Windows Server 2012 – Accessing the New Start Menu

Expertise Level: Easy 

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Since the Start menu is not visible in Windows Server 2012 as it was in previous versions (2003, 2008) and following the introduction of the new "Metro Style" user interface, we created this guide. 

Once connected to your Windows 2012 server with Remote Desktop, follow these steps: 

  1. Position your mouse in the bottom-right corner of the Remote Desktop screen of your Windows 2012 server. 
  2. Once the menu is visible, click on Start.
  3. The list of available icons will be displayed. 

Here is a short description of the different functions you can access by clicking on the icons that are displayed: 

  • Server Manager: Launches the Server Manager, the new interface from where you can manage your server (and other remote servers), add roles and options under Roles and Features.
  • Administrative Tools: Groups the shortcuts to the administrative tools (the window is similar to the one under older versions of Windows Server like 2003 and 2008). You will find the Resources Manager, services, Windows Firewall, Windows Backup Manager and performance management tool.
  • Task Manager: Similar to the Task Manager under Windows 2008, 2003, with a new design and additional functions. This Task Manager lets you view usage and performance for your server’s resources, manage the processes and services (stop a process, start/stop/restart a service), and manage the users connected to the server. 
  • Control Panel: Same interface as in the older versions of Windows 2008. The Control Panel helps you manage the user accounts (create, delete, change password) , manage the language, date and time parameters, manage the programs (uninstall, activate or deactivate Windows functions).


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