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Adding Shortcuts to the Windows 8 Start Menu

One of the main concerns with the Windows 8 Start Menu is that it changed the end user experience and software behavior that people had gotten used to with Windows. Last week, my article discussed how you can navigate easier with Windows key shortcuts, like using the Windows+X. (As seen below)


In addition to using those Windows key shortcuts, here are a couple of my favorite shortcuts (since I use these commands a lot) as a Windows Live tile on the Start Menu for the following commands:

  • Logoff C:\Windows\System32\logoff.exe
  • Restart C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe -r -t 0
  • Shutdown C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe -s -t 0
  • System Properties C:\Windows\System32\SystemPropertiesAdvanced.exe
  • Windows Update %SystemRoot%\System32\wuauclt.exe /selfupdateunmanaged

I use those commands a lot using Windows 8 and it just makes the user experience much more pleasant. To create these shortcuts, I recommend that you browse to C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs (using the default user profile should allow all new users to pick up these tiles) and then perform the following steps:

  1. Right Click in the folder to create a new shortcut


     

  2. Copy one of the commands above (I used Windows Update as an example here)


     

  3. Name the Shortcut


     

  4. Change the Icon


     

  5. Here is the icon I picked


     

Last I right click on each of these new shortcuts and Pin to Start


Now you have an easier way for users to perform everyday tasks like log off, restart, shutdown or update Windows.


As usual, I hope this helps you enjoy Windows 8, which is really a great OS but unfortunately, it has just gotten a lot of bad press.

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