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Windows 8 Shell Commands

Microsoft implemented the Shell concept in Windows Vista and also present in 7 and 8, which allows the user to quickly navigate and tweak various aspects of the computer. It is generally used to quickly open various folders and files, without having to click through several locations, just by typing a simple command. Although the full list is quite comprehensive, today we are going to show you what new commands Windows 8, the developer preview version, introduces.

First of all, do not mistake the Windows Shell service with the Command Prompt. The first one is a programming language developed by Microsoft starting with Vista and it is based on the famous .NET framework. The CMD is a more advanced feature, similar to the terminal found in Mac OS X or UNIX based operating systems.

The following shell commands may be used by opening a simple explorer window and typing them into the address bar. Until now, this could also be done using the Windows search box, opened by pressing the classic Start button but considering that Windows 8 eliminated this feature, this is no longer possible. So, a quick way to do open an address bar is to press the Windows + E combination of keys.

Windows 8 new shell commands:

  • Shell: Gadgets - Opens the Windows 8 folder that contains all the gadgets.
  • Shell: UserTiles - This one opens the folder C:\Users\YourName\UserTiles and shows you what tiles the Metro interface has installed. You can also tweak their settings from this panel.
  • Shell: Roaming Tiles - Unlike the previous command, this uses the \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\RoamingTiles to open a list of tiles that are available in the roaming section. Usually these tiles are migrated using the Windows Live ID.
  • Shell: PublicUserTiles - Still not fixed in the developer preview, this is the place where all tiles available for all the users present on the computer are stored.
  • Shell: AppsFolder - One of the most interesting commands out there, this line quickly opens a list of all installed applications, whether they are classic ones or Metro style based. The list will appear inside a single folder layout.

  • Shell: HomeGroupCurrentUserFolder - We haven't successfully tested this one yet, because my computer does not belong to any HomeGroup package. By the looks of it, this may open the shared folder on the Home Group network that your computer provides.
  • Shell: Immersive Application Shortcuts - This command opens a folder containing shortcuts to all Immersive applications. These shortcuts have a new extension, called .InkPad so you could distinguish them easily. This folder is located in C:\Users\Your name, under a deeper address.

At this moment, this is the list of new Windows 8 new shell commands. We are more than sure that once Microsoft adds new things to the build, other commands will surely appear. They are geeky sometimes but, for someone looking to work more efficiently and in less them, they are just perfect.