Pin file, folder, website shortcut to Start Menu in Windows 10

The Windows 10 Start Menu is super charged and lets you do a lot more. Not only can you pin any system setting to the Start, the new operating system offers you several ways to customize the Start Menu. While you can easily pin to Start, a folder, you are not offered to pin any file to the Start Menu. In this post we will learn how to Pin any file, folder, website shortcut to Start Menu in Windows 10.

pin file folder start

Pin file to Start Menu in Windows 10

Pin any file to Start Menu in Windows 10

To add Pin to Start to the context menu for a file, you will have to modify the Windows Registry. But first, create a system restore point!

Now, to add Pin to Start easily, copy-paste the following in a Notepad and save it as a .reg file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

; Created by TheWindowsClub

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\PinToStartScreen]
@="{470C0EBD-5D73-4d58-9CED-E91E22E23282}"

Now click on the .reg file to add its contents to your registry. You will be asked for confirmation, so you may click Yes, to add it.

Now right-click on any file and see. You will see Pin to Start context menu item.

Pin any file to Start Menu in Windows 10

Selecting it will pin the file to your Windows 10 Start Menu. If you do not see it right away, you may see it after you restart. For some strange reason, I need to restart my PC most of the times to see anything pinned to the Start to appear.

To remove this Pin to Start item, Run regedit and delete this key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\PintoStartScreen

You may also download this ready-to-use .reg files I created. It lets you add Pin to Start and remove it from your file context menu. We will soon be adding this tweak to our Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 too.

If you do not want to touch the Windows Registry, there is a workaround to get this done.

Place a shortcut in the following ‘Hidden’ folder:

C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Now open Start Menu > All apps and locate the shortcut you placed. Right-click on it and select Pin to Start.

Pin a folder to Start in Windows 10

pin folder to start

Pinning a folder to Windows 10 Start is easy, the operating system already offers this context menu item. Right-click on any folder and you will see Pin to Start. Click on it to pin the folder to Start.

Pin a website shortcut to Windows 10 Start

You can also pin a website shortcut to Windows 10 Start. Open the desktop version on Internet Explorer and press Alt+T to open Tools. Select Add site to Apps.

add-site-to-app-ie-11

Now open your Start Screen and go to the All Apps view by clicking on the “down” arrow at the bottom left side of the start screen. You will see your website app created.

Right-click the website icon and from the bottom menu, select Pin to Start. Else drag-and-drop it on to the Start Menu. You will now see the website tile pinned to your Windows 10 Start Menu.

If you need more details, then this post will show you how to pin or unpin website tile or shortcut to/from Start.

Edge browser makes things easier. Open Edge and browse to the website. Now click on More actions and select Pin to Start.

pin to start edge

If you are a Firefox, Chrome or Opera user, you may need to follow the workaround I suggested for pinning files. Open the website in your favorite browser, create its web shortcut on your desktop and the place it in the following hidden folder:

C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

To quickly access this folder open Run and type shell:programs and hit Enter.

Now open Start > All apps, and locate the shortcut you placed. Right-click on it and select Pin to Start.

You can also Pin to Start any Windows 10 Setting which you need often.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

13 Comments

  1. Karl Buhl

    Hi. I have successfully added the registry key. However, after restarting the PC, the ‘pin to start’ menu does not appear. Any suggestions for getting this to work?

  2. Jack Stockton

    Works great, but only for some file types. Does not work for Office documents, like Excel or Access.

  3. Charlie Spencer

    Well, that doesn’t leave it completely useless, but since those are the types of files I wanted to pin…

  4. Serious

    Thank you! This worked. Although I had to take one extra step to pin the type of file I wanted to pin to start to get it there. It wouldn’t give me the option for the file that I was wanting to pin to start. So what I did was create a shortcut for the file on the desktop, after doing so, I right clicked on the short cut on the desktop and it give me the option to pin it to start, after pinning it to start I deleted the desktop short cut. Works for me….

  5. Oddly, it doesn’t work directly for pinning files like PDFs (my eBooks), not even the .reg file offers the option in the context menu. However, if you simply copy the file > right-click and select “Paste Shortcut” in the same directory as the file itself > right-click the shortcut > you get the option to pin that to start.

    That said, it’s really no loss to me, it’s actually a benefit.
    In Windows 8.1.1:

    I pin ANY file to start > then I had to go look for it on start > right-click on it and select “Open File Location” > Modify the name and customize the icon as I desire > go back to start and move to where I want.

    In Windows 10, I was forced to do it more efficiently (didn’t know of this methodology before):

    I create the shortcut in the same directory > rename and customize the icon as I desire > pin that shortcut to start and delete it from the directory > go to start and move it to where I want

  6. Millie Barnes

    Actually all you have to do is save a document to desktop. Open it, close it. Now when you right click on the Word Icon in your dock, find that document, right click and it allows you to pin it just like in Win 7.

  7. John Branca

    Worked beautifully for me for a Word file.

  8. Felix

    Didn’t work for .txt files. Is there another way?

  9. Go Kevin

    is this helpful? (win 10 build 14393,693)

    first find file click and send to desktop create short cut

    second open “this pc”

    click, view tab then options
    a new window appears

    click, the view tab in this new window
    click, show hidden files,folders and drives
    click, OK
    the window will close.

    now open C: uses/yourself/appdata/roaming/microsoft/windows
    and finally start menu

    in here cut and paste any short cut

    or if you want open programs, cut and paste any short cut

    it doesn’t appear to make any difference which you choose.

    this has worked for M$ docs plus pdfs and standard folders
    I tend to rename mine with a number first, they then appear at the top of the program list

  10. Oscar

    I did not bother with the Registry edit, and did instead this one:

    “If you do not want to touch the Windows Registry, there is a workaround to get this done.

    Place a shortcut in the following ‘Hidden’ folder:

    C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms
    Now open Start Menu > All apps and locate the shortcut you placed. Right-click on it and select Pin to Start.”

    Works well.

  11. Chris Lovescoke

    Doesn’t work for an Excel file. Why does MS make this so hard? I’ve spent an hour on it. I already posted Excel files to “Life at a Glance” in the past but no idea how I did it. This is absurdly ridiculous. Should be drag and drop. Let the bleeping user control his PC, please, MS.

  12. gadlen

    This hack works but only for shortcuts! Make a shortcut of the file you want to Pin and you can pin the shortcut. Thanks

  13. Jeffrey Levine

    Yes…. Forget you ever read this page. Don’t waste any more time on it. I’m about to go back and remove the useless line of code from my Registry.

    Just create a Shortcut to the file you want to appear in your Start Menu, and add it to:
    C:Users[username]AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsStart Menu. (Others have suggested this as well. Listen to their advice.) From there, you can “Pin to Start”, if you want it to appear as a tile. Gee, Thanks, Microsoft, for making your nomenclature so damned confusing.

    A much better solution for me was to add a “Toolbar” to the Windows Taskbar at the bottom that points to the Start Menu folder containing my icons, which for me is: C:ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsStart Menu

    Just right-click on the Task Bar and add a Toolbar that points to this folder.
    This allows me to see the ENTIRE FOLDER STRUCTURE of my Start Menu, in expanding, cascading form…. like I used to be able to do in XP and Windows 7, before Microsoft decided they needed to “stupify” the rest of Windows to go along with the stupification of the Office suite. This is no longer possible in the Windows 10 Start Menu. This now takes up extra space on my Task Bar, but it’s worth it.

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