Opening Programs in Windows 8.1

Dell Inspiron 15, 3000 Series. OS Windows 8.1
With Windows XP it was easy to locate a list of programs and then by clicking on the icon to open them. Is there a similar option on Windows 8.1
I know that by right-clicking on start button on taskbar a menu opens which includes 'Programs and Features'. But this seems to be for uninstalling programs. At the moment I go to the Search on the Start menu and type in the name of the program I am tying to locate. Then usually search finds an icon for the program. But this is cumbersome.
Michael MurphyAsked:
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I just hit the windows key on my keyboard and then hit the down arrow symbol to display all apps installed
Right click an unused part of your taskbar, select "Toolbars", "New Toolbar". Now at the bottom of the window, where you have "Folder:" enter C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and click on "Select Folder".

You will now have a "Programs" option with a double arrow at the right part of your taskbar. If you click on the double arrow, your normal menu will show up like it used to in Windows 7.
The method with the toolbar lacks some programs because it shows you only the system start menu, not the personal start menu. Some shortcuts are placed in the personal start menu.
So your options are
-install classic shell and have it look like 7
-wait until july 29th for win10 (free upgrade) and see if its start menu looks better to you
-use the arrow as described
-use the toolbar which has most shortcuts but no guarantee that the list is complete
-or search like you do and then pin to start/taskbar
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I use the method Rindi has outlined and have done for 2 years now - works great.  See my article on ways to improve Windows 8.1

I also enable the Desktop toolbar. That shows you all the personal files that McKnife references. So two little icons in the system tray (Desktop and Programs) and EVERYTHING in your machine is at your disposal without using Metro.

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Not everything and I keep saying this for ages but it is ignored. See, your menu has one folder ( C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs) but it hasn't the second important folder
C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Please let me try this a different way. Everything I have needed over the last two years has been available in my two icons. If I am missing something (a) I do not know what it is and (b) I do not need it.  I trust this clarifies.
Well, open C:\Users\John\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and have a look. Maybe you never need things in there, but that surely does not mean someone elses programs don't put their (needed) shortcuts right in there.
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