Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8

One of the new features of upcoming Windows 8 is Win+X "Start" menu. It is non-customizable part of Windows 8. Win+X Menu Editor is my latest work and it serves to provide you a simple and useful way to edit Win+X menu without system files modification. It keeps your system integrity untouched.

Latest version is, it supports Windows 8 RTM and Windows 8 Release preview.
Read the rest to learn more and see change log and the demo video

Change log
New feature - "Add an Administrative Tools item" allows you to add any Administrative Tools item quickly and easy.
Workaround with Program Files(x86) folder. Now shortcuts to that folder will be displayed properly in Win+X menu.
Bug fixed: if you try to add a shortcut which is already in Win+X menu folder, then application will show you .NET framework error.
  • New feature - "Add a Control Panel item" allows you to add any control panel applet including hidden like "Network Connections" or "All Tasks(God Mode)".
  • Improved icons resolving for Win+X menu items
  • "Add a program" now not a button but drop-down menu.
  • Some very minor non-critical bugs are fixed
Fixed a bug with built-in items renaming
  • hashlnk is not required anymore, all its functions are ported into the Win+X Menu Editor source code
  • Numerous bugs are fixed, such as sorting bug or crash on empty Win+X menu
  • Improved "add a program" feature
  • New clean and useful UI with hotkeys, new icons
  • The ability to move shortcuts between groups
  • New feature - "Presets", which allows you to add various commands in Win+X menu, such as shutdown options, calculator and so on.
Fixed a bug with Windows 8 RTM.
Improved *.lnk file handling. You need no rename Win+X menu items anymore, it uses file display name instead of lnk target.
Added support to Windows 8 Release Preview
Initial release

Here is the demo video of Win+X Menu Editor

With Win+X Menu Editor you are able:
  • to add new items.
  • to remove any item of Win+X menu.
  • to change display name of any item of Win+X menu.
  • to reorder Win+X menu items.

An addition information

Win+X Menu Editor is based on the hashlink source code by Rafael Rivera. Please respect and love him.

Main icon is daKirby309's "Desktop" icon + mspaint.exe

The Win+X Menu Editor is available in two editions - x86 and x64. Don't use x86 version on Windows x64.

Donate options for satisfied users:


  1. phrozen
    13 Jun 12

    I love this its faster and easier to use... no need for old start Menu. Thanks guys!!! Keep it up a good work.

  2. stranger87
    19 Jun 12

    i can't download Latest version How can i do?

  3. CatFrog
    15 Jul 12

    Is there a version for Win7? (when I click Win+X in a laptop I get the Windows Mobility Center... I wish I can add items to that menu). Thanks a lot! Your works are wonderful xme.

  4. Sergey
    16 Jul 12

    Thank you for your appreciation of Win+X Menu Editor.
    Unfortunately, I can't offer something like this for Windows 7

  5. USer
    11 Aug 12

    It appears as though actions on the menu within recent versions of Windows 8 will kill the menu altogether (and it doesn't return bringing back the defaults). Perhaps creating a new user profile will get it back. This may be a bug.

  6. Sergey
    12 Aug 12

    Thank you very much for report!
    I have fixed the issue.

  7. Awesoft
    22 Aug 12

    Is there any way to make a drop down item for "All programs" and "Log off"?

  8. Sergey
    22 Aug 12

    it is not possible

  9. lol
    26 Aug 12

    Nice Tweak !!!!!!!! But everytime I press apply all icons on the desktop are mixed together!

  10. lol
    27 Aug 12

    everytime I click apply:

    all icons on the desctop are on a different place

    my "fingerprint" programm (virtual airprint server from collobos) gives up, disappears from the taskbar, the fingerprint-service is also corrupted. I have to restart the service and kill the fingerprint task and start again.
    Pretty much work......!sad!unsure

  11. lol
    27 Aug 12

    everytime I click apply:

    all icons on the desctop are on a different place

    my "fingerprint" programm (virtual airprint server from collobos) gives up, disappears from the taskbar, the fingerprint-service is also corrupted. I have to restart the service and kill the fingerprint task and start again.
    Pretty much work......!

