Clean up the Windows 8 All Apps listing

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 20, 2012
Updated • Dec 20, 2012
Windows, Windows tips

If you have ever opened the All Apps listing on a Windows 8 system, provided that you found it in first place, you have probably asked yourself why you find that many shortcuts here that you do not really want listed on the page. While you find all Windows Store apps listed here, you also find all start menu entries on the page including shortcuts that link to readme files and websites. Some of you may find that useful, I personally do not like that at all as it is adding to the clutter on the page.

Let me show you how you can access the All Apps page first to make sure we all understand what this page is. Open the Windows 8 start screen with a tap on the Windows key if you are not already there. Right-click anywhere on the page and select All Apps from the lower right corner of the screen.

windows 8 all apps

Depending on how many apps and programs you have installed on the system, you may see a horizontally scrolling screen. The operating system displays the apps sorted alphabetically first and then the desktop programs. While you may not have any issues with the display of Windows Store apps here, you may not like the listing of desktop programs as you not only get the program shortcuts but also shortcuts to uninstallers, readme files and other files.

all apps

You can remove items manually from the All Apps listing by opening the c:\users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs directory in Windows Explorer or another file browser, or, and that is the better option, use the third party program ShortcutsMan for that instead.

ShortcutsMan is a free third party program by Nirsoft that displays system shortcuts in its interface on launch. The program displays all system shortcuts and even checks whether shortcuts are broken or still working. You can sort the table by broken shortcut to remove all invalid shortcuts from the system.


It is then up to you to remove the shortcuts that you do not want to see listed on the All Apps page and for that matter their original location. Make sure you only delete program shortcuts and not first party shortcuts that point to Windows Store or the desktop.

Deleting shortcuts here will remove them from the All Apps listing. If you are using a start menu replacement like Start8 you may alternatively use it to browse the program folders in the start menu and delete items here that you do not need and do not want listed on the All Apps page. (via Deskmodder)


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Dave said on January 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Some readers may have trouble browsing to the AppData or ProgramData folders, because they are hidden by default. To see them, it is necessary to go to control panel -> folder options and check the box that says “show hidden files, folders, etc.”

  2. Zinc said on December 30, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    The location of the shortcuts in Windows 8 is actually:

    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\

    Deleting from the User directory does nothing and most shortcuts don’t even show up there.

    The Nirsoft utility does work…as it lists the shortcut locations properly.

    Good tip though…just cleaned up my Start Menu nicely.

  3. Ramesh Khanna said on December 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    1. I tried what you said but did not find most programs listed there. Are only additions entered there?
    2. I thought maybe there were other start menu folders like the various desktop folders but could not find any quickly.
    3 I tried searching users for folders called “start menu”, and then “Start Menu” and it said no results. This time search seemed to be faster than Windows 7 while earler searches were slower. The behaviour of Windows 7 keeps on changing.
    4 In Windows 7 the start menu directory refused permission to open. So far I have not come across anything in W8 that refused access. I note that the virtual memory memory file and the hibernation file, each 8GB in Windows7 C root, are not visible. Is W8 hiding things even when set to show hidden items?

  4. Garth said on December 21, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Thanks, Martin! :)
    I do looking for a simple app to do this sort of thing.

  5. Jay said on December 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Nirsoft software’s rock

  6. Paul(us) said on December 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Hoi Martin, Nice article again. I cant find a link to the ShortcutsMan v1.10 from Nirsoft.
    Do you mean ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      Yes that is it. Added to the article.

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.