Add, Remove Tools From Windows 8 Hidden Start Menu

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Here is a short and easy tutorial to add and remove different tools from the Windows 8 hidden Start Menu.

Many people were disappointed when they didn’t find the Start Menu button in Windows 8. We already have covered many third party software that let you add Classic Start Menu to Windows 8.

In my earlier article, I listed 5 tricks to enhance Windows 8 productivity. One of them was, hidden Start menu in Windows 8. Fortunately, I found a very easy way to add and remove different tools and software from that Start Menu. You don’t need to install any software to do so.

Adding/Removing Tools from Windows 8 Hidden Start Menu:

To get the Start Menu (named “Power User Menu” in Windows 8), right click on Windows icon or press Windows key + X from your keyboard. It will pop up a Start Menu like box with 15 different shortcuts of tools, like: Power Options, Run, Search, Task Manager, Control Panel, etc. All these tools are frequently used but there are many useful tools missing as well.

To add more shortcuts of any tool or software, or to remove any of these shortcuts, follow the instructions mentioned below:

Step 1: Make sure that all files and folders are visible, as by default Windows hides some files and folders. To show all files and folders, go to Search box from Windows 8 Side Bar or press Windows key + S. In the search box, type “Folder Options”. From the result, click on “Show hidden files and folders”. Navigate to the radio button that says “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”. It will show all the folders and files that are hidden in your PC (except the protected operating files and folders).

Start Menu-Folder

Step 2: Now, navigate to the WinX folder by using the below path:

This PC\Local Disc(C:)\Users\User Name\ AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX

In the above mentioned path, user name is the account name.

Start Menu-Groups

Step 3: In WinX folder, you will find three folders: Group1, Group2, and Group3. Each group folder contains shorcuts of the tools, that appears on the Start Menu. Look back to the Start Menu (by pressing Windows key+X). You will find three different groups, separated by two very thin lines. Group1 is for bottom section of the Start Menu, Group2 is for the middle section, and Group3 is the top section.

Start Menu-Different tools

Step 4: Delete the shortcut from relevant folder, that you don’t want to appear on the Start Menu.

Step 5: To add shortcut of any tool/software, go to the group folder, where you want to add. For example, to add anything on the top section of Start Menu, click on Group 3. Right click any where and navigate to New and then Shortcut. Browse the .exe path of the tool or software that you want to add, name it and save it.

Start Menu-Add Shortcut

Step 6: Now Sign Out and then Sign In to see your all new Start Menu in your Windows 8 PC. Without restart/sign out, you won’t be able to see the changes.

Start Menu-Different Groups

Now, you can launch any tool or software using the Windows 8 Start Menu as you used to do in Windows 7.

Also try some other tutorials and freewares that we reviewed earlier to boost Windows 8 productivity: Start Screen UnlimitedStart Menu Modifier, and 3 ways to boot directly to Windows 8 desktop.


This tutorial lets you decide what you want to appear on the hidden Start Menu of Windows 8. You don’t need to install any additional software for this.

If you know any other simpler way that does the same work, then do let me know in comments below.

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Works With: Windows 8
Free/Paid: Free

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