I was at a Windows 8 Party for www.itprotoronto.ca last night when a question came up about “All apps” on the Start Screen.

“How do I add my own applications to that list?”

Well the answer was pretty obvious. As you install programs you will see the executables appear in that list.

“But what if my application doesn’t have a proper installer or I just need to modify / add / remove from that list?

Good question. There are some inhouse applications that don’t create proper entries (Oh they SHOULD but you’ll need to speak to Vendors that still think to this day they should put it on the root of C:, yeah there are some out there doing that still)

So I did some digging. Not surprisingly, the Start Screen is just leveraging the information provided by applications in the older “Start Menu”. So in Windows 8 (including RT) you’ll have to access a hidden folder called C:ProgramData

I hold down the Windows Key and R and just type in the folder directly, hitting Enter afterwards or clicking ok

Navigate a little deeper into “C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms”

This may all look a little more familiar. Now go ahead, create a new folder (Just like you would have in Windows 7, Right Click, New Folder) and call it “Something Sean Did”, “Green Crayons” or “Wuzzup Jabberwocky”

Now navigate into this folder

Once you’re in here you can create a shortcut to your offending application. But since this program folder is protected by UAC and NTFS, you’ll have to create the shortcut on your Desktop first. You know, the one the vendor packaged without a proper installer or your in house development staff created that for whatever reason does not have a shortcut.

As you can see, our EVER so well written application does not even have a proper icon associated with it. Harumph!

But now you can copy (or cut, since we don’t want to clutter up that desktop) and paste the icon in the new “Wuzzup Jabberwocky” folder.

Now when you access the “All Apps” button on the Start Screen there will be a new folder you can see

This entry will follow the same rules as other standard applications when you need to pin / remove it from the Start Screen now or the Taskbar.

Perhaps later, I will write a Powershell Script to do this J


The Energized Tech