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John Paul Cook

Add SQL Server Menus to Windows 8.1 Desktop

If you do most of your work with SQL Server, you’re going to be working primarily in the desktop experience. You can easily take the modern UI menu and expose it on the desktop as a series of Windows 7 style cascading menus.


Figure 1. Modern UI menu for SQL Server.

The first thing you need to know is find out where the SQL Server menu items are stored. Go to the Apps page and right click on SQL Server Management Studio.


Figure 2. Right click on SQL Server Management Studio and then click or touch Open file location.

Windows Explorer will open in the desktop with the selected shortcut highlighted. Go to the address bar and select the path. Copy to your paste buffer. In this example, since the installation defaults were chosen, the path is C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft SQL Server 2012


Figure 3. Select the path in the address bar and copy it to your paste buffer.

The next step is to right click the taskbar and create a new toolbar.


Figure 4. Right click the taskbar, select Toolbars, then select New toolbar.

Paste the previously saved path into the New Toolbar – Choose a folder dialog box or you can navigate to the location.


Figure 5. Paste the path into the Folder textbox and click Select Folder.

You now have a new toolbar that looks like a standard Windows 7 cascading menu.


Figure 6. SQL Server cascading menu added to the taskbar.

Published Sunday, January 05, 2014 2:54 PM by John Paul Cook

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just me said:

Thanks for the post. I sure hate windows 8 and 8.1. All sorts of work to make it work half as good as win 7.

January 5, 2014 3:40 PM

Chris said:

Nice tip!

January 5, 2014 3:44 PM

Colin Allen said:

I love windows 8.1, but the Apps section is a mess. Sorting apps by category helps, clicking on a category heading just gives the headings, but clicking on one doesn't scroll that heading to the left hand side.

If you want to add a short cut to Report Manager on the desktop right click on the taskbar icon for IE and then right click on the IE in the menu.

July 8, 2014 3:27 PM

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About John Paul Cook

John Paul Cook is a Technology Solutions Professional for Microsoft's data platform and works out of Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle database application design, development, and implementation. He has spoken at many conferences including Microsoft TechEd and the SQL PASS Summit. He has worked in oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. John is also a Registered Nurse who graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics and is an active member of the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society. He volunteers as a nurse at clinics that treat low income patients. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Opinions expressed in John's blog are strictly his own and do not represent Microsoft in any way.

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