  12. Goody two shoes
    07 Oct 12

    Have been using a few weeks now. Thank you.
    Excellent program. Mine has the bare essentials:

    Shutdown Link to shutdown VBScript File

    Control Panel Link to Control Panel

    File explorer Link to Computer Explorer
    User folders Link to my pictures, videos, documents, etc.

    Program Apps Link to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\
    Start Menu\Programs (was hidden)
    Desktop Link to Desktop

  13. ZZZ
    01 Nov 12

    I created a shortcut for the Windows Update but it doesn't add to the menu. It's strange because it worked for everything else I tried...

  14. Sergey
    02 Nov 12

    Can you share your shortcut?

  15. ZZZ
    05 Nov 12

    I right clicked the control panel icon in the "system and security" to create a shortcut. The shortcut has target "Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Update".

  16. Sergey
    06 Nov 12

    i will try to fix this issue in upcoming version 2.0

  17. hellq
    08 Nov 12

    i just can't add any of my applications to the menu, except those presets.
    im using the latest version of your program in the environment of win8 rtm

  18. Sergey
    08 Nov 12

    How I can reproduce the issue?
    Your Windows 8 is x86 or x64?

  19. DF
    08 Nov 12

    Hi. Great program. I have the same issue as ZZZ, in that I created a shortcut to Network Connections and then added it to the editor. It shows in the editor but doesn't appear in the Win + X Menu. Shortcuts created to ordinary programs works fine, so it must be Control Panel shortcuts it has a problem with.

    Is this fixable, or is there a workaround/different method we can use?

  20. Sergey
    08 Nov 12

    this is NOT fixable, but we can use a different method
    We can use shell commands for that purposes. I will publish all of them so you can easily create the required shortcut.
    Also I will add such option to next version. I think I will do it today or tomorrow.
    Right now you can create shortcut using

    explorer.exe shell:ConnectionsFolder

    as shortcut target

    ZZZ, for "Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Update" you can use
    explorer.exe shell:::{36eef7db-88ad-4e81-ad49-0e313f0c35f8}

  21. DF
    08 Nov 12

    Perfect - thanks very much.

  22. ZZZ
    08 Nov 12

    The Network and Sharing Center shortcut worked for me, the only that didn't work was the Windows Update.

    I'll try the shell command. Thx.

  23. MSiqueira
    09 Nov 12

    Same as @hellq.

    Only presets working. Unable to add to menu any .exe that I've tried.
    They appear on Win+X Menu Editor interface, but never shows on Win+X menu.

    Win 8 Pro 64-bit retail here (build 9200).

    Kudos for the app, anyways, B'dozer.

  24. Sergey
    09 Nov 12

    Guys, please, if you have issues with this software, tell me more details
    Which app you tried to add?
    Please specify the full path to exe file.

    I have no ideas how I can reproduce the bug without that information.
    I will try to fix a bug once I repeat it.

  25. MSiqueira
    11 Nov 12

    I tried to add Firefox, and MS Office's Outlook.

    As I said, I'm running Win 8 Pro 64-bit retail (build 9200).
    So I ran Win+X Menu Editor (64-bit version), clicked on 'Add Program' button, navigated to 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox', and choose firefox.exe.
    When asked "Please enter new name", I simply put Firefox (with a capital F), and OK.
    Firefox showed up at the top of Group 3, then I clicked "Restart Explorer".


  26. MSiqueira
    11 Nov 12

    Firefox didn't appear in Win+X menu. I closed the app, ran it again (as Administrator), repeated the same steps, same result. Again with Outlook (C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\Outlook.exe), with same result.

    Interesting, I tried then to add Group 4 and move Firefox to it. When I restarted explorer, The Win+x menu showed up with a division line ABOVE 'Programs and Features' (which is the top App for Group 3), but with nothing above that line.
    I added presets then, to Group 4 (Notepad and Paint). Restarted explorer and both presets showed up ok on Win+X menu.

