The Enigmatic Windows Accessories Folder: Unveiling Its Hidden Abode in Windows 10

The Windows Accessories folder, a treasure trove of indispensable utilities, has long been a staple of the Windows operating system. However, its whereabouts in Windows 10 may leave users perplexed, as it is no longer readily accessible from the Start Menu. This article embarks on a journey to uncover the elusive Accessories folder, shedding light on its hidden abode and providing a comprehensive guide to accessing its wealth of tools.

Delving into the Depths of the Accessories Folder

The Accessories folder serves as a central repository for a diverse array of built-in tools, ranging from the ubiquitous Calculator and Notepad to the specialized Character Map and Snipping Tool. These utilities, indispensable for various tasks, empower users to perform a multitude of functions, from basic calculations and text editing to advanced screen capturing and character insertion.

Unveiling the Accessories Folder’s Hidden Abode

In Windows 10, the Accessories folder has been cleverly tucked away, requiring a more discerning approach to locate it. Gone are the days when it was prominently displayed in the Start Menu, beckoning users with its array of tools. Instead, it now resides in a more secluded location, accessible through either the Run prompt or the File Explorer.

Method 1: Invoking the Accessories Folder via the Run Prompt

  1. Summon the Run prompt by pressing the Windows key + R.
  2. Within the Run prompt’s text field, meticulously type the following command:
    %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  3. Click the “OK” button, embarking on a journey to the Accessories folder’s hidden abode.

Method 2: Navigating to the Accessories Folder through File Explorer

  1. Launch File Explorer, the venerable file management utility of Windows.
  2. Embark on a journey through the labyrinthine folders, meticulously following this path:
    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  3. Behold! The Accessories folder awaits your arrival, nestled amidst a multitude of other folders.

Accessing the Accessories Folder’s Treasure Trove of Tools

Once the Accessories folder has been successfully located, users can delve into its depths to discover the wealth of tools it holds. Simply double-click on the folder to unveil its contents, revealing a comprehensive list of shortcuts to all the built-in utilities.
To expedite access to frequently used tools, users can employ the “pin to Start” feature. By right-clicking on the desired tool and selecting “Pin to Start,” users can ensure that the tool is always within arm’s reach, residing conveniently in the Start Menu.


The Accessories folder, despite its hidden abode in Windows 10, remains an invaluable resource for users seeking a diverse array of built-in tools. Whether it’s performing basic calculations, capturing screenshots, or inserting special characters, the Accessories folder stands ready to assist users in their daily computing endeavors.


Why is the Accessories folder hidden in Windows 10?

Microsoft’s design decision to conceal the Accessories folder in Windows 10 aimed to streamline the Start Menu, presenting users with a more concise and organized interface. This change reflects Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to refine the user experience, prioritizing clarity and ease of use.

How can I access the Accessories folder in Windows 10?

There are two primary methods to access the Accessories folder in Windows 10:

  1. Via the Run prompt: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run prompt, then type “%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs” and click “OK.”

  2. Through File Explorer: Open File Explorer and navigate to the following path: “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.”

What tools can I find in the Accessories folder?

The Accessories folder houses a diverse collection of built-in tools, including:

  • Calculator
  • Notepad
  • Paint
  • WordPad
  • Snipping Tool
  • Character Map
  • Magnifier
  • On-Screen Keyboard
  • Sticky Notes
  • Game Bar

Can I add or remove tools from the Accessories folder?

While the Accessories folder comes with a predefined set of tools, users cannot modify its contents by adding or removing tools. However, users can create shortcuts to their preferred tools and place them in the Accessories folder for easy access.

How can I quickly access frequently used tools from the Accessories folder?

To expedite access to frequently used tools, right-click on the desired tool in the Accessories folder and select “Pin to Start.” This will create a shortcut to the tool in the Start Menu, allowing you to launch it with a single click.

Are there any third-party alternatives to the Windows Accessories folder?

Yes, there are numerous third-party applications that offer a similar suite of tools to the Windows Accessories folder. Some popular alternatives include:

  • Ninite
  • WinTools
  • Sysinternals Suite
  • NirSoft Utilities
  • CCleaner

These applications often provide additional features and customization options, catering to users with specific requirements.

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