How can I create a desktop or start bar icon which would should show the Start Menu in Windows Server 2012?

I having multiple remote connections in small windows (not full screen) and hovering the mouse in corners is pretty slow and difficult for me.

CLARIFICATION: @jmreicha and @kinokijuf provided a workarounds to show the start menu using keyboard shortcuts. Which is quite useful in common scenarios.

However, I am still solving the problem, how to easily show the start menu in systems where I connected from Hyper-V console (without direct RDP connection) and to the Hyper-V server I am connected over RDP. In that case, shortcuts just show start menu in the Hyper-V server.

In old Windows there was a shortcut (icon) on taskbar that shows desktop. How to create a similar shortcut to show the start menu? (Or do you know a lightweight open source solution for this?)

  • You use one of the many applications that exists for Windows 8 to do this. There is not technical reason these programs shouldn't work on Window Server 2012. Since we don't do product suggestions I will leave finding the program of your chocie as an exercise for you. – Ramhound Apr 17 '13 at 10:58
  • Is it possible to do it by a simple script (command line, powershell)? I see there some proprietary software. Or do you know some open source solution? – TN. Apr 17 '13 at 11:06
  • 1
    There does exist open source software. The start menu technically was removed from Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. So any application uses what is left over in order to put it back. There is no out of the box without additional software to enable the start menu in Windows Server 2012. If you want that use Windows Server 2008 R2. – Ramhound Apr 17 '13 at 11:34
  • Could please name a open source software that add the start icon to Windows Server 2012? (The reason to choose Window Server 2012 was not the UI, but the server features.) – TN. Apr 17 '13 at 12:12
  • @TN. Give focus to the RDP session you are managing and press the "Windows" key. That is faster than a shortcut. – jmreicha Apr 17 '13 at 13:24

You can press Alt+Home to open the start menu inside a remote desktop.


Probably the easiest way to do this is to give focus to the RDP session you are managing and press the "Windows" key. That is faster than a shortcut.

To get this working through RDP, check the RDP settings and the Local Resources tab to allow keys to pass through to the RDP session. You might have to play around with it a little bit but I think it may help.

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On the RDP window, you can click on the icon on the left corner of the title bar and then click on Remote Commands menu. This menu has options like Start, Charms etc.

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