49 replies on Download the Desktop Shortcut to the Windows 8 Start Screen

  1. Burton says:

    Downloaded this Zip file twice and each time I tried to unzip it, my Norton Internet Security suite blocked it and reported that it contained a Trojan named: Trojan.ADH.2.

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      That is a false alarm. We do not distribute malware and this executable is only a file that sends a keyboard combination input to Windows 8.

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      Wow. I made a scan with Virus Total to see if other security software will report it as troublesome.

      It seems that Norton, McAfee, Comodo and Rising will consider our file trojan. 🙁
      All other security software will consider it OK.

  2. Charles says:

    I found another use for this.

    The HP Touchsmart has a physical ‘Home’ button that is used to launch HP’s own touch software. There’s a registry key that controls what happens when this button is pressed, and it works with….ta-da… any EXE file! With this little script, I can now make the Home button launch the Start Screen – very nice.



    The thickness of the bezel around the screen on the Touchsmart makes it a bit tricky to use the ‘swipe’ action to access the charms – so this really helps.

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      I’m glad to see people found this useful for other things too. 😀 So cool!

  3. Milan says:

    Hello, your shortcut is handy…
    Please could you wtite an EXE, what will “Focus Desktop” and send “Alt-F4” to it to display Shut Down Windows Dialog?
    Or is there classic shortcut for this?
    This no longer work in W8:
    C:WindowsSystem32taskkill.exe /im explorer.exe

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      Try this article: http://www.digitalcitizen.life/biggest-library-windows-7-shortcuts

      You will find other interesting shortcuts.

      • milan says:

        Hello there 🙂
        Thanks for quick reply, however the action I need is not there.
        I want to invoke this dialog:
        what can be only done by:
        1. left clicking on the empty space on desktop
        2. pressing +

        …because there is no known shortcut for this, the only method is that you have used in the EXE launching Start Metro Screen: script what will focus desktop and then send + to it. I’ll pay you few bucks via PayPal, if you can modify your current script to the this action and make exe from it. Thanks

        • milan says:

          The keys are missing in my post because I’ve accidentally put them to HTML brackets.
          Correct is:
          2. pressing Alt+F4

          • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

            That collection includes shortcuts for reboot, log off, etc. It makes it faster for you to shut down your system, for example. You really want just that window to be shown?

          • Milan says:

            Yes, it is hard to explain, I need that for some very special purpose, what I need, is just invoking that window, not to do anything other with the computer. Your approach to sending key strokes is the only way I think.

          • Milan says:

            Please, please 🙂 will you do it for me (in your free time)? :))
            If so many thanks 🙂 As I said, I can send you some payback via Paypal 🙂

          • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

            Can you give me a reminder towards the end of next week? I should be done with some deadlines on my book writing until then.

          • Milan says:

            ok, thanks

          • Milan says:

            Hello again, here is the nice reminder you’ve requested 🙂
            …could you tell me your email? 🙂

          • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

            Ok. I will work on it these days and come back to you. You can contact me at 7tutorials at gmail.

          • Milan says:

            nice 🙂 thanks 🙂

  4. Ashbjorn says:

    What’s wrong with just pressing the “WIN” key to take you to that screen? Seems like an overly complicated way to simulate a button everyone has on their keyboard?

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      There is nothing wrong with that. This is for people who use the mouse and get around mostly by using visible shortcuts.

    • Milan says:

      Well, every real gamer has the Win-key ripped off the keyboard. :))

      BTW: How will you use Win-key in batch or cmd files? 🙂

  5. Rex says:

    Great and useful tool but missing one option…that is, the option where win 8 signs out into “Advanced Boot Options”. At the moment there are 3 ways of accessing this: 1. through the General tab of PC settings; 2. holding down the Shift key while clicking Restart; 3. entering the line “Shutdown.exe /r /o” through the command prompt.
    Is it possible to enter this option into your application…it would indeed be great if this could be done. You would in fact have ALL boot options in one place. Please contact me if you have plans of including this option.

  6. Stuart says:

    Is it possible to have the source for this?


    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      Sorry but no.

    • Pat says:

      Here you go. Create a text file and name it something.vbs
      Edit the file and paste in the following code
      Set objShell = CreateObject (“WScript.Shell”)
      objShell.SendKeys “^{ESC}”
      Save the file and create a shortcut to it.
      Right-click the shortcut and choose Properties, then in the Target line preceed the target with Explorer.exe
      Make shre you have a space between Explorer and your target path.
      Change the icon to something from System32imageres.dll then pin the shortcut to your Taskbar.
      Shift + Right-Click on the taskbar shortcut and choose Properties and remove the Explorer.exe stuff and click Ok to close. You now have a fancy Start Menu shortcut.

  7. cody says:

    Source is autoit.

    You can essentially write your own if you want – it is literally a one liner script compiled into an autoit UPX executable:


  8. KS says:

    Thanx man. Lol. I knew someone other than Microsoft would come up with this. My clients thank you too!

