View Full Version : Windows 8.1 and the new start screen... BUG or Feature?

07-03-2013, 04:25 PM
quoting Antoine Leblond from:

"So when you install a new app from the Windows Store, we no longer put that app on your Start screen."

When I install my non-Windows Store product from an msi package to a Windows 8.1 system, no shortcuts are installed on the start screen even though I have the "Pin to Windows 8 Start Screen" property set to yes. (does work as expected on Windows 8)

So does Microsoft intend no apps to have shortcuts installed to the Windows 8.1 start screen?

BTW: I built my basic msi project with Install Shield 2013

07-04-2013, 02:44 AM
Can you upload the test project, please?

07-08-2013, 09:09 AM
I think it's a (Microsoft) feature combined with what now appears to be unfortunate wording in our setting name. The underlying option is called "prevent pinning". Rather than offer a setting where "no" would mean to pin the shortcut, we flipped the wording so that selecting "no" would align with not pinning. In retrospect, perhaps we should have chosen less assertive wording, such as "Allow this shortcut to be pinned" (but that's incorrect, as the setting only controls the default initial state; it doesn't prevent the user from pinning the shortcut). Finding a correct yet short phrase is key here; I'm open to ideas.

Personally I expect we'll just address this in the inline help. Since Windows 8.1 preview effectively ignores this option, and we can't predict what the next release will do (I half expect they'll implement an algorithm similar to the one that highlights shortcuts in the start menu to select which shortcuts get pinned after installation), I don't see much reason to do more than document this.

07-08-2013, 08:18 PM
It looks like Microsoft has “nearly” done a 180 here for Windows 8.1. In Windows 8.0 the default behavior was to pin all your shortcuts on the start screen, unless you specified in the msi package which specific shortcuts you did not want on the start screen. Now it looks like no shortcuts will be pinned to the start screen by any installation package.

I don’t think the wording on the option is bad even though it’s kind of inverted on how feature is implemented in the msi package. Unfortunately you’ll have to keep a feature that applies only to one specific release of Windows kicking around for the next ten years. Hopefully Microsoft does not add an option in a future release to specify which shortcuts “will” be pinned to the start screen. Maybe by setting “PropVariantValue” to “3”. Have fun documenting that :rolleyes:

@roman - I uploaded an msi package that installs two shortcuts. one is defined to pin the shortcut the other is not. look at msiShortcutProperty table.

Tim Mayert
07-16-2013, 08:58 AM
hsteinbeck, did you ever get your shortcuts to install on the Windows 8.1 Start Screen? If so what settings/properties did you have to do to get it to work?

From all the infomation that I have found so far it looks like Microsoft changed things from Win 8 to 8.1 so that installs can control what goes into the All App, but the user controls what goes on the Start Screen by manually moving/modifing the shortcuts on the Start Screen.

So just need to know if we can or not and if not then we'll have to document for our users to know they have to make changes manually.


Christopher Painter
07-16-2013, 07:40 PM
I really wish someone would convince Microsoft that all of these "user settings" should still have a mgmt API exposed backed up by needed tokens and/or certificates.

I work for a Fortune 50 company with around 150,000 windows workstations in the enterprise. We have around 130,000 workstations that are managed. The "user" has no expectation of owning the settings. Instead all of these settings need to be fully automated.

AFAIK, the ability to do this becomes less and less with each release of Windows.

Tim Mayert
07-17-2013, 08:20 AM
Okay Christopher from what you know or have found out there is currently no way, through the install, to have a shortcut created on the Win 8.1 Start screen?

If this is the case then we'll have to update some of out installs/documentation that asks users if they want desktop icons as they will not go where they expect them.



07-17-2013, 12:56 PM
I would caution that the Windows 8.1 Preview is not the final release. Microsoft has been known to change their mind on many things. So while I agree it makes plenty of sense to prepare such instructions, do be certain that they apply to the actual release before using them.

09-10-2013, 10:55 AM

I have different issues with shortcuts on both Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 system with InstiallShield 2013.

On Windows 8.0, though I am adding only 2 shortcuts to the start screen and all others to the all apps screens, but there is one shortcut that appears on both start screen and All Apps screen. is there a way to prevent this. The MSIShortCutProperty set is same for all the All Apps shortcuts.

On Windows 8.1 systems, there are no tiles added to the Start Screen at all. Is there a way to add the tile to the start the screen, even though "Pin to Wubdiws 8 Start Screen" is set to Yes?


10-23-2013, 04:32 AM
quoting Antoine Leblond from:
So does Microsoft intend no apps to have shortcuts installed to the Windows 8.1 start screen?

Any updates here? Is it possible to create a tile automatically with msi or gpo?


10-24-2013, 09:41 AM
The behavior of the release matches that of the preview (they didn't reverse course since the preview): a tile is created for a shortcut, but it is only added to the All Apps screen. The user must choose to pin the tile to Start for it to show on the user's start screen.

10-28-2014, 12:36 PM
Last post here was over a year ago, and this hasn't been addressed in InstallShield 2013 or 2014. It's not even mentioned in the 2014 Known Issues list. When will there be an update somewhere that might save InstallShield customers (like me) from this confusion?