The Administrative Start Menu, or the Windows 8 Win X Menu, can really be the one stop shop for troubleshooting a client machine. For my management machine, it doesn’t really live up to the task. Don’t get me wrong, it is great to access Run or System this way. It is pretty cool that I can use shortcut keys. There is not a faster way to launch an Administrative command prompt than Windows + X, followed by A. But things like Search or Mobility center seem to just take up space. Tools that I would use for remote support, like event viewer or device manager, seem downright slow or featureless when compared to Concurrent RDP. That is why I set out to rebuild the administrative start menu and to turn it into this:
No Right Click for You!
Starting off, the Administrative menu has zero customization. You can’t even right click on link! While editing is limited, you will notice that the menu is divided into three distinct sections with the common troubleshooting tools at top.
Section 1 is just a link to the desktop. Section 2 are basic tools and links, of which most were on the Windows 7 start menu. Section 3 includes different MMCs and Control Panel applets.
The entire menu can be found at C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX. In the picture above, you can see that we are in group 3. Before you start playing around, keep reading – this folder and the linked menu have some interesting (downright stupid) quirks.
The biggest quirk is that you can’t directly paste new shortcuts in this folder. As a protection mechanism, Microsoft prevents new shortcuts from appearing here. To accomplish this, these folders are checked at startup or when this list is built. Like most things in the Windows world, you can get around this restriction. In fact, there are three ways to get around it. You can: remove the safety check, you can make Windows trust your shortcuts, or you can use a shortcut already marked as safe.
If you want to learn how to:
- Remove useless links like Mobility Center
- Create new groups and sections
- Add in Microsoft shortcuts for programs like: Server Manager or Group Policy
- Make new custom shortcuts for 3rd party apps
Then subscribe to DeployHappiness and get your detailed guide to changing the Windows 8 Win X Menu. And thank you for reading!