Administrative Tools - Restore Shortcuts

This will show you how to restore the Administrative Tools shortcuts in case you accidentally deleted them.
How to Restore the Administrative Tools Shortcuts in Vista

information   Information
Administrative Tools is a folder in Control Panel that contains tools for system administrators and advanced users. The tools in the folder might vary depending on which edition of Vista you are using. This will show you how to restore all of the default Administrative Tools shortcuts in case you accidentally deleted them.
Tip   Tip
The Administrative Tools folder is located at:
NOTE: ProgramData is a hidden system file.

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools
Note   Note
Some common Administrative Tools in this folder include: (See last example screenshot below)

Administrative Tool


Computer Management

Manage local or remote computers by using a single, consolidated desktop tool. Using Computer Management, you can perform many tasks, such as monitoring system events, configuring hard disks, and managing system performance.

Data Sources (ODBC)

Use Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) to move data from one type of database (a data source) to another.

Event Viewer

View information about significant events, such as a program starting or stopping, or a security error, that are recorded in event logs.

iSCSI Initiator

Configure advanced connections between storage devices on a network.

Local Group Policy Editor

View and edit Group Policy settings. This is not available in the Vista Home Basic and Home Premium editions.

Local Security Policy

View and edit Group Policy security settings. This is not available in the Vista Home Basic and Home Premium editions.

Memory Diagnostics Tool

Check your computer's memory to see if it is functioning properly.

Print Management

Manage printers and print servers on a network and perform other administrative tasks.

Reliability and Performance Monitor

View advanced system information about the central processing unit (CPU), memory, hard disk, and network performance.


Manage the different services that run in the background on your computer.

System Configuration

Identify problems that might be preventing Windows from running correctly.

Task Scheduler

Schedule programs or other tasks to run automatically.

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security

Configure advanced firewall settings on both this computer and remote computers on your network.

EXAMPLE: Default Control Panel Location
EXAMPLE: Default Start Menu Location
To add or remove the Administrative Tools button from the Start menu, see OPTION ONE here: How to Customize the Start Menu in Vista.
EXAMPLE: Administrative Tools
See the NOTE at the top of the tutorial for a description of each of these.

Here's How:
Check to make sure that in the Customize Start Menu window you have a option under System administrative tools dotted to be displayed.
1. Click on the download button below to download the file.​

2. Click on Save and save it to the Desktop.​
3. Right click on the file (on Desktop) and click on Open.​
4. Click on Allow in the UAC prompt.​
5. Select the Administrative Tools folder and Extract it to your desktop.​
6. To Restore the Shortcuts
A) Open the extracted Administrative Tools folder on your desktop.​
B) Copy the shortcuts you want to:​
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools
NOTE: ProgramData is a hidden system file.
C) Click on Continue for Destination Folder Access Denied prompt.​
D) Click on Continue for UAC prompt.​
NOTE: You will need to repeat C & D for each time you copy a shortcut or group of shortcuts.​

7. When done, you can delete the Administrative folder on the desktop.​
That's it,

Last edited:
Shawn Brink


Thanks -- this worked for me when I stupidly deleted the Administrative Tools folder, thinking I could just access it from the control panel and the start menu copy was redundant. Little did I know the "control" panel was just a shortcut to the start menu item! So thanks for publishing this.

However, these shortcuts now have an "unknown" publisher and generate an extra confirmation prompt (before the UAC prompt) when launched. I can deselect the "Always prompt when opening this file" checkbox, and this is probably just prudent security since the shortcuts did, after all, come from a non-Microsoft source. But is there a way to restore the original publisher as well?
Hi txviking, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Did you extract the shortcuts from the ZIP folder to your desktop first? This has to be done there first to remove the Unblock button. Right click on one of the shortcuts and click on Properties to see if there is a Unblock button under the General tab. If there is click on it to see if it will go away when you check Properties again. If not, then you will need to move them back to the desktop and click the Unblock button for each shortcut, then move them back.

Hope this helps,
Thanks Brink!

I did extract them to the desktop first ("C:\Users\Stian\Desktop\Administrative Tools" to be exact.) However, I had not gone through and manually chosen "Unblock" on each individual item prior to moving the folder where it belongs. Doing so made the warnings go away. Permissions/Ownership/Origin are still incorrect, but that doesn't matter -- the important thing is to be able to use the Administrative Tools as normal, which now works.
That's good to hear. Do you by chance have UAC turned off? If so, this may be why it did not unblock the shortcuts automatically when you extracted them from the ZIP file.
Nope, UAC is enabled. The only change I made to UAC was to disable the switch to the secure desktop when a UAC prompt comes up -- thanks to buggy nvidia drivers, the switch is both slow and causes the screen to flash in a rather distracting fashion.

But UAC itself remains enabled -- not only for security, but also to keep poorly written/legacy software from writing into Program Files and such. I love the transparent redirects Vista does for software like that.