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How to Add Items to the New Win+X Menu in Windows 8

Posted by Aman Singhal Articles | Windows 8 December 03, 2012
In this article we are going to explain how to add item to the new Win+x menu in windows 8.
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Introduction

In this article we are going to explain how to add an item to the new Win+X menu in Windows 8. Many of us are lamenting the removal of the Start button and menu in Windows 8 Consumer Preview. However, a hidden context menu, or what is known as the Win+X menu, has been added. The Windows 8 menu provides very useful system tools as like Task Manager, Search, Control Panel, Programs and Features, System Settings, Run, Device Manager, among others. We will show you how to use Rafael's hashlnk tool to create approved shortcuts we can add to the Win+X menu.

In this article we are going to add Notepad to the Win+X menu. We can add a shortcut for any program to the menu. To do so, we can either create a shortcut from scratch from the .exe file for the program, or we can copy an existing shortcut from the Desktop. The following describes how to add an item to the new Win+X menu in Windows 8.

Step 1

First of all we have to move to the Start screen window of Windows 8, and click the Desktop tile.

 windows8-start-screen.png

Step 2

Then we open Windows Explorer from the icon on the Windows 8 Taskbar.

 windowss-explorer-in-windows8-desktop.png

Step 3

After this process we can navigate to the Windows folder, and then find the notepad.exe file, and right-click on it and select Create shortcut from the popup menu.

 create-shortcut-in-windows8.png

Step 4

We see a dialog box in Windows 8, and click Yes to place it on the Desktop. Then, to make it easier to use the hashlnk tool, copy or more the shortcut from the Desktop to the folder containing the hashlnk.exe file.

 shortcut-window-in-windows8.png

Step 5

The Command line will be used to run the hashlnk tool. In Windows Explorer, press Shift and right-click on the folder containing the hashlnk.exe file. Then we select "Open command window here".

 open-command-window-in-windows8.png

Step 6

We see a command prompt window, and enter the following command:

hashlnk Notepad.lnk

A message then states that the hash has been generated and applied. If we have other shortcuts we want to prepare for the menu, enter the command again with the name of another shortcut file. Type exit and press Enter when we are finished.

 windows8-command-prompt.png

Step 7

Copy the shortcut file(s).

 hashlnk-window-in-windows8.png

Step 8

Follow the directory in Windows Explorer.

%LocalAppData%Microsoft\Windows\WinX

By default, the Win+X menu will be divided into three groups, with separators between the groups.

 WinX-window-in-windows8.png

Step 9

Rename the new folder to Group4, as shown in the image below.

 WinX-windows2-in-windows8.png

Step 10

Paste your shortcut file(s) into the new folder.

 group4-window-in-windows8.png

Step 11

We must restart Windows Explorer to see any shortcuts we added to the Win+X menu. To do this, start Task Manager, either from the Win+X menu or from the Taskbar.

 open-task-manager-in-windows8.png

Step 12

Click More details at the bottom of the Task Manager window in Windows 8.

 taskmanager-window-in-windows8.png

Step 13

If we currently have at least one Windows Explorer window open, the Windows Explorer process displays in the Apps section. If not, the Windows Explorer process displays in the Windows processes section. Select the Windows Explorer process and click Restart.

 restart-windows-explorer-in-windows8.png

Step 14

Select Exit from the File menu to close the Task Manager.

 closing-task-manager-in-windows8.png

Step 15

Your custom shortcuts display on the Win+X menu.

 notpad-in-windows8-desktop.png

We can also rearrange the order of the groups.

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