Remove a program from the all apps screen in Windows 8 / Windows 8

One annoying feature I noticed in Windows 8 is that when you install a new program, All apps the end screen is cluttered with a bunch of useless links to not only the program, but to all the other file types associated with that program.

For example, I installed a program on Windows 8, and when I go to the Start Screen, I see it now has a bunch of links to the program and help files, links to websites, etc. In previous versions of Windows, it was also there, but it was hidden in a folder.

It’s just an app! You can only imagine if you started installing a bunch of desktop apps. Of course, all Metro apps are listed on the left side and occupy only one slot! It’s the desktop apps that cause all the problems. But luckily, there is a way to clean it. In some cases, you can simply right-click and select Unpin from Start, but I’ve noticed that the option doesn’t appear for all items. So this is the right way to do it.

There are basically two places for all the shortcuts that show up on the All Apps screen:

1. C:  ProgramData  Microsoft  Windows  Start Menu  Programs

and

2. C:  Users  aseem_000  AppData  Roaming  Microsoft  Windows  Start Menu  Programs

Now by default you will not be able to view these folders because they are hidden. You can easily view hidden folders by going to Explorer, clicking View tab and check Hidden items box.

Go to both locations and in one of them you’ll see the folder with all the links showing up in the All Apps screen.

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You can do one of two things here. You can delete the entire folder and then nothing shows up in the All Apps screen, or you can go into the folder and delete other useless stuff you don’t want and leave the main program file.

As you can see, I went ahead and removed other shortcuts that I didn’t want. Now when I go to the Start Screen I immediately see that it’s just one entry instead of 5!

Nice! Much cleaner look All apps screen. But wait, we can make it even better! Let’s say you just want to open that program from the desktop and don’t care about having it in the All Apps screen. Is there a way to show the program shortcut on only the desktop and not on the All Apps screen? Yes!

To do this, first go to the folder and copy the program file shortcut or whatever shortcut you want to the desktop. I copied the main file shortcut to my desktop as shown below:

Once you’ve copied the shortcut to the desktop, go ahead and delete the folder in Program folder. Note that these are all shortcuts, so no files are actually deleted. Once you’ve done this, you need to restart Windows 8. It’s not clear why, but you won’t see the changes in the All Apps screen until you reboot.

I now have a desktop shortcut for my program, and my All Apps screen is free of useless extra links and shortcuts.

So that’s how you can keep your Windows 8 system clean! You might think that Microsoft would make the All Apps screen a bit more customizable, but unfortunately, it’s a bit messy. Enjoy!

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