Microsoft – Windows 2012 – Missing Start Bar


One of our machines was recently upgraded from MS Windows 2008 to MS Windows 2012.

Needing to check its state, I connected over a remote desktop to the machine.



Current State

Let us review our current state



Image – Desktop

Image – Desktop – Start


The start menu bar is not available on our MS Windows 2012 install.




  1. Start Menu
    • Access Start Menu by accessing the bottom-left or the bottom-right screen corners
    • Access Start Menu over Remote Desktop by using special keystrokes
  2. Toolbar – Add Programs Toolbar

Start Button – Screen Edges – Bottom-Left / Bottom-Right Corner

Though, by no means obvious one can access the start button by inching ever so closely to the bottom left corner of the screen.


Image – Screen bottom left

Image – Screen bottom right

Start Button – Remote Desktop via special keystrokes


Description Windows shortcut Remote Desktop shortcut
Displays the Start menu Windows key
Displays the system menu ALT+SPACE BAR ALT+DELETE


Toolbar – Add Programs Toolbar


  1. File Explorer – Options – Hidden Items
    • Launch File Explorer
    • Access the “View” Tab
    • Access Options
    • Enable the following options
      • Hidden items
  2. Task Bar – Add A New Task Bar
    • Access Task Bar
      • Keep in mind that your Task Bar is usually at the bottom of one’s screen
    • Right-click on an unoccupied area of your taskbar
    • TaskBar Menu
      • Right Click on the toolbar and a drop-down menu will appear
      • Choose the menu option Toolbar / New Toolbars
      • The “New ToolBar – Choose a Folder” File Dialog is shown
      • Please choose the targeted folder; in our case “Programs
        • Syntax:- [System Drive]:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
        • Usual:- C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
      • There are a couple of pathways to supplying the targeted folder
        • Manually entering the path
        • Via the GUI ( Mouse )
      • Please affect your choice by choosing the “Select Folder” button
  3. Task Bar – Programs
    • Your newly added Task Bar is accessible from the toolbar
    • Please choose the Program’s entry
    • The list of install applications will be displayed





Toolbars – Add a New Toolbar

Toolbars – New toolbar – Menu


Toolbars – New Toolbar – Choose a folder

Toolbars – New Toolbar – Folder Selected


Toolbars – Review Added Toolbar

Toolbars – Added Toolbar – Programs

Toolbars – Added Toolbar – Programs – List of Programs



Please consider and evaluate the steps detailed above if you find out that your Start Button is missing.

We noticed this post one of our upgrades.

BTW, the upgrade targeted MS Windows 2012.



Dedicated to Keith Mayer [MSFT].



  1. SpiceWorks
    • Keith Mayer ( Microsoft )
      • How to: Miss the old Start Menu on Windows Server 2012? Try this!
        Authored By:- Keith ( Microsoft )
        Date Authored:- 2013-June-13th
  2. Microsoft
    • Windows Developer
      • Windows > Apps > Win32 > Desktop Technologies > System Services > Remote Desktop Services
        Remote Desktop Services Shortcut Keys


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