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EDIT - This is about the app shortcuts, NOT Start menu tiles. See attachment

I just formatted by laptop and installed Windows 8.1 Pro x64 a week ago. I am already regretting the "upgrade" -- I cannot find a quick way to manually sort/move the Start>Apps shortcuts.

The following applications are listed in ABC order by starting letter (A*, B*...) preinstalled shortcuts, Store apps, Lenovo update service, Firefox, and Thunderbird

The rest of my applications are grouped by folder, as they would appear in Program Files (x86). This includes: Chrome, Steam, Intel, Windows Accessories...

QUESTIONS: (1) Is it possible to ungroup these shortcuts and alphabetize them as the first set of apps are? OR group ALL apps to my liking? (Group Mozilla, Windows Store, Win8-only apps...) (2) Can I add my own shortcuts to the Apps menu? (for example, Snip-it is an accessory but not listed with the others.)

enter image description here

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Just drag and drop tiles. You couldn't "sort" them in Windows 8.0 either. You can get a list sorted if you use the arrow on the Start screen. You can add any shortcut to the start screen. – Ramhound May 21 '14 at 1:16
@Ramhound thank you for the help, but I do not need help with tiles. Rather, I attached an image of my screen in my 2nd edit. – onebree May 22 '14 at 1:51
Sadly I think the only thing you can do is change the way it's sorted. If you click right beside "Apps" there's a drop down where you could sort by name, usage, installed and category. – Eric Robinson May 22 '14 at 2:41
The screenshot does not clarify the problem. Those are still tiles by the way. The view in the screenshot shows everything. This means folders, files, applications, and Windows Store apps will be listed. – Ramhound May 22 '14 at 10:50
Why are Store apps (Kinectimals, Khan Academy, OneDrive, etc) alphabatized by letter, where all other apps are organized by Program Files folder? How can I drag/move Firefox and Thunderbird to be under a MOZILLA folder? Does it depend on their directory paths? – onebree May 23 '14 at 2:55
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The list of shortcuts you are referring to is named the Apps View. To arrange the items it displays in a different way, you can only use the filters that are available near the word Apps.

You can arrange apps and desktop programs by name, the date when they were installed, how often you are using them and by category.

enter image description here

The trouble with this view is that these filters work well for modern apps from the Windows Store. Desktop programs are generally classified based on how their developer has set them. Desktop programs create their own folders in this Apps View and Windows 8.1 doesn't know how to organize them according to all the filters that it provides.

If you want to learn more about the Apps View and how it works, read this guide: What is the Apps View & How to Use It.

To reply to your last question: you cannot add or remove items from the Apps View. This is not controlled by the user in any way.

I hope this helps, even if my answers are not what you were hoping for.

share|improve this answer
THANK YOU so much. This is the exact answer I was looking for. Very happy to know someone understood my (poorly asked) questions. I'll be sure to check out the guide – onebree Jun 21 '14 at 4:45
You are welcome. I'm happy I was able to help. – Corporate Geek Jun 21 '14 at 13:33
Actually, you can add and delete from the Apps View by manipulating the shortcuts in folders (UAC required for the system-wide one). The quickest way to get to the folders is to type Win+R and type in "shell:start menu\programs" for your user or "shell:common start menu\programs" for the system-wide one. There you will find the same file structure as previous Windows versions, and you may add and delete shortcuts and folders as before. Note that you may have to log off and log back on for updates to be recognized. – zarchasmpgmr Oct 16 '14 at 22:00
Hello. I was reminded of this question when I received an upvote. Looking back at the answers provided, I chose this to be the accepted answer. Thankfully, I am on Win10 now so I do not need to worry about this anymore! – onebree Sep 14 '15 at 13:58

Windows key + R

Then navigate through Microsoft, Windows, Startmenu, Programs

Re arrange and rename what ever you like then sort by Letter


share|improve this answer
Thank you. That's prefect. I'll pass this along as I'm sure it'll help a lot of people – onebree Aug 11 '14 at 15:37
And how is this the correct answer? What you say works only in File Explorer. It doesn't impact the filters available in the Apps View and how shortcuts are displayed there. – Corporate Geek Aug 14 '14 at 13:42

Here is the most complete answer:

Edit the start menu in the following locations:


user: "shell:start menu\programs"
system wide: "shell:common start menu\programs"

If you want to add an application to the left hand side you will need to do the following:

  • Move the application shortcut from the application folder to the program folder
  • Right click on the shortcut and select properties
  • In the "comment field" enter any text
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