So essentially what we are going to do is create a shortcut to the Apps screen, you’ll use the Shell command. In order to launch a Shell command from a shortcut, you need to use the explorer.exe command. As such, the shortcut to launch the Apps screen consists of the following command line. (Take note that there are three colons between the word shell and the left brace. Also keep in mind that there is only one space in the whole command line between the .exe file extension and the word shell.)
To create the shortcut, just open the Documents folder, right-click on the background, and choose the New | Shortcut command. When you see the first screen in the Create Shortcut wizard, type the shortcut in the text box, as shown in Pic 1. Then, click Next.
As you type the shortcut, beware of typos
When you see the second screen in the Create Shortcut wizard, type a short name for your shortcut. As you can see in Pic 2, I named my example shortcut Apps. To complete the wizard, just click Finish.
One this is done you will see a shortcut appear just right click on it and select the Properties command, as shown in Pic 3
When you see the Properties dialog box, click the Change Icon button to open the Change Icon dialog box, as shown in Pic 4.
By default the Change Icon dialog box displays the icons from the explorer.exe file. As you can see, none of the available icons are very exciting. However, if you click the Browse button, you can search for other files that contain icons.
By default, the Change Icon dialog box displays the icons from the explorer.exe.
I first found a nice Windows flag in the imageres.dll file (C:\Windows\System32.dll) that I considered using, but then I remembered the green Orb icon from Windows Media Center was very nice and found it in the ehshell.exe file (C:\Windows\ehome). Both are shown in pic 5
While the Windows flag icon is a good choice, I like the Windows Media Center icon better.
I ended up choosing the Windows Media Center icon because it resembles the Start button but since it is green, it is different from the blue Windows 7 icon. Of course, you can use any icon that you prefer. As soon as you choose your icon, right click on it and then select the Pin to Taskbar command, as shown in pic 6
Select the Pin to Taskbar command.
Once your custom Start button appears on the taskbar, drag it all the way to the left side of the taskbar, as shown in pic 7. You can use the green Orb icon and positioning it at the end of the taskbar it really makes the desktop look like Windows 7, however I personally prefer the simple Windows flag icon.
Drag the pinned icon to the left side of the taskbar.
Now when you click your custom Start button, the Apps screen will appear, as shown in pic 8. You can then click once to dismiss the Search panel, and then select the icon of the application that you want to launch.
I will be posting more how to’s for Windows 8 in the coming moths so stay tuned.