How to Pin Any File, Folder or Program Shortcut to Start in Windows 8 and Later?

NOTE: This method also woks in Windows 10 Start Menu.

We all know about new Start Screen present in Windows 8 and later which shows live tiles of built-in and installed programs. It also shows various useful tiles such as weather, RSS feed, etc. Microsoft has replaced old Start Menu with this new Start Screen in Windows 8.


If you want to pin new items to Start Screen, you can pin it by right-clicking on the desired item and select "Pin to Start" option. But this option is not available for all items. The "Pin to Start" option is available for folders but its not available for all files and shortcuts. Many times you might need to pin an important document, text file or a shortcut to Start Screen. In such situations, you can take help of this tutorial.

In this tutorial, we'll tell you a very easy and simple way to pin anything to Windows 8 and later Start Screen whether its a file, folder or a shortcut:

1. First of all right-click on the file which you want to pin to Start Screen and select "Create shortcut" option to create a shortcut of the file.

2. Now copy and paste following text in RUN dialog box and press Enter:

%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\

It'll open the classic "Start Menu" folder which is still used to store Start Screen shortcuts similar to previous Windows versions.

3. Now cut the file shortcut which you created in step 1 and paste it in "Start Menu" folder which you opened in step 2.

4. Now go to Start Screen and open "All Apps" page.

5. Here you'll see the file shortcut which you created earlier. Right-click on the file shortcut and click on "Pin to Start" option.


That's it. It'll immediately pin the file shortcut to Start Screen.

NOTE: If the shortcut doesn't appear in "All Apps" screen, try to move the shortcut from "Start Menu" folder to "Start Menu\Programs" folder.

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Posted in: Windows 10, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Found another guide for doing this and it didn't work for me (told me to put into \Start Menu\Programs\) but your method did! Thank you!

  • Works perfectly! I pinned the start menu folder to the start screen, so now it's a breeze to add other shortcuts.

    You're the champ!

  • Thank you!
    It worked. I didn't need the run option, though. I just went to the folder from the C drive.

  • Fastest Method is:

    1 Right click the file, Send To -> Desktop (Create Shortcut)
    2 Right click the shortcut created at the desktop and select Pin to Start.
    3 You may delete the shortcut at desktop.

  • Thanks VG. You just solved one of my burning issue with Win 8.1

  • Why so difficult?

    If you're going to make a shortcut (step 1), then just:

    2. Move shortcut to desktop
    3. Right-click; Pin to Start
    4. Delete shortcut from desktop
    5. ...
    6. Profit.

  • Mark and Helton

    Your simple numbered steps simply don’t work in every case (not for web link shortcuts) at least not with Windows 10 Start Screen. The A?KVG method on the other hand does.

  • I tried this method on a Windows 10 tablet that I use for PowerPoint presentations so that I can have tiles on the tablet interface for each different PPT - and it works like a charm! The only extra step necessary was to RESTART after adding the shortcut to the Start Menu folder. Thanks!

  • Works well, although a little roundabout. Why didn't they just activate this on the Right Click menu for files. Also the Send to Desktop method doesn't work you still need to drop the shortcut into the Start Menu folder.

  • I have recently installed Microsoft Office Professional 2010 and would like to download it to my Start screen. Where do I go and how do I do this please?

  • VG

    ^^ Press Ctrl+Tab keys together to access All Apps screen and there you can right-click on Office program's shortcut and pin it to Start Screen.

  • Awesome tip, thanks a bunch. Henk from South Africa.

  • Nicely done, but it didn't work.
    I have tried this several times from several different directions. I can add programs no problem, but I cannot add a folder to the start menu.

  • It does NOT work with win-10, CTRL-TAB opens a screen "search on web".

  • Excellent contribution !!
    It worked fine for me...
    Thank you very much.

  • Finally! I have tried several "how to" and yours works! Thanks so much.

  • Thanks. The other suggested method of right clicking on the desktop shortcut would not work on Windows 10, but this did.

  • At last I figured it! Thank you a lot, very useful!

  • Thanks!! It works .. I just dont get, why M$ simply does not allow one, to do this directly... They simply cannot have a system without stupid issues inside. It is part of company profile...

  • It does work on Windows 10. No need to do the Ctrl Tab Step. When you click on your windows start button it will be in the long list of apps on the left. From there you can right click to add it to the start.

  • (Dear VG)--

    In the past, we have used tricks that add a registry value--which adds a context menu option--which executes a cmd script to do very useful things for the workflow-discerning user.

    I was introduced to many or most such hacks by The Benevolent VG (thanks Mr. G)
    An example that immediately comes to mind is

    Creating and moving and cutting some shortcuts seems like it would require a script that is comparatively trivial to altering permissions. Would this be a possible answer to our problem, not being able to add shortcuts to the files that we choose?

    It would be such a great feeling to have this function available in two simple clicks of the mouse. Take ownership, Copy as Path, get hash, edit with notepad, bulk rename, map with WinDirStat

    I am not far enough along in my programming course to be able to do this in a foreign environment, but I may take a stab at it in due time.

    (as a side note, I would love to see a similar script hack to allow users to exempt individual programs of their choosing from UAC [for example creating this workaround to have hostsman automaticall run with elevated privileges on login] per-case

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