How to "edit" the new XAML start menu?

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by Myrrh, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Myrrh

    Myrrh MDL Expert

    Nov 26, 2008
    #1 Myrrh, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
    Consider for a moment this situation. It references BlueStacks, but there might be other situations where this behavior is seen.

    - Windows 10.0.10041 running on Surface Pro 3 tablet machine.
    - Installed BlueStacks, signed in google play and download a few apps.

    Now, every android app installed in BlueStacks has its own icon listed under All Apps on the start menu. The only right-click option these icons have is "Pin to start"

    - Where are these actually stored?
    - How to remove them from the start menu?

    I thought I found the folder where the icons live, which happens to be a "My Apps" folder that BlueStacks added to Libraries. I cleared that out, rebooted, everything still on start menu. Maybe there's a cache of the start menu that I need to know how to force it to rebuild?

    Another possibly similar situation: one machine I encountered which had no "Administrative Tools" folder in start menu. It reappeared after a while, not sure what brought it back. In the meantime while it was missing, I installed RSAT, found and opened the folder in the filesystem, and pinned a bunch of the tools, and did a few reboots and other stuff. Now the folder is where it's supposed to be on the start menu.

    On previous OS, you could go to [various system/user locations]\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and modify the structure of the start menu from there. This method doesn't seem productive anymore. Anybody found a good way to edit the thing?
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  2. WildByDesign

    WildByDesign MDL Addicted

    Sep 8, 2013
    This is something that I have been trying to figure out as well. I used to be able to make changes to the Start menu on one of the initial preview builds, but that was before the XAML version came along. And I can confirm, changes that I used to make before don't seem to be reflected in this XAML Start menu.

    We would probably have to use something like Process Monitor, make changes that would affect the Start menu, and dig deep into the Process Monitor logs to figure out where those changes are reflected. This is something that I would like to do, but wont have time likely until the weekend.

    Also, even if we do figure out where to make changes that would affect the XAML Start menu, it could very well be protected somehow. But either way, hopefully there is more interest to this as well, the more eyeballs looking into this the better.
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    MELERIX MDL Addicted

    Nov 7, 2011
    probably is inside C:\Program Files\WindowsApps
  4. Underclocked

    Underclocked MDL Member

    Sep 3, 2013
    I looked at that folder from Windows 8.1 (on another hard drive) and, after manipulating the security settings a bit, was able to see the contents. The app packages are individually listed there in folders (I'm not sure it contained ALL of them) but there was no obvious list that included all currently installed apps. Classic Shell puts all apps in a nice folder so I'm sure the author of Classic Shell might shed some light on how to manipulate the display of those apps - if anyone cares to ask him. I'm not a member of his forums but maybe someone here is ??
  5. dummekuehe

    dummekuehe MDL Senior Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    install a replacement and enjoy a real start menu
    ignore the new microsoft crap
  6. sevenacids

    sevenacids MDL Addicted

    Aug 17, 2012
    I think there are Windows Runtime APIs that allow you to get a list of the currently installed packages, like the PackageManager class in the Windows.Management.Deployment namespace, for example. Or you can probably use WMI (maybe slow). The XAML Start menu itself lives in a new folder "SystemApps" in the Windows directory, and one could try and monitor the ShellExperienceHost process using procmon/procexp like @WildByDesign suggested.