Thursday, November 15, 2012

Windows 8 'All Users' Start Tiles

The question:  Where is the "All Users" folder for pinned Start Page Tiles in Windows 8?

The short answer:
There is not an exposed location for this.
If you find it, drop everyone a note here by leaving a comment.

I think Microsoft is in a little trouble here:  There is no mechanism for an all-users start tile because, by definition, how the Start Page is organized and grouped is a user-specific preference.  An all-user tile arriving in the middle would interfere with that user's preferences.  There is no doubt this hurts in a corporate environment.

Finding a Start Tile's location:

A Start Tile's location can be found with these steps:

1.  From the Start page, "other-mouse-click" (right mouse) the tile to select.  Illustrated below, note the Firefox icon with a check in the upper-right corner.

2.  From the bottom context menu, choose "Open File Location"

File Explorer (formerly Windows Explorer) opens, pointing to the shortcut / link file.

Tile Locations:

Microsoft Installed Tiles are stored here (think "All Users"):
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

But if you try to pin any program to the Start Page, it arrives here:
C:\Users\(your ID)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

No matter how hard you try, you cannot point a pinned icon to the ("All Users") location.

The issue is this:  If an administrator installs a program and builds a Start Tile; then logs out, other users will not see the Start Tile.  They would have to build their own.  I am still looking for a solution to this problem.  As of Windows 8.1, this is still an issue.

More Details:

Related Articles:
Everything you wanted to know about Tiles


  1. Did you figure out a fix for the ramifications section you commented about?

  2. No. Let's hope a future patch gives us this ability. How could they miss this in their development and testing? This will never fly in a corporate environment.

  3. Stupid Microsoft. I installed Office but my son can't get to it!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Yes he can, you just need to go to the All Apps section, or simply start typing the name of the application you want to open. It will show the tiles and then you can pin to the start menu. Not a great workaround, but works out in the end.

    2. Agreed, but it will pin to his (son's) start menu.

  4. there has to be a way to do this. when you install programs and it gives you the option to "install for all users" then I am fairly certain that it will show up on the start menu for all users. and, to call Microsoft stupid is just ignorant.


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