How to Add an All Programs Button to the Windows 8 Taskbar

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Programs ButtonMillions of users bemoan the fact that Windows 8 has done away with the classic Start menu button. Fortunately, there’s a way to resurrect a skeletal version of it in Windows 8’s Desktop UI by attaching the Programs folder to the taskbar. Here's how:

  1. Navigate to the desktop if you’re not there already.


  2. Right-click on the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen to pull up a menu.
  3. Highlight the Toolbars sub-menu to reveal more options.

  4. Click on New toolbar.
  5. Type or Paste “%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs”(without the quotes) into the Folder field at the bottom of the New Toolbar window that appears and click Select Folder.

 The Programs button now appears on the right hand side of the Taskbar, labeled with “>>”.

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  • Nick Says:

    Thank you!

  • Jule Says:

    I truly want to say thank you so much I really appreciate your site

  • riz Says:

    thanks a lot :D

  • tim Says:

    yes, easy! thanks very much, another problem solved!

  • jameslegg Says:

    can't find theicon

  • Nishant Says:

    Thank you. This helped a lot

  • Zahra Says:

    very good

  • m00nster Says:

    OMG - thank you for this. Just purchased new laptop with Windows 8 and trying to find programs on the apps screen has been driving me nuts

  • ThebeLu Says:

    OMG! Why, why, why did MS do it like that?

    Thank you so much. I uninstalled and reinstalled Office 2007 a few times because I couldn't find it and couldn't understand why it would be so buried.

  • jay Says:

    admin thanx a you (Y)..perfectly working

  • Andrea Says:

    You're the best!

    To anyone who said that they're getting a path does not exist message, check that you've copied and pasted the whole thing, but not including the quotation marks. I got that message the first time and realized that the first % sign hadn't pasted into the box. Typed it in and then it went!

  • samira Says:

    perfect guide,thankkkkssss

  • wissam Says:

    thanks a lot

  • Melissa Sousa Says:

    What the freak is wrong with Microsoft. THANK YOU for giving me a way to access the basic programs. Apparently Microsoft thinks nobody does anything useful with computers anymore

  • Michael Kirkland Says:

    I am new to windows 8.1 and I couldn't find the "start" icon. Your instructions are the best I have ever encountered on the internet. You assumed I knew nothing and provided directions on that assumption! And I followed the directions easily and even better, they worked!!

  • Julie Says:

    Thank you soooo much!

  • Castilian Cabral Says:

    Awesome... thanks!

  • Regi Says:

    Thanks! Great help!

  • Albert G Says:


  • clare Says:

    Thank you so ,much for this - just trying to use my new canon camera and needed the utilities - for the life of me without the old school All Programs I was stuck. You are a lifesaver!

  • Happy Says:

    Very, very helpful - thank you so much!


    thanks i got the option


    awesome my dear.i got it

  • Linda Says:

    I used your instructions for opening a new toolbar for my 'All Programs'.
    Thank you!!

  • Kathy Says:

    I have gifted both Dell and HP Windows 8 computers. Do Not do it!
    Everyone was was returned to me, with various reasons:
    "Windows 8" is not a computer.
    It won't let me just use it!
    It is so ugly with all the d***m colors!
    I use words. That is why I use computers, not paper, it is supposed to be faster, and this Windows 8 is junk!

    There were other longer more colorful reasons these friends and extended family felt this $1,000 gift is crap and asked me to return them or just sell them.

    Too bad I hadn't found your helps and fixed them before giving them as gifts.

  • VKB Nair Says:

    Superb!. Konrad Krawczyk, Assistant Reviews Editor deserves a promotion.

  • Vijay Says:

    Thanks Friend

  • Umendra Kumar Says:

    Thank you so much dear friend. It will make easy to work on windows 8.

  • David C. Says:

    Thanks. This was very easy to do and most helpful.

  • Farah Says:

    Thank you! This helped me tremendously!!!

  • PK Says:

    awesomeeeeeeeee, thanks a lot

  • Don H Says:

    Like some of the other replys my puter says the path does not exist! Any help for that?

  • Tera Says:

    Brilliant, thank you! I've been trying to navigate windows without this for two weeks but it's just completely awkward and counter-intuitive.

  • Thomas Says:

    Kiss you....Thank you

  • Theodore Hammond Says:

    Thanks for the tutorial on adding the programs toolbar to my desktop. I am up in years and it is hard to remember all my programs to enter in the search box or pick the one I want out of the hundreds of charms on the 8.1 start page. You are a magnanimous person. ;-)

  • edv7028 Says:

    I've been trying to get rid of, or at least desensitize the "Swipe" feature on my laptop with Win8; but regardless of what I do, it keeps turning-on/off, or moving to windows that I don't want. Can you help/advise ? Also is there an quick way to turn on/off the Mousepad ?
    Thank You !

  • OJO Ogunbunmi Says:

    Thanks for assisting me to add all Programs Button on my Window 8 Taskbar.

  • Shatabdi Roy Says:

    Thank you very much......

  • toonpig Says:

    All I keep getting is a pathway is not valid Any idea what to do?

  • herme Says:

    uber helpful, thanks!!!

  • Carolyn Carchidi Says:

    how to scan to email

  • Pras Says:

    Thank you so much!

  • Mike Ro Says:

    Thank you very, very much. It is very simple and use full.

  • Glenice Doecke Says:

    Please help: I am running W
    . 8.1 and since installing it, I receive a message that Microsoft is configuring the program. Can you please give me a simple way to fix this problem. Thank you. This web page does not help.

  • Vinny Says:


  • Sandy Says:

    I have tried this over and over and always get a message that says pathway to this folder does not exist. What am I doing wrong??

  • Diane Says:

    When I click 'Select Folder' I get this message: Path does not exist. Check the Path and try again.

    I am running 8.1

    Please help if you can!

  • ben Says:

    Any way to move the Toolbar to the left side ?
    That is where it is usually found , on the left side not the right side .

  • carlos mackey Says:

    BRILLIANT! WIN8.1 is awesome also. I am 77 and no techie,but WIN8.1 installed both of my DVD RWs plug and play,my MOBO,and my netgear3100 dongle; all plug and play. I can't understand why WIN8/WIN8.1 are so vilified. I figured most of it out without a manual; including my win8 phone.

  • Gerry Says:

    Yeah, thanks tons!!

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