How to pin Games to the taskbar or the Start screen in Windows 8.1

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. However, in Windows 8.1, although this folder still works, it is hidden from the end user. In this article, we will see how to bring it back and pin the Games icon to the taskbar or the Start screen.


To pin Games to the taskbar or the Start screen, you need to follow these simple instructions below.
Option one
  1. Open the Run dialog with the Win + R hotkey. Tip: See the ultimate list of all Windows keyboard shortcuts with Win keys.
  2. Type the following in the Run box:

    The Games folder will be opened on the screen.
    games folder opened

  3. Now right click the Games icon on the taskbar and select Pin this program to taskbar from the context menu. Games will be pinned to the taskbar.
    pin games to taskbar

To pin the Games folder to the Start screen, you need to do the following:

  1. Open the Run dialog again and type shell:Games in the Run box.
  2. Right click the Games icon on the taskbar.
  3. Press and hold the SHIFT key on the keyboard and right click the Games item from the context menu of the taskbar.
  4. Now release the SHIFT key and select "Pin to Start", as shown below:
    pin games to start
    Games will be pinned to the Start screen
  5. This trick uses the standard Windows feature called "Shell Folder" to directly open the item you need. Shell folders are ActiveX objects that implement a special virtual folder or a virtual applet. In some cases, they provide access to physical folders on your hard drive or to special OS functionality like "Show Desktop" or the Alt+Tab switcher. You can access an ActiveX object via shell:::{GUID} commands from the "Run" dialog. For a complete list of GUIDs, refer to the most comprehensive list of shell locations in Windows 8. Some of these GUIDS have readable aliases, which are called "shell commands". I have shared the complete list of shell commands earlier, check it out.

    Option two

    1. Download Winaero's Pin to 8 app. Windows 7 users can download Taskbar Pinner instead of Pin to 8.
      Pin Special Item
    2. Run the correct EXE for your platform, that is, 64-bit or 32-bit.
    3. Click Pin Special Item in Pin to 8. In the window that appears, pick the Games item that you want to pin.
      pin to 8 - games
    4. Click the Pin button.

    Pin to 8 can save you a lot of time and effort if you need to pin some Windows location directly to the taskbar or the Start screen. Unfortunately, with Windows 8.1, Microsoft has restricted access to the 'Pin to Start Screen' menu command for 3rd party apps. However, Pin To 8 allows you to unblock the native Start screen pinning ability for all files with just one click. If you are interested in knowing how it works, see How to add the "Pin to Start Screen" menu item to all files in Windows 8.1.
    That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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