If you go to start, then search in Windows 8, you see a list of applications (both desktop and Metro).

Many of the (desktop) applications I have running on my PC are not listed here however, because of the way I installed Windows 8.

How can I add a (desktop) application to this list?

(Not pin an application to the start screen so it has a tile, but pin a (desktop) program to this list of apps.)

Like this

3 Answers 3


Go to

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

and add a shortcut to your application there. Then it will be available in All Apps.

Alternatively, use the

C:\Users\your username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs


  • I tried adding a shortcut to the both locations, tried restarting, but no luck. Any clue why?
    – ACarter
    Oct 29, 2012 at 10:23
  • Maybe it's an invalid shourcut? I don't know. I added several shortcuts this way and they work perfectly. Are you able to find the shortcut using the Start Screen search feature?
    – Dzinx
    Oct 29, 2012 at 10:26
  • Also, it shouldn't require a reboot to work.
    – Dzinx
    Oct 29, 2012 at 10:26
  • The program actually comes up if you search files, but not apps.
    – ACarter
    Oct 29, 2012 at 10:30
  • 1
    Just tried it with a different app and it worked fine. Thanks for your help.
    – ACarter
    Oct 29, 2012 at 10:46

Here is a more verbose set of instructions:

  1. Right click on the application exe file, select Create Shortcut.

  2. You will see the message, Windows cannot create a shortcut here. Do you want the shortcut to be placed on the Desktop instead? Choose Yes.

  3. Go to the desktop, see your new shortcut, rename the Shortcut to your preferred title.

  4. Cut the shortcut from the desktop, and paste it into the folder C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs (mentioned by DZinX).

  5. You will see the message, You'll need to provide administrator permission to move to this folder. Select Continue.

  6. Try searching for your title and see your application in the list!


Well you can right click the app you want to add to the app menu and on the lower left you will see the icon "Pin to start". Click on that and your app will be pinned.

Edit: Just saw the screen. Never mind my answer is invalid.

  • 1
    Hi. I want to add a desktop app to this list of apps, not add an app from the list to the start screen.
    – ACarter
    Oct 29, 2012 at 10:07
  • Ahhh in this case its just a minor change. Right click the app and click on "Pin to start". ...Wait there were no changes xD Oct 29, 2012 at 10:09

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