Installing New Windows 8.1 Programs

When you install a new program in Windows 8.1, the installer throws a bunch of tiles up on the All Apps screen. They’re disjointed and unorganized and can be a massive pain to sort through.

To illustrate the point, install the following, using only default settings:

  • Office Professional Plus 2010

  • 7Zip

  • Secunia PSI, the software version checker

  • Google Chrome and make it the default web browser

The installers have tossed the tiles for all those programs onto the Metro All Apps page — and, if you click on the down arrow at the bottom of the Metro Start screen, it ain’t pretty.

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If you’re an experienced Windows XP, Vista, or Win7 user, you may notice that Windows 8.1 has grouped these little tiles, organizing them in the same way that older versions of Windows would’ve tossed them into the old Start menu.

For example, if you installed 7-Zip in Windows 7, you would’ve received a Win7 Start menu item called 7-Zip, and it would’ve had two items underneath, 7-Zip File Manager and 7-Zip Help. Win8.1 uses the old installation settings but puts them in a tiley sorta place.

The New flags you see scattered hither and yon are reminders that Windows hasn’t put links to any of these programs anywhere. You won’t find the NEW programs on the Metro Start screen, on the old-fashioned desktop, or on the desktop’s taskbar. They’re stuck back here in the lower forty, waiting for you to bring them out.

Yes, you’re supposed to know that by osmosis. The program installers don’t warn you, “Hey, go to the All Apps screen to stick these programs someplace useful.”

Here’s the general procedure:

  1. From the Metro Start screen (get there by pressing the Windows key or the Windows button on your computer), click the down arrow.

    The first screen you see includes all the Metro apps that appear as tiles on the Metro Start screen, plus a few others that seem to be sprinkled in there to keep you guessing.

  2. Scroll right.

    That takes you to the blob of programs that haven’t been assigned to the Metro Start screen or to the old-fashioned desktop’s taskbar.

  3. Look through the items marked NEW. If you find one that you want to put on the old-fashioned taskbar, right-click it.

    An Option bar appears at the bottom of the screen.

  4. Click on the icon that says Pin to Taskbar.

  5. If you really want a Metro Start screen tile for that particular program, click Pin to Start as well.

    Each new program that you Pin to Start gets tossed into a glob at the right side of the Metro Start screen. Don’t worry about organizing the mess just yet.

Some programs install themselves on the old-fashioned taskbar and/or on the desktop. Those programs aren’t marked with NEW in the Metro All Apps list. It’s just as well, because the installer has already done what needs to be done, without making you manually sort through the nitty-gritty.

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