[Windows 10 Tip] Add, Remove, Rename or Change Shortcuts on the Bottom-Left of Start Menu

Today I'm going to share a very useful and secret trick with you all which I found today while customizing Start Menu program shortcuts in Windows 10. As you know we can customize names, icons and location of almost all program shortcuts in Start Menu/Start Screen by going to any of following folders:

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

Both these folders contain all program shortcuts which you see in Start Menu/Start Screen. We have posted tutorials to add your own shortcuts or change icons and labels of existing shortcuts in Start Menu or Start Screen in past which can be found at following links:

Today I was trying to create a few groups to organize existing program shortcuts in Windows 10 Start Menu, so I opened "%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\" folder and during that process when I moved to the parent directory i.e. "%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\", I found an interesting folder "Start Menu Places". To my surprise, I found that this folder contains shortcuts of all icons which are shown at the bottom-left of Windows 10 Start Menu.

Windows_10_Start_Menu_Left_Shortcuts_Location.png

Actually Windows 10 allows you to show following built-in shortcuts and links at the left-bottom area of Start Menu:

  • File Explorer
  • Settings
  • Documents
  • Downloads
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • HomeGroup
  • Network
  • Personal Folder (User Profile)

You can add or remove these predefined shortcuts on Start Menu using Settings -> Personalization -> Start -> Choose which folders appear on Start option.

Customize_Windows_10_Start_Menu.png

But you can only show or hide these predefined shortcuts on Start Menu. You can't add new shortcuts to that place. Microsoft has also removed ability to pin any shortcut on the left-side area of Start Menu which was present in older Insider Preview builds of Windows 10.

But today in this tutorial, I'm going to share a secret trick to customize these built-in shortcuts in Windows 10 Start Menu. With the help of this tutorial, you'll be able to:

  • Rename shortcuts on the bottom-left of Windows 10 Start Menu
  • Change shortcut paths on the bottom-left of Windows 10 Start Menu

So you'll be able to change path of these predefined shortcuts to any of your desired folder, drive or any program shortcut and you'll be able to launch your desired programs or files/folders using those shortcuts on Start Menu.

Customize_Windows_10_Start_Menu_Left_Shortcuts.png

So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

STEP 1:

First of all open following folder:

%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Places\

You can copy paste above mentioned path in RUN dialog box or This PC (Windows Explorer) addressbar and press Enter. It'll launch the folder.

In the folder, you'll see all 9 shortcuts which can be shown in Start Menu using Settings app except Settings shortcut which is automatically shown by Windows and doesn't need any direct shortcut placed in this "Start Menu Places" folder.

STEP 2:

Now you just need to customize any desired shortcut present in "Start Menu Places" folder. For example, if you don't need "Personal Folder" shortcut, right-click on the shortcut and select Properties option. Alternatively, you can also select the shortcut and press ALT+Enter keys together to directly launch its properties window.

STEP 3:

Now to change the shortcut path, change the value present in "Target" textbox.

Change_Windows_10_Start_Menu_Left_Shortcuts.png

For example if you want this shortcut to launch E: drive, change the value of Target to E:\ and apply changes. If you want this shortcut to launch any of your desired programs, change the value of Target to full path of your desired program's EXE file. For example, to launch Mozilla Firefox change Target field value to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Firefox\firefox.exe".

You'll get a message box that "You'll need to provide administrator permission to change these settings", just click on Continue button.

PS: If you can't modify shortcut, try to take ownership of the shortcut first using this method and then change the shortcut path. Now it'll work.

STEP 4:

To rename the shortcut, right-click on the shortcut and select Rename option. Alternatively, you can also select the shortcut and press F2 key to directly rename the shortcut.

Now set any desired name to the shortcut and it'll immediately start showing the new name in the Start Menu. If you receive message box asking for administrator permission to rename the shortcut, click on Continue button.

Rename_Windows_10_Start_Menu_Left_Shortcuts.png

You can use the same steps to customize all existing shortcuts in Start Menu. To add or remove any of these predefined shortcuts, open Settings app, go to Personalization -> Start page and click on Choose which folders appear on Start option. Now you can turn on or off desired shortcuts.

PS: By default Windows 10 opens local folders of Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos when you click on their shortcuts in Start Menu. Using the above mentioned steps, you can change them to launch corresponding libraries similar to Windows 7. Just change their path to following values respectively:

For Documents library: %appdata%\microsoft\windows\libraries\Documents.library-ms
For Music library: %appdata%\microsoft\windows\libraries\Music.library-ms
For Pictures library: %appdata%\microsoft\windows\libraries\Pictures.library-ms
For Videos library: %appdata%\microsoft\windows\libraries\Videos.library-ms

NOTE: If you have modified the shortcuts and now you want to restore default shortcuts, you can download the default shortcuts folder from following link:

Download Default Left-Side Shortcuts Folder of Windows 10 Start Menu

Check out following exclusive video to watch the whole process live in action:

NOTE: I'm still trying to figure out ways to change these shortcut icons and add new shortcuts to the bottom-left area of Start Menu.

Microsoft has used the same trick to show shortcuts on the bottom-left area of Start Menu which was used to show shortcuts in WIN+X menu as shown in following tutorial:

Customize "Win+X" Menu in Windows 8 - Add, Remove, Rename or Move Shortcuts





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Posted in: Windows 10


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Comments

  • Don't modify 'File Explorer' entry, it messes up a bunch of stuff! :)

  • Is it also possible to make a link to the controlpanel? How?

  • VG

    ^^ Just change the target to control.exe

    @Kay
    It didnt cause any issue here. What side effects of changing File Explorer path are you talking about?

  • Hi VG

    I think it be hard to figure out how to change those shortcut icons since the original" ones come from some font SEGOE as symbols related to new URI ( unique resource identifier ) used by windows 10 :)

    regards

    mykou

  • Hello VG, I want to know if there is any way to set custom colors of different tiles (of desktop apps or shortcuts) in start menu.

  • VG

    ^^ Check following:

    http://www.askvg.com/tip-customize-start-screen-tiles-background-color-text-color-and-logo-in-windows-8-1/

    @mykou
    Yeah. I also think the same.

  • That's awesome and I thought that this process no longer working in W10. :v

  • Is there a way to rename saved search on the quick access bar?

  • How to change font style and font size in Windows 10

  • Hey there, I am unable to edit Target locations, I right click on the newly created shortcut icon, I select properties, but the Target locations is grayed out! I am unable to edit the shortcuts, what can I do??

    Thanks in advance.

  • Hi!
    It is possible to rename the "Quick Access" in navigation explorer pane of Windows 10?
    Via registry I managed to rename the "Libraries" in "Αrchives", but for Quick Access I failed to find something. Δo you know how?
    (I'm sorry for my poor english from google translate)

    Thank you very much!!!!!

  • THANK YOU for this!!!
    I basically gave up on using the Start Menu since going
    thru the 'all apps' by alpha order was VERY TIME-CONSUMING! Doing this works great!

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