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Enable the Microsoft Windows 8 All applications Screen

Didn’t know that Window 8 had an applications screen? you are not alone. Here’s how to get to it, and how to do it

Switching to Microsoft Windows 8 from an earlier version of Windows can be a disconcerting experience, notably because it is so difficult to figure out which Desktop applications you have got installed. it is easy to find your Microsoft Windows 8 native applications, because they are front and center on the Start screen. But that is not the case for Desktop applications, since they mostly do not show up on the Start screen. In prior versions of Windows, you could always mouse click the Start button and search through them that way. But in Microsoft Windows 8, the Start button has been sent into the Great Beyond. What you can do?

Although it is not immediately apparent, there is a way to browse through all your Desktop applications, using the “All applications” option that shows all of your Desktop applications (in addition to all of your Microsoft Windows 8 native applications). On the Start screen, either right-click an empty space, or else press Windows key+Z. That opens the App Bar. There’s only one thing you can do here: click the “All applications” button at the lower right (See Image Below).

Click-here-to-see-all-of-the-applications-installed-in-Windows-8 Enable the Microsoft Windows 8 All applications Screen

Click here to see all of the applications installed in Windows 8


(On a touch screen, slide in from the bottom of the touchscreen to open the Application Bar.) When you do that, you will come to the “All applications” screen. It does exactly what it says: it shows you all the applications on your system. On the left, you will find all the Microsoft Windows 8 native applications, and to the right, the Desktop applications (See image below).

The-All-applications-screen Enable the Microsoft Windows 8 All applications Screen

The All applications screen

Click any one to run it. Notice that the Desktop applications on the righthand side are organized into groups— Windows Accessories, Windows Ease of Access, Windows System, and etc. If you have installed software, you will find that those applications may be in their own groups as well.

How does this unknown organization happen? Very simply, as it ends up. It resembles the structure of two folders on your device. Any subfolders in those folders show up as groups on this screen—for example, the Windows Accessories group. Furthermore, all the shortcuts in those folders show up as applications inside the group on this screen.

To adjust the organization of Desktop groups and applications on the “All applications” screen, you only need to change the shortcut and folder structure in those two folders.

The two folders are:

  • C: ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  • C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

User_Name is your Microsoft Windows 8 account name. C: ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows \Start Menu\Programs has all the applications that all users of the system will see, and C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs has those that show up for an individual user.

Hint: You don’t have to spend time in File Explorer navigating to these two directories. There’s a quicker way to get to each. Hit Windows key+R to get to the run box, input Shell:common programs, and press Enter.That sends you to

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

If you instead type Shell:programs and press Enter, you will go to

C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.

Go into those folders, and add any folders that you want to show up as groups on the “All applications” screen. In those folders, add shortcuts to any applications you want to appear as part of those groups. remove every folders and shortcuts that you don’t want to appear.

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