I installed Windows Server 2012 and did some of the initial setup with the built-in Administrator account. I created my own user account and made it a member of the Administrators group so I could disable the built-in Administrator account for security concerns.

I feel cheated, because my start screen lacks all the shortcuts that were present by default in the Administrator's start screen. How can I get all those shortcuts on my desktop too?

Obviously I could run searches and add them one by one, but is there an easier way? Did I do something wrong to have it turn out like this or is it by design?

My start screen on the left vs. Administrator's start screen on the right: My start screen vs. Administrator's start screen

  • Were they really there by default or added as you installed software/components to the server? I can build up a VM to test and verify but curious first. – TheCleaner Jul 19 '13 at 20:35
  • They were probably added as I installed roles, such as IIS (why would it be there prior to installing IIS, after all). I just don't understand why shortcuts for system-wide services like that would only go to one user's start menu on a server. Perhaps it was because I created the user after the fact. In any case, if I create a new user after everything is installed, there should be a way to get more than a virtually empty start screen for them if there are already a lot of programs installed, like allowing the user to pull shortcuts in from all users or specific users start menus. – Triynko Jul 19 '13 at 21:38
  • What they really need is two separate "All Users" shortcut lists... one for everyone and one specifically for administrators. That way, things like IIS Manager could go to the "All Administrators" list, and any new administrator accounts created would dynamically pull from that list as well as the normal "all users" list, while non-administrators would only pull from the normal "all users" list. Whatever it's doing now is not helpful. Love the new start screen in general though. – Triynko Jul 19 '13 at 21:41
  • Helpful hint: Type Win-Q. – Michael Hampton Jul 23 '13 at 20:03

If you have disabled the Administrator account then presumably those shortcuts would not be missed if they are moved into your start screen folder. This folder is located at "%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs". Use either a Windows Explorer drag or a command prompt move command to recover the shortcuts to your preferred user's start folder.

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