Where is All Apps Screen in Windows 8?

Start Screen on Windows 8 is a place where displays a bunch of selected Windows 8 Modern Apps, as well as some of the desktop apps. While it’s a good place to quickly launch the app, it doesn’t show off all apps available on your computer. There is an All Apps screen that you can use to browse through all installed apps, both native Windows 8 modern apps and desktop applications.

How to bring up All App screen?

While it’s not immediately apparent, you can launch it simply by right-clicking the empty space on your Start Screen, or by swiping up from bottom of the screen on a touch screen. And click “All apps” button at the bottom of the screen. There is only one button available for you to click there.

All App - app bar

Once you do that, you will immediately be switched to the All Apps screen where, as exactly what it says, shows all the apps installed and available on your computer. You will see all the Windows 8 native apps from the left, and all the desktop apps at the right.

Let’s dig a little deeper

If you look closely to those desktop applications on All Apps screen, you will notice that all these apps actually are organized nicely into groups, Windows Accessories, Microsoft Office, Windows Systems, etc. If you are wondering how this organization happened, go take look the following two locations, quickly accessed by shell commands.

shell:start menu and shell:common start menu

Run above shell commands from Run box (Win + R), and go into the Programs folder.

All Apps - programs folder in common start menu folder

That’s right. As it turns out, it just mimics the folder structure of two folders that’s been around since XP days. Any subfolders in these two folders show up as groups on the All Apps screen. For example, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are all from Microsoft Office 2013 folder, so they are grouped under that name.

In case anyone would like to know,

shell:start menu opens %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

shell:common start menu opensĀ C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 08/04/2014

Posted in: Tips & Tricks , Windows 8
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