    That's the stuff I remember, since it's saturday and all that happened @work PC.
    By monday I'll be able to conduct other tests and give you some further feedback, if I must.

    Sorry for the english. Regards..

  27. Sergey
    11 Nov 12

    Thanks you very much for this report.
    Fixed. Please re-download.
    I will do more workarounds for x86 resources in Windows x64 in near future.

  28. throkr
    24 Nov 12

    Thanks a lot for this very nice piece of software !
    The latest version works absolutely perfectly on my Win 8 Pro x64 ...

    Keep up with the excellent work !

  29. SiN
    04 Dec 12

    add feature to add item+icon at the win-x menu.

  30. Sergey
    04 Dec 12

    impossible to add

  31. clemme
    11 Dec 12

    Great tweak!!, could you please add an option for Administrative tools shortcuts similar to the control panel shortcuts.

  32. Sergey
    12 Dec 12

    Sure I can. I will add it today

  33. Sergey
    12 Dec 12

    clemme, but it is already there. Looks like you use x86 version in Windows 8 x86.
    Please use x64 version of this software.

    Ah, I get it. You meant that you want to add 'administrative tools' items in way like Control panel items.
    This is very good suggestion, i will implement it.

  34. bcwinch
    13 Dec 12

    Neat, but can I ask for two extras. As I use the Win X a lot it grows a bit large with addins. Is it possible to group items together and have a subset rather like items in a folder. So all the power options are under one collective, rather as is the desktop cascade menu. So selecting say Power opens a further cascade menu.
    On the User\LocalApps\Microsoft\Windows\WinX the items show icons but these do not show on the actual Win X menu can they be shown as its then easy to find an item. Thanks

  35. SiN
    13 Dec 12

    Can't rename group. Next release can u add support of parameter to app?

  36. Sergey
    14 Dec 12

    1. Win+X menu shows groups as separator. So name of group means nothing
    2. I will add parameter to app. This is very good suggestion.
    So I plan to start work on new version today, at evening. I will try to add command line parameters and Administrative tools.

  37. Sizemann
    18 Dec 12

    Hi I think your program is the best .I love programs that are productive and wish I was smart enough to do what you do .Every thing works great but was wondering what the advanced boot options is supposed to do?When I click on it, it does nothing. Any advice would be appreciated .And THANK YOU AGAIN

  38. poporo
    06 Jan 13

    very good!!

  39. damageboy
    10 Jan 13

    Is there a way to add a keyboard shortcut for my new Win+X shortcuts (just like Command Prompt Admin can be triggered by Win+X,A)

  40. Sergey
    10 Jan 13

    Use "&" in shortcut title
    For example - &Your app => Win+X,Y

  41. stanko
    10 Jan 13

    Hi, thanks for that useful tool.

    i still didn't figure out how to create an icon that opens that win+x menu and to add it to the taskbar.
    what do you think about a feature that would create an icon on desktop or even in taskbar?

  42. Sergey
    11 Jan 13

    stanko, it can be done via simple AutoHotkey or AutoIT script.

  43. stanko
    11 Jan 13

    Thanks for your answer! I am not really save in using tools like that ones you've suggested. I hope you will at least consider to add some small and convenient options like "add link to destop" or "add link to taskbar"

  44. Sergey
    11 Jan 13

    i will not add that feature in app, but i will share a script in blog

  45. @stanko
    11 Jan 13

    If you right click bottom left most corner of the screen on the taskbar, you get the Win+X menu already.

  46. stanko
    11 Jan 13

    Thanks. i am eager to see how that would work. Does such a script require autohotkey/autoit to work in background? or dies the script work alone?

    hey, that's a good advice. didn't know that would work. thanks!

  47. Sergey
    12 Jan 13

    Maybe the script is not required since you can accept the right click?

