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

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 the 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 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 hashing 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 hashing 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 hashing tool. In Windows Explorer, press Shift and right-click on the folder containing the hashlnk.exe file. Then we select the "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.
 

Summary

 
In this article, we learned about How to Add Items to the New Win+X Menu in Windows 8.