Win8: How to Create Keyboard Shortcuts For Your Apps

Sunday, June 3, 2012
Now that the Windows 8 Release Preview is out, I've decided to create a bootable VHD of Win8 to kick the tires and get totally familiar with the new interface.  This morning I started installing some of my most commonly used applications.  I configure keyboard shortcuts for most of these applications, as well as some of the built-in Windows apps like Notepad, Command Prompt, and PowerShell.

Windows 8 no longer has a Start menu, so you need to configure the application shortcuts from Windows Explorer.  Here's how to do that:

  • Press the Windows + E key to bring up Windows Explorer on the Windows Desktop.
  • Navigate to %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.  Here you will find the shortcuts to most of the applications that you install.

  • Now locate the shortcut you want to configure, right-click it, and select Properties to configure the keyboard shortcut.  Depending on your UAC settings, you may need to provide administrator permission to change these settings.

Note: Some Windows built-in applications are stored in other locations.  Here are the common locations for those apps:
  • Notepad: %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories
  • Command Prompt: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group3

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