Make your own Windows 8 start button

Windows 8 does not have a start button as it comes. Friends of mine with Windows 8 computers have been asking me about how to get a START button on their taskbar.

It is a little cumbersome to get to the list of programs: Press the logo key, right-click in an empty space on the start menu, then click All apps in the lower right corner. There is a quicker way: Hold down the logo key and press F

Since the classic start button shows programs and a search box the Windows 8 closest equivalent is the Apps screen with the search panel showing. The shortcut for that is this: Hold down the logo key and press QWin8-AllApps-10

This last keyboard shortcut can be assigned to a desktop shortcut and the shortcut can be placed on the taskbar. So this is what I tell my friends to do and here is the procedure for doing it:

Win8-AllApps-01Make your own Windows 8 Start button

On the desktop right-click on an empty space. Select New and in the secondary menu click Shortcut.

In the next dialog you will be asked what to make the shortcut for. Enter this text (select it and copy it from here):

%windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{2559a1f8-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}


Click Next and give the shortcut a name, I use START.

Win8-AllApps-05The resulting shortcut will show the folders icon. You can do better than that. So right-click the shortcut, select Properties.

Then click Change icon… You can pick an icon from the displayed dialog but none of these are particularly suitable for a start button. I picked a nicer one  – an up arrow – from another group. To get to that one click Browse…

In the new dialog scroll down until you see shell32.dll. That has a wider selection of shortcut icons. Click on that and then Open.Win8-AllApps-08

Pick an icon you like then click OK and again OK to complete the changing of the icon.

Drag the resulting desktop shortcut to the taskbar and move the icon to the left-most position. Now you have a poor-man’s Windows 8 start button. Click on it and it will get you to the full-screen “Apps” page with the search bar open.



© 2012 Ludwig Keck


About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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3 Responses to Make your own Windows 8 start button

  1. Linda G. says:

    I shared this post on my husband’s facebook page.

  2. Pingback: Can I get a start button on Windows 8? | Ask Ludwig

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