  9. Paul Clary says:

    I downloaded and unzipped your script file on the desktop of my new Win 8 computer and it works just as you said it would. Thank you for the file.

  10. Goodcoin says:

    Nice work! It’s especially neat when pinned to the far left side of the taskbar, where the start button used to be. Although, the start hotspot is better to be disabled in such case.

  11. vhanla says:

    Using ways to trigger or simulate keypress via sendkeys or keybd_event is considered a bad practice because sometimes it will alter the normal behaviour of your keyboard (it is considered as a last resort), better use WinAPI -> PostMessage(,WM_SYSCOMMAND, SC_TASKLIST,0)

  12. Richard says:

    Thank you so much. Works like a charm ; )

  13. abdellawi says:

    thank u : thousand times

    very nice
    with no risque for my pc

  14. JT says:

    Thanks for your work on this useful tool. Although I’m not sure why but now my shutddown/hibernate shortcuts I created don’t work. Anything to do with this lil program? I haven’t installed or even changed anything else.

  15. Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

    This program has nothing to do with your shut down/hibernate shortcuts and it doesn’t impact them in any way.

    This article might help you though: http://www.digitalcitizen.life/5-ways-shut-down-or-restart-windows-8-computer-or-device

  16. John says:

    Just move your mouse to the far bottom left corner and the start icon appears!
    That’s it, as far left and bottom as it will go, click!
    You don’t need to download anything!!

  17. Joe says:

    My gosh, I love it when I do a search for a Windows 8 annoyance, and I immediately find somebody else that has had the same problem. This is even better, in that you created a work around which thumbs its nose up at these Win8 oversights. I think I have about 3 or 4 work around shortcuts on my Win8 installation now!!! Anyways, THANK YOU!!!

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      Glad to help Joe. Don’t hesitate to pay us a visit now and then. We publish Windows 8 articles every week. I’m sure you will find other interesting articles.

  18. fandangoeduptheriver says:

    I still don’t get it.
    What’s the point of this button shortcut?
    Move mouse to bottom left corner and click.
    I’d rather see a button that goes to a desktop installed programs list!

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      The point of this shortcut is explained by the video we embedded.

      • fandangoeduptheriver says:

        Hmm. Saw the video.
        MS was bad, for not placing a mini tour instruction shortcut, on desktop and start screen, like other operating systems in past.
        Net said MS was going to send instructions in email,
        to all Win 8 users, but I never received.
        If I do remember correctly, when I installed Win 8, there was repeating animation to go to corners of screen for actions.
        That’s what helped me explore, and find start screen. My memory is bad, but not enough to forget how to get to start screen, after a couple of times.
        But if someone bought a preinstalled version, there would not be visual cues, and I see now, your nice shortcut, can help other users.
        For me, I was hoping your shortcut, would open up an installed desktop only programs start menu list. That would be L taco supremo.
        Maybe, something to look into in future?
        ps. Desktop is like sitting in movie theater in the middle seats.
        Start screen is like down in first row, looking up at giant screen, getting dizzy!

  19. Leslie Mason says:


    A while back you got some heat on the following note.

    Downloaded this Zip file twice and each time I tried to unzip it, my Norton Internet Security suite blocked it and reported that it contained a Trojan named: Trojan.ADH.2.

    It could have been that the AV scanners were picking up something, but I just ran into a similar problem.

    It had nothing to do with your code, but a lot to do with the HUGE green “Download Now” button that appears just ahead of your zip download.
    I clicked it and while I don’t think I received any viruses, I did receive a bunch of junk apps and toolbars that I hated.

    I was really upset, but your article and the rest of the site seemed legit, so I took a chance.
    The odd thing was, I did not even get your app I don’t believe.

    Possibly if you could make your zip download in some way more prominent using oversized font and some color. Possibly a few lines of empty space right after the zip file.

    BTW, your real “Show Desktop” app worked great once I figured things out.

    Thought you might want to know.


    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      I think you did not download the Archive attached at the end of the article but you clicked on the ad at the bottom of the article, which took you to some dodgy site. Unfortunately Google does a poor job at filtering malicious websites that have ads on their AdSense service. If you have the URL of that malicious website, share it here and I will ban it from ever being displayed on our website.

      I’m sorry for your problems though and appreciate you sharing the experience you had.

  20. Zane says:

    This is awesome. I remote into my Windows 8 PC from my iPad and it was no way to switch screen without bringing up keyboard and then pressing the start key. Now i have pinned this Icon on taskbar and it works like Windows 8.1.

  21. K. Chris Caldwell says:

    Thank you so much.

    I needed just this solution to assist someone less “computer-able” in getting back and forth between the Windows 7 Desktop and the Windows 8 Whatever.

    And, if I can be just a touch negative for a moment, shame on Micro$oft.

  22. Chris Kurisu says:

    Thanks for this. Works perfectly.

  23. Anonymous says:


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