menu and get right to the old app bar. And it’s as easy as pressing the “space” bar key in your keyboard every time you are in the Start screen.

Context menu in Start screen Win 8.1 Update 1

app commands win8 app

If you want to select multiple live tiles, go ahead, press the “space” key, click with the mouse the tiles you want, and the app bar will show you the corresponding options. When you are done, simply click on a empty space or press the ESC key.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].