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

By Aman Singhal on Dec 03, 2012
In this article we are going to explain how to add item to the new Win+x menu in windows 8.


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.


Step 2

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


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.


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.


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".


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.


Step 7

Copy the shortcut file(s).


Step 8

Follow the directory in Windows Explorer.


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


Step 9

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


Step 10

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


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.


Step 12

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


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.


Step 14

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


Step 15

Your custom shortcuts display on the Win+X menu.


We can also rearrange the order of the groups.

Aman Singhal
Aman Singhal

Aman Singhal is a software developer working with Microsoft technologies including .NET, Windows 8, ASP.NET and Windows Store apps.



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