I am running Microsoft Windows 8 on several personal computers either for my work here at TechRepublic or at home. I don’t really have any use for a tablet device, so I almost exclusively use Windows 8 in Desktop Mode. Once I get to that mode I don’t have any reason to go back to the Start Screen since I am content with the Task Bar system for navigation purposes. However, I know some of you are fans of the Start Menu and have been looking for alternatives to the Windows 8 Start Screen.

There is one alternative that we have yet to explain on TechRepublic. With the help of a special GUID code you can add an Applications folder to the Windows 8 Desktop that contains links to every installed application plus several of control panel utilities. The process is straightforward as long as you have the right code.

Applications folder

First, navigate to the Windows 8 Desktop and right-click on a blank spot and navigate to New | Folder, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Navigate to New | Folder

This action will create a new folder on the desktop which is waiting for a new name. This is where the GUID code comes in. Type in (or copy) the command below and press the [Enter] key:


You now have an Applications folder that contains links to all your installed programs. It should show files similar to Figure B.

Figure B

Applications Folder

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