Say goodbye to the Games folder with Windows 10 version 1803

With Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced the Games folder which was a special location to manage your installed games. This folder also offers game updates, statistics, rating information, RSS feeds, and more. It acts like a central repository for all recognized games you have on your PC. This folder was available in all versions of Windows 10. However, it has been removed in Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, version 1803.

The development of Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, version 1803, is over. The final (RTM) build is 17133, which is already released to Fast and Slow Ring Insiders. Microsoft is actively working to push the OS to the production branch.

The removal of the Games folder wasn't mentioned in the official change log available for Insider Preview builds. That's because the folder wasn't visible anywhere in the user interface and could be accessed only with the shell command shell:Games. You could use it to find your Windows Experience Index.

windows 10 wei index value

Note: When the Games folder is pinned to the taskbar or to the Start menu, it provides quick access to all installed games on your PC. It is also very useful when you have installed the good old Windows 7 Games in Windows 10:

Windows 10 run games from Windows 7

Starting in Windows 10 version 1803, the Games folder has been removed from the OS. The shell command doesn't work any more.

Shell Games Removed

It's obvious why Microsoft is not interested in supporting the classic Games folder in Windows 10. Its place has been already taken by the Xbox app. Most gamers prefer Steam over Microsoft's built-in  solution.

Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, codenamed "Redstone 4", will bring a number of interesting features. These include Timeline, Cortana improvements, plenty of Fluent Design-powered apps and Settings pages, new security options, and more.

See what's new in Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

If you are interested in delaying the upgrade, refer to the article How To Delay Windows 10 Version 1803 Upgrade. This will allow you to pause the upgrade for up to 365 days and stay with your current Windows 10 version, if required.


12 thoughts on “Say goodbye to the Games folder with Windows 10 version 1803

  1. Jimmy S.

    RIP Game folder. I’m tired of saying this, but Microsoft is making Windows more bloated and useless. However, I’m sure that the shell is still there in the Skip Ahead builds. I will try to confirm this.

    1. Jakub H.

      Unfortunately, I have Skip Ahead build and shell:games does not work for me. Maybe there is any solution?

      1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

        replacement is: shell:GameTasks %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\GameExplorer
        According to our reader arman.

        1. Jakub H.

          Hmm, it seems that shell:GameTasks %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\GameExplorer doesn’t work on the build 17627. I copied the contents of the error:

          [Window Title]
          shell:GameTasks C:\Users\jakub\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\GameExplorer

          Windows cannot find ‘shell:GameTasks C:\Users\jakub\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\GameExplorer’. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.


  2. Dave

    Games do not need to be “installed”. I don’t know what the point of putting crap all over the system is but it is probably not in your best interest.

    I have 41 games on my “games drive” (yes a separate hard drive just for my games). I’ve wiped my C: drive several time and reinstalled the entire OS (windows 7 and now windows 10) and all I’ve ever had to do is pin the main executable to the the start menu and the games work fine.

    (Many games need different versions of C++ and the like, those are usually found in the games folder in a sub folder called “_CommonRedist”. It’s easy enough to go through and install the ones you need)

  3. Christian

    Rest in peace Games Explorer

  4. Jim

    Thanks for the article.I’ve lost my game shortcuts as well.It was very useful.

  5. Lukas

    Please update, if there’s any possibility to get the games back in Windows 10.

    Somehow some users like those games and want to install/play them again.



    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      You can play games without this folder. Just install the game package from this site and play.

  6. Jarda

    I returned a directory “games” through Classic shell

    1. create folder name, for example “Games” in my case “Hry” in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
    2. open Settings in Classic Shell
    3. Customize Star Menu
    4. Click right button, Insert New Item
    5. Click left on Inserted Item and select last item “custom”
    6. Click right, Edit Item
    7. edit Link: directory path in ProgramData, Select folder, “Games” in my case “Hry”
    8. Label a Tip is in my case “Hry”
    9. Done

    1. Frank

      You might explain what is “Classic Shell” for those of us who do not know or don’t know where to go find it at. I found it at:

    2. Frank

      You might explain what is “Classic Shell” for those of us who do not know or don’t know where to go find it at. I found a good tool at:


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