  48. stanko
    15 Jan 13

    yep. right click is totally enough for me.

  49. pacman.39
    17 Jan 13

    How can I use Restart with no delay, as you have established for Shutdown option?

  50. Sergey
    17 Jan 13

    you can run the following command

    shutdown /r /t 0

  51. stanko
    19 Jan 13

    I tried to add a command in its own group at the end of the win+x menu. But each new group is added to top of menu and furthermore the position of groups is not movable. Could you add movable groups for the sake of convenience?

  52. stanko
    20 Jan 13

    i must agree with pacman.39s post. Using restart without delay seems reasonable.
    sergey, maybe you could give opportunity to define shutdon/testart/... behaviour somehow?

  53. Nico
    22 Jan 13

    Thanks for your very nice and useful tool.
    Please can you add the following control panel item in the list:
    Color Management, and the command is : control /name Microsoft.ColorManagement

  54. Kevin
    03 Feb 13

    Thanks for this nice program! , very useful!
    Regarding what Stanko has been posting about , the right/click to open that has been mentioned is only available with a mouse! .. it's not available on a tablet/touch device!!
    One of the great oddities with Windows 8 ... a touch friendly OS where the much vaunted Win+X menu has no way to get to it on a tablet ...
    You mention Sergey that there is a script to do this , can you share please?
    Thanks again!

  55. Anonymous
    22 Feb 13

    can you tell me how to restore the default windows shortcut for the charms menu to win+X?

  56. Sergey
    23 Feb 13

    you can use "restore defaults" option of menu in the right upper corner.

  57. Anonymous
    02 Apr 13

    no submenues?
    and 'all programs' / 'all apps'

  58. Sergey
    02 Apr 13

    I have implemented all that was possible.

  59. Jcee
    07 Apr 13

    is it possible to change the look of the sepeartor, currently it is invisible, but i would prefer a dotted line:
    like this

  60. Sergey
    07 Apr 13

    AFAIK, it depends on current theme/Visual Style.
    So, it is possible with custom VS.

  61. Anonymous
    07 Apr 13

    the line is there already (its just to light for my primary monitor to display ) and yea i figured it was part of the theme file..

    also ive been meaning to ask you about theming, more specifically how to get white text in the title bar (as my current theme has just about everything how i like except that)

  62. Anonymous
    15 Apr 13

    Very nice little applet. Would it be possible to add an option to export/save the settings for importing/using on another system so that we wouldn't have to manually do it all over again?

  63. Michael
    09 May 13

    Love the tool. Would like to have the option "disconnect" when using a terminal session.

  64. andrewscott48209
    13 May 13

    How do I configure a program to run in the context of an administrator with this program?

  65. Goody two shoes
    16 May 13

    Hi I'm still using it as replacement desktop start menu.
    I have shortcut links to both start menu programs folders,
    C:\Users\my name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

    Just wondering, is there a way to have one link that puts all program links, and folders into one,
    instead of the giant start screen, which has both apps and programs?
    MS is hiding it somewhere!

  66. NGayanP
    17 May 13

    @ andrewscott48209 - 14th May: How do I configure a program to run in the context of an administrator with this program?

    Was just looking for that; Win+X Editor doesn't seem to have the functionality inbuilt - but it's pretty easy to configure yourself.

    You will need to go to the file properties of each the program chosen:

    -For Programs:

    Right Click on it > Properties > Compatibility (Tab) > Privilege Level >
    (Tick) Run this program as administrator > Apply

    -For Shortcuts:

    Right Click > Properties > Shortcut (Tab) > Advanced (Button) > (Tick)
    Run as Administrator > Ok > Apply


  67. ...
    28 May 13

    It would be great if there was an option to export/import the settings...

  68. Goody two shoes
    25 Jun 13

    A few things.
    Could Win 8.1 update kill off this great mod editor that you made?
    If Win 8.1 comes out with fly out selection on some Win+X items, would it be possible for you to mod it,
    so I can link a fly out programs menu?
    For right now, I have link in Win+X, to minimal Classic Shell programs menu, with Autoit Win and P sendkeys.

