The new Hot Corners feature found in Windows 8 is not really something new because Mac OS had this functionality built-in to the operating system many years ago. The hot corners acts like a permanent button where moving your mouse cursor to the corner of your screen will activate an action. In Mac OS X 10.7 Mountain Lion, you can find the Hot Corners configuration in System Preferences > Mission Control. Some of the actions that can be configured in Hot Corners are running Mission Control, Application Windows, Desktop, Dashboard, Notification Center, Launchpad, Start and Disable Screen Saver, and put display to sleep. With the help of third party application such as CornerClick, you are able to open the file of your choice.
As for Windows 8, the hot corners actions are practically hard coded. Top left in Start screen allows you to go back to Desktop, bottom left lets you go to your Start screen, both top and bottom right activates the “charm” bar with 5 buttons which are Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings. If you are looking for a way to customize the hot corners actions in Windows 8 or even to add the hot corners functionality on earlier versions of Windows, here is how to do it. There is a free third party program called Hot Corners written with AutoIt where it provides hot corners feature in earlier versions of Windows such as XP, Vista and 7. After installation, running the program will present a simple graphical user interface where you can configure the actions for each corner from the drop down menu.
The available actions are launching control panel, my documents folder, screen saver, locking the computer, run specific file or program, Google search, show desktop, putting the computer in standby mode and windows management that includes minimizing and closing current window, or switching back to the last window.
Hot Corners program also comes with a unique feature called Mouse Move where you can have 4 more additional actions by holding WIN + X + mouse directions. Unfortunately this feature only works on Windows XP but not on newer Windows such as Vista/7/8 because the shortcut key Win+X launches Windows Mobility Center in Windows 7. As for Windows 8, Win+X opens a new menu that appears at the bottom left of your screen with shortcuts to launch Windows tools such as command prompt, event viewer, computer management and etc that are often used by power users or computer administrators.
Do take note that you will need to run Hot Corners as administrator when you want to configure the actions because the configuration file (config.ini) is stored in Program Files folder and not in the current user profile folder. As you probably already knew, currently there is no way to customize the actions for the hot corners in Windows 8. The only probable way is to use this third party tool Hot Corners and then disable the the built-in hot corners that shows the Charm bar. The actions also doesn’t work when in Metro UI.
Simply download the registry fix file below to enable or disable the built-in hot corners in Windows 8. After applying the registry fix, moving your mouse cursor to the top and bottom right of your screen will not open the charm bar. However, if you continue moving it to the top or bottom, the charm bar will be activated. Alternatively, Win+C also activates the charm bar.