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Add Universal Apps and purchased Windows Store games to Steam library, and how to Pin Steam games to Windows Taskbar and Start Menu.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So, you've got a Universal App or Windows Store purchase game, like Quantum Break or Rise of the Tomb Raider that you want to add to your Steam library.

Or you want to pin on the Taskbar or Start Menu Steam purchase game or software (basically the reverse). Well, in this guide I'll cover both.



Adding Universal App or Windows Store purchased game to Steam


Universal Apps and Windows Store purchased games don't run like they do normally. The reason is that the package is running in a sandbox environment increase system security.

So, in order to run a Universal App, or any Windows Store purchased app or game, you need to go through Explorer with the app name as argument.


For example, if you want to open Netflix via command prompt, you need to do:

explorer.exe shell:appsFolder\4DF9E0F8.Netflix_mcm4njqhnhss8!Netflix.App


This means that Steam, technically, can support easily adding and running Universal Store apps, but so far (at the moment of writing this guide), does not, but we can see how we can work around the limitation already. Basically, we add explorer.exe in Steam Library, and set as "Launch option", the argument of the Windows Store App ID.


So let's go step-by-step:

We first need to find the App ID of the universal app. They are different ways to do this, but here is one method which I find is the easiest:

  • Go to: C:\Users\<Account name>\AppData\Local\Packages
  • From here you can see a list of folders. The folder represents the App ID of each Windows Store purchased apps. The App/game name is found within the App ID name. So, it is easy to find what we are looking for.
  • Once you find the App ID, simply copy it.


(Here we see Netflix Universal App, App ID)


Once we have it, we simply go on Steam, and go to the Library section. At the bottom of the list of games, you have the option Add a Game, click on that, and a menu will show. On the menu pick Add Non-Steam Game... option.


When you do a panel will show. On that panel, click on Browse, and navigate to C:\Windows\, and select explorer.exe.

Then click on Add selected programs button.


In your Steam Library, you'll notice a new item that has been added, called: explorer. Simply right-click on it, and select Properties. You'll see the following panel:



The first box is the program name. So you can change it to the game or app name you plan to add. In this example, I put Netflix, because this is what I want to add to my Steam library, for some reason. Then you click on Choose Icon button at the top, to select an appropriate image of the game or app.


Once you have done that, hit the Set Launch Options button. A window will open with a text box asking you to enter a launch option. In Steam, when they say "Launch option" they mean command line argument to execute with the program.


In the box you want to enter: shell:appsFolder\<App ID found>

So in this tutorial, I want to put: shell:appsFolder\4DF9E0F8.Netflix_mcm4njqhnhss8!Netflix.App




Click on OK, and once everything is setup, click on Close in the panel.

Now, your Windows Store app or purchase game is added to your Steam library, and ready to be launched from. Simply, select it form your library, and hit the "Play" button, and it will launch.







Adding Steam Game to the taskbar or Start Menu


So you prefer to not have your game in Steam, and run it directly from Windows. You try to create a shortcut in Steam but you can't pin it on your taskbar or Start Menu (Windows 8/10).

Here is how you do it. You have to manually create the shortcut of the game, place the shortcut where you want (I recommend where the game is installed), and from there you rename it to a nice name, and right-click on it, and select the pin option you prefer (Start or Taskbar).


Let's go in steps

Steam purchased games are usually located at: <Path of where Steam is installed>\steamapps\common. Go there.

From there you can see a list of folders which contains the each of your games from Steam that is currently installed on your system.




Go in the game folder of where you want a to have the game pinned on the Start Menu or Taskbar. In This example, we will go with Broken Age.

Inside the folder of the game, you should find the game main executable file (if you don't, look under the "bin" folder, if there is one inside). Right-click on the game executable, in my case: BrokenAge.exe, and select Create Shortcut. A shortcut has now been created next to the executable. Rename it to a nice name, say, in my case: Broken Age.

Depending on where Steam is installed and permission, Windows will tell you that it can't create a shortcut where the game is, and will ask you if you want Windows to put it on your Desktop. Click on Yes. And manually cut and paste the shortcut to where the game is.


Now, you can right-click on the shortcut, pick if you want to: Pin to Start to add it on the Start Menu (Windows 10) or Start Screen (Windows 8), or Pin to taskbar, to pin it on the taskbar.





Hope you found this tutorial helpful.




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so, as much as i like to kick people for saying "apple did it first" that file structure looks identical to the stuff i encountered on my ipod touch when messing with the filesystem.

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Is there any way to "save" thread so you can find it later easily? I really like this tutorial

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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, Domifi said:

Is there any way to "save" thread so you can find it later easily? I really like this tutorial

Thank you!

I don't know any 'save' post features on this forum. But you can bookmark it from your web browser.


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2 minutes ago, Domifi said:

Is there any way to "save" thread so you can find it later easily? I really like this tutorial

You can follow the thread, there is a button next to the title that say's "Follow this", and when you press on it there is an option to turn off notifications(so you don't get spammed when people reply lel). Then you can click on "Manage followed content" on the drop down when you click your username(in the top right), and it should be in there.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
29 minutes ago, RagnarokDel said:

you can also just grand yourself access to c:\program files\windowsapps

If you do that, be sure to have "All Application Packages" kept as full permission, some Universal Apps will fail to run or crash during operation without that.  Also, you still can't add an exe, because you can't run them directly.

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hey there i try adding forza 6: apex to the steam libary. but when i type in the shellprompt: shell:appsFolder\Microsoft.ApexPG_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App nothing happens (except the explorer opening itself - wow) i could need some help >-<

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On 5/8/2016 at 8:52 AM, Mondrian said:

hey there i try adding forza 6: apex to the steam libary. but when i type in the shellprompt: shell:appsFolder\Microsoft.ApexPG_8wekyb3d8bbwe!App nothing happens (except the explorer opening itself - wow) i could need some help >-<

Modify the App to be !forzamotorsportapex

I got assumed this because in C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.Apex...

The .exe in there is named that. Here is my complete Launch Options:



This does launch the game. However steam's overlay won't work because the original exe closes after it launches forza.


Maybe someone can shed some light on how to resolve that.

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What would you add besides the copied app id for the xbox beta app to be added to steam? Followed the directions but when i hit play it opens File explorer. I redid it to match the example from op with netflix and it worked fine.

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On 9/11/2016 at 5:48 AM, SuperScore said:

Hey, would someone be able to help me out with adding Halo 5: Forge? I tried myself but it wouldn't work. All help is appreciated :)

I ended up following this guys video and it works and pretty simple.



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am trying to add a windows store game state of decay 2 to my steam so I can play it on my tv with the steam link box. But my set up don’t have an app data folder in the same line up as above I have found a folder called app data some where else but it’s empty. Any help would be greatly appreciated 



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I know this thread is old so hopefully, I will get lucky and someone can help me get this working I have been trying to get Killer Instinct to work with no luck just keeps opening up documents. I would be very happy if I could get some help on this!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Games I would like to get to work are Killer Instinct, State of decay 2, Gears of War 4. Also if someone could link or show me how to turn pictures to icons steam can read.

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