  69. MFL
    27 Jun 13

    Very nice tool. I hope there will be a version available in the Windows Store as well. Win+X Editor cannot be used now on Windows 8 RT.

  70. Lombar
    15 Jul 13

    Program works fine in Win 8, but it has a erratic work with Windows 8.1 Preview.
    I hope that you develop a new version that works with 8.1.

  71. Sergey
    15 Jul 13

    What does 'erratic' means in this case?
    Does it crash for you?

  72. NathanBradford
    30 Jul 13

    Hello, I was wondering if I can mention your great software on my youtube channel?

  73. Schlitz
    13 Aug 13

    Need help.
    Is it possible to incorporate "7 stacks" shortcut to work in editor?

  74. Anonymous
    05 Oct 13

    No support for Windows 8.1? The default view is displaying items incorrectly...

  75. Sudeepto
    13 Oct 13

    Hello Guys,

    Can someone please tell me how add a dash below any alphabet so that on pressing that alphabet that application opens ...

    I can't seem to find any method to accomplish this task ...

    Please help someone ....

  76. jgrzadka
    21 Oct 13

    I updated to windows 8.1 and all the presets are displayed in double. Any idea how this can be fixed?

  77. Goody two shoes
    26 Oct 13

    Using in Win8.1 now. Still working ok, but
    it doesn't show the new shutdown menu in editor.
    Would like to put shortcut to Bootuituner in shutdown menu.
    Any update program coming out?

  78. Sergey
    27 Oct 13

    The new shutdown menu is hardcoded, no chance to change it!
    I am sorry, this is not possible.

  79. Goody two shoes
    27 Oct 13

    Ok, I understand. I will just place shortcut in different group.
    Thank you for this program, as well as all the other ones.

  80. jORGE
    12 Nov 13

    Can I add "Programs" (all programs) with a DROP DOWN menu like "Shut down or sign out"?

  81. Sergey
    12 Nov 13

    You cannot.

  82. Francesco
    04 Dec 13

    It would be nice to have an option to sort the entries in a group.

  83. hede
    04 Dec 13


    Really nice program here and can see it also works with server 2012 R2.
    I really think you could help a lot of it administrators for Microsoft Terminal solution on 2012 R2, if you have the option to expand the functionality to apply the changes for all users?
    Is this possible?
    Another approached is, if you were able to make a GPO (admx), were it was possible to close down the context items?
    Hope you could be in a assistance of this?

  84. Sergey
    04 Dec 13

    Francesco, take a look on the right edge of the app's window. This feature is there since the first release.

    hede, I have to think.

  85. SiSL
    15 Dec 13

    Whatever I do, I could not add "Internet Information Services (IIS)"

    Everything else Works OK, but not IIS (Administrative Tool)

  86. francesco
    07 Jan 14

    Serge, what I mean by an option to sort the entries in a group is more of a command that will simply sort all the entries in a group alphabetically. For example, in Firefox, if you right click on a bookmarks folder you see a command called "Sort by Name" which does this. The commands you have to move entries up or down is more of a way to do manual sorting. Thanks

  87. Anonymous
    20 Feb 14

    What do you do if Win + X does not open the menu? (I work at an ISP and a lady today had new laptop - probably Win 8.1, and Win + R works, but Win + X did nothing.)

  88. Sergey
    23 Feb 14

    I press "Reset defaults" in that case

  89. UHUesser
    25 Mar 14

    Hi, great tool;-) Is it possible to Export and Import this additional Settings for other User from the commandline? Thanks Urs

  90. Win1
    16 Apr 14

    How to add icons?

  91. Anonymous
    25 Apr 14

    Attempted to restore defaults, and application crashed with: System.IO.DirectoryNotFoundException: Could not find a part of the path 'M:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX'.

