In Windows 7, I had many portable software programs like KeePass, PDF X-change, or Chrome application shortcuts that I used the portable version rather than full install. With these I was able to add a shortcut to my start menu that would hide in the All Programs list, but come up if I hit Windows and started typing.

I am trying to get the same functionality with Windows 8. I can pin programs to the start menu and have the tile for them, but for most of them I don't really need or want a tile. I just want Windows to know they are programs when I hit Windows and start typing. When I pin it to the start menu, it works. When I remove it, it doesn't.

Is there a way to add programs to the hidden part of the start menu. I've noticed that other programs I install have shortcuts that work without having a dedicated tile on the start screen. How can I get the same functionality with my own custom applications


You can open C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and add a shortcut there. It will appear both in the All apps list (on the Start screen, open the bottom menu and choose "All apps") and as a tile on the start screen itself. And it will also be available in app search. You then have to unpin the icon from the start screen by right-clicking on it and choosing Unpin from Start from the bottom menu.

For the local user's path, use C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs folder.

  • 1
    No go. I added a shortcut there and a tile immediately popped up on the start screen. I tried both the local user and the system-wide folders. – Ryan Oct 26 '12 at 23:38
  • Right click, unpin from start. I'll modify the answer to incorporate this. – DzinX Oct 26 '12 at 23:40

If you ever forget the path (C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs) , you can always go to the All apps list, right-click on any app and then click on Open File Location. There you could add shortcut for any app you wish. It would be listed in All apps page, and show up when u search for it from Start Screen.

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