Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Please explain start menu philosophy!

  1. #1


    Posts : 6
    8.1

    Please explain start menu philosophy!


    Just got a new machine with 8.1. Maybe none if this matters much since 10 will be out soon, but I'm really confused. I got rid of the smartphone style "big squares" thing, so when I click start it goes to an alphabetical listing of "apps". What I don't understand is how they choose what to put in that listing. For example, I installed Chrome and then MS Office, and neither of these shows up in that list. Instead, I have to drag over to the right and get a giant free form list of everything. All in all, it is so much less usable than win7 where I can see recently used stuff or "all programs" (which is still hierarchical) right there.

    Anyway, I don't mean this to be another complaint session against win8... Can anyone explain what the philosophy is with this setup, and is there a way I can move stuff on/off the alphabetical list? It wouldn't be all bad if I could remove junk I don't care about from that list and add on stuff I do use. I don't need to uninstall stuff, just don't need to see certain things all the time.

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  2. #2



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    See this tutorial and other links at bottom: Apps Screen - Show More Apps in Windows 8.1 Update
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  3. #3


    Posts : 6
    8.1


    Thanks for the link. I'm not sure that is really what I was hoping for. If I understand right, that is presenting a binary choice between "a small random subset of all apps" and "a larger random subset of all apps". I think.

    What I was hoping for was to, for example, remove "amazon" and "calendar" from the alphabetical list section and add office apps and chrome. Can that be done?

    EDIT: I messed with the setting and it actually doesn't change anything in the alphabetical list. Looks like it just sort of pushed stuff closer together. Confused.
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  4. #4



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    To add a shortcut to Apps Menu copy and paste this: %windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{4234d49b-0245-4df3-b780-3893943456e1} into File Explorers address bar and then make a copy of the shortcut and place it there. Is this what your looking for?
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  5. #5


    Posts : 6
    8.1


    Thanks for trying to help. I guess I'm not being clear. When you click on the start menu button, you default to the smartphone looking screen with a bunch of squares in it. If you go down from there, there's a list of apps, in alphabetical order. Do you know what I'm talking about?

    My questions about this view:

    1) How do they choose what apps to put there? For example, Chrome and office apps (excel, word) are not present there
    2) Can apps be added or removed from this view? If not, why not (what is the philosophy behind what they chose to put there)?

    Thanks.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 73
    w7 pro - ( Server 2012 build 9200 ) - Server 2016 - Mint 18.2


    Can anyone explain what the philosophy is with this setup, and is there a way I can move stuff on/off the alphabetical list? It wouldn't be all bad if I could remove junk I don't care about from that list and add on stuff I do use. I don't need to uninstall stuff, just don't need to see certain things all the time.
    With the "square tiles thing" you can do what you want.
    It is pointless to try and organize the all apps screen.
    If you have cleared your start screen and boot to the start screen (not the apps view),

    then you are free to use that (the start screen) as a program launcher.


    The start screen is a program launcher. The apps page is also a launcher.
    If you prefer the apps view, pressing a single key usually brings up a list of anything installed or pinned.
    Example: pressing "n" when in the apps view

    Click image for larger version

    Tiles are the same as desktop icons. They are larger for touch. You don't need touch to make use of tiles.
    Just pin or unpin what you need today.

    If you wish to replicate how windows 7 works, then perhaps use the classic shell or start8 or something else.

    As a further aid, the apps screen has a feature called semantic zooming.
    By pressing Ctrl - or Ctrl minus / or clicking on the minus sign @ the bottom right of the screen
    This is an automatic organization and a quick list of groups.

    Zoom View - In Start and Apps Screen in Windows 8

    Click image for larger version

    The philosophy of the start screen is a complicated topic and is carried into Windows 10.
    The design exists to support touch devices but is easy to use with a mouse and keyboard.
    Last edited by nt62; 06 Jun 2015 at 13:40.
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  7. #7


    Newport, South Wales, UK
    Posts : 573
    Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu


    When in the all apps screen, (the one "below" the main screen), There should be a drop down options list which allows you to decide the display order - By Category is an option I use, although, if you liked the old recently used system by Most Used may be better.

    If you right click on an item in the full apps list you have an option to Open File Location, which will take you to the equivalent of the start folders in Win7 yoiu can reorganise the shortcuts into the folders you wish, create new additional folders if you need, each folder is a Category, You should be aware that the system in Win8 does not allow nesting more that the single level. If you have shortcuts to programs that you do not require these may be deleted as needed
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  8. #8


    Posts : 6
    8.1


    Thanks. I guess I'll give up on the app screen and try to customize the start screen. I still wish I could understand "what they're thinking" with the app screen. Many, many apps are not present in the alphabetical listing. I just don't get it at all. Some stuff shows up there and some doesn't.
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  9. #9



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Have you tried these options in the charms bar?
    Click image for larger version
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  10. #10


    Posts : 6
    8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff S View Post
    Have you tried these options in the charms bar?
    Yeah, that's what I was talking about when I said it didn't do anything. The apps listed "by name" were identical regardless of setting (still no chrome or office), it just kind of squeezed it together tighter.
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Please explain start menu philosophy!
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