    M: is a network drive (wrong drive). Should be using C:

  92. Anon
    05 Jun 14

    With Windows 8.1 Update 1:

    Is there a way to get rid of the "Shutdown or Signout" submenu in the Windows 8.1 Update 1 Win+X Menu?
    I would rather just have the Shutdown be an item directly on the menu.

    Looking in:

    There is no shortcut for the Shutdown submenu. It acts very strange and I don't understand how this submenu is added to the Win+X Menu.

  93. Sergey
    05 Jun 14

    It is hardcoded. Now way to get rid of those items.

  94. Anon
    06 Jun 14

    Thanks for the response Sergey!

    Good job Microsoft! First they use Encrypted Shortcuts for all the items for the WinX Menu. This certaiinly makes it more difficult to customize so people wouldn't be able to use the WinX Menu as a kind of Start Menu. Microsoft would much rather have us use the Metro Start Screen.

    And then with Windows 8.1 Update 1, they make some extra special hard coded Shutdown shortcuts which can't be modified at all. This is even worse than the Encrypted Shortcuts.

    I don't really understand why Microsoft is taking this approach to the Win+X Menu. Why not just use normal shortcuts for the whole thing?

    Thank you Sergey for all the great WinAero utilities! They fix many of the mistakes that Microsoft is making.

  95. sambul
    05 Jul 14

    In Win8.1 64bit, when starting the program, it pops up an Error Box with the exception message:

    "Could not find a part of the path C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools"

    The above folder exists, but the app can't find it...

  96. Anonymous
    05 Aug 14

    Brilliant... thanks for your work!

  97. Mihai_Mike_Maka
    08 Oct 14

    Hi and tks for your great app. I have tried to add the recent items folder, but i did not succeed. Please, do you have any suggestion? Thanks.

  98. Ria
    21 Nov 14

    I tried to add a Recent Items shortcut to Windows 8’s Quick Access Menu using Win+X Menu Editor in Windows 8.1.
    When I click on "open" I get the message:

    Recent Items
    You don't have permission to open this file.
    Contact the file owner or an administrator to obtain permission

    There is only one user and it is an admin account.

  99. Dave Johnson
    06 Dec 14

    I added the WinX Menu editor to the WinX Menu.

    If you choose to do this go to this folder:

    C:\Users\USERNAME]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX and right click on the WinX shortcut in which ever group you have added it, choose advanced, and check run as administrator.

    If you do not do this, it will not order your entries in the order you choose.

  100. geralt
    04 Jul 15

    Is it possible to add a hotkey shortcut to added programs, like how pressing a after windows + x will open Command Prompt (Admin)?

  101. Wolfgang
    13 Aug 15

    I installed (in Windows 10) the the program „Win+x Menu Editor“.
    I choosed „Restore defaults“ .
    Here ist the result:
    „Die Datei oder Assembly "Microsoft.WindowsAPICodePack.Shell, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null" oder eine Abhängigkeit davon wurde nicht gefunden“

    Could you please tell me, what I have to do, that the program works?

  102. Sergey
    14 Aug 15


    Unpack ALL files included in the zip archive.
    Also, don't run the app from the zip archive.
    That's it.

  103. Wolfgang
    14 Aug 15

    Hallo Sergey,
    thank you for your answer.
    It was my mistake.
    The program works.
    Best regards from Germany

  104. Mat
    25 Oct 15

    Thanks for this wonderful peace of code and your hard work.

    When I start the program, the following message pops up:

    "Unhandled excepetion has occured...
    Could not find a part of the path
    C/Program Data/Microsoft/Windows/Start Menu/Programs/Administrator Tools"

    When I click continue, the program starts and the field with all the groups and commands is empty. when I click "restore default", all the items of the menu get visible.

    can I fix this and how? (I am using Win10)

  105. PeterleB
    26 Oct 15

    Great work!
    How can I add items with Parameters e. g.

    C:\Windows\System32\control.exe /name Microsoft.Personalization /page pageWallpaper

    for Dektopbackground

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