Adding Administrative Tools Menu to Windows 8.1 Taskbar

I know that Microsoft is bringing back the Start Menu (or some interation of it anyway) with Windows 10, and I will post some thoughts about the upcoming OS in the future, but for those of us still using Windows 8/8.1/2012/2012R2 and missing the easy accessibility to Administrative Tools you had with Windows 7 / 2008 R2 – I have a solution for you.

How things used to be:

Since I can remember (Win 2000? NT?) and until recently (Win 7/08R2), it was incredibly easy to add a menu of the Administrative Tools onto your taskbar – by using the Start Menu.

  • Right Click the taskbar
  • Select Properties
  • Select the Start Menu tab
  • Click Customize
  • Scroll to the bottom
  • Select Display on the All Programs menu and the Start menu
    W2008R2 Admin Tools

How to replicate this on Windows 8.1 / Server 2012 R2:

With the push to get users to “pin” applications on their taskbar, Microsoft’s official solution to this would be to just add a shortcut to the Admin Tools on your taskbar. This is a crappy solution. We want a menu! To accomplish this..

  • Right Click the taskbar
  • Select Toolbars
  • Select New Toolbar…
  • Navigate to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools
  • Click Select FolderW2012R2 Admin Tools

I personally think this is a great solution, plus it’s less clicks than before!

Extra tip:

You can easily add your additional Admin Tools to this list by right clicking the toolbar and selecting Open Folder.
As an example, I always keep Wireshark in my list.
W2012R2 Add To Admin Tools
W81 Wireshark

Check back for more tips!