Create A Shortcut To All Installed Games In Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 10, 2010
Updated • Nov 24, 2012

Chance is you have some computer games installed on your computer. Even work related PCs have some games installed usually, even if it is only Solitaire or Minesweeper. Those games are usually accessed from the Windows start menu, or individual game shortcuts placed on the computer desktop. Most Windows users do not start games from the command line, or Windows Explorer.

A major problem in Windows XP was the missing central location for all installed games. It was up to the user to place all game shortcuts in the start menu into one folder, to access the games without having to search for them first in the depths of the Windows start menu.

Microsoft tried to tackle the problem with the Games Explorer, which was introduced in Windows Vista (see Windows Vista Games for pointers). The Games Explorer acted as a central hub for games installed on the PC system.

Microsoft made the decision to include an updated version of the Games Explorer in Windows 7, which now included options to inform the user about software updates and game related news.

The Games Explorer in its current stage has several weaknesses. First, only supported games are added to it automatically, which means that portable and unsupported games are not added to it. This is for instance the case for most games that are offered via the popular Steam gaming platform.

Even worse is the fact that it is not that easy to add games to the Games Explorer if they are not supported.

The Games Explorer link is hidden deep in the Windows Start Menu. It is however possible to move it from the start menu to the desktop, or another location on the computer system to access the installed games faster.

To do this click on the start menu orb, the All Programs, Games, and drag and drop the Games Explorer program link to the new location.

Another option is to enable Game Explorer directly by creating a new folder in the location the games should appear, and renaming it to Games Explorer.{ED228FDF-9EA8-4870-83b1-96b02CFE0D52}.

The Games Explorer may not be the best option yet, considering that it may miss installed games. And Windows XP users have no access to it anyway. The solution is a custom folder that contains all game shortcuts. That's easily done by creating a new folder in the location you want to access the games, e.g. the desktop. Right-click the desktop, select New > Folder and name it Games.

Now drag and drop all game shortcuts from the start menu, desktop or Windows Explorer into that one folder. Et voila, all games are accessible from that folder directly. It may require more work initially but the benefit is that no game is left behind, if you know what I mean.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. jfjb said on September 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Simplicity, simplicity.
    I manually created a Games folder under the C root, and one in my C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu directory.

    I install all my games into that Games folder and I have the icons accordingly in my Start Menu\Games via the “Custom Install” option — and if not, I manually move them there — never on my Desktop, never in the QuickLaunch.

    Only thing to remember is, at uninstall time, to verify those links and icons have been removed properly… but usually Revo Uninstaller takes care of that very well.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.