Microsoft has revamped the Start Menu on Windows 11. It looks sleek, has enhanced graphics, and allows easy navigation. You can pin apps, files, and folders that you frequently access to the Start Menu and have them just a few clicks away. This saves a lot of time that would otherwise be spent navigating through the system to locate the file each time.
Let’s see how you can pin files and folders to the Start Menu and the other customizations available on Windows 11.
Pin Files or Folders to Start Menu
You can pin both files and folders to the Start Menu, and the process is fairly simple. Once pinned, you can easily access them. However, do not pin every item to the Start Menu. Rather go with the ones that you frequently use to keep the Pinned section relevant and uncluttered.
Note: For Files, You can only pin executable files or shortcuts to executable files in the Start Menu ‘Pinned’ section.
To pin a folder, navigate to its location on the system, right-click on it and select ‘Pin to Start’ from the context menu.
You can similarly also pin a ‘.exe’ file to the ‘Start Menu’. Just right-click on the file and select ‘Pin to Start’ from the context menu.
You can also pin drives to the Start Menu on Windows 11. First, right-click on the drive you wish to pin and select ‘Pin to Start’ from the menu.
Accessing Files or Folder Pinned to Start Menu
After you pinned a file or folder to the Start Menu, it’s time you know how to access it. You can access the Start Menu by either clicking on its icon in the Taskbar or pressing the WINDOWS key.
In the Start Menu, the pinned items are listed under the ‘Pinned’ section. It displays 18 items per page. To view all pinned items, you have to navigate to the next page. To move to the next page, hover the cursor over the small circles at the right. These circles symbolize individual pages and can be used to navigate. Once you have the cursor over these circles, the ‘Next Page’ icon, which resembles a downward-facing arrow, appears. Click on it to move to the next page.
When you pin an item to the Start Menu, it will appear at the bottom in the Pinned section. You can see, the folder that we pinned earlier has been added to the last row.
However, many would want to have the item at the top of the pinned section for quick and easy access. To move a pinned item to the top in Start Menu, right-click on it and select ‘Move to top’ from the context menu.
The item will now be listed first in the ‘Pinned’ section, and you can quickly access it.
Rearrange File or Folders Pinned to Start Menu
While the earlier section describes how to move a pinned item straight to the top, what if you want to position it somewhere else? For that, you can always rearrange and have specific items at the desired position.
To rearrange a file or folder, hold and drag the required item to the desired position.
Once you have moved it to the desired position, release the click. The other pinned items will be rearranged accordingly.
You can also move an item to the next page of the pinned section. Drag the item to the bottom of the pinned section and when the next page appears, position the item and release the click.
Remove Files or Folders Pinned to Start Menu
Removing the pinned items from the Start Menu is critical in ensuring a clean and uncluttered space. Removing a file or folder is as easy as pinning one.
To remove a file or folder, launch the Start Menu by clicking on its icon in the Taskbar or pressing the WINDOWS key. Next, locate the pinned item you want to remove, right-click on it and select ‘Unpin from Start’.
The item will now be removed from the Start Menu.
Personalizing the Start Menu
Apart from pinning files and folders to the Start Menu, you can customize and set which items are displayed in the Start Menu. This works great if you want a refined Start Menu with just the relevant icons and apps and also free up space.
To check the various available options, search for ‘Settings’ in the ‘Start Menu’ and click on the relevant search result to launch the app. You can also use the WINDOWS + I keyboard shortcut.
In Settings, select the ‘Personalization’ option from the left and then scroll down and click on ‘Start’ at the right.
You will find four options in the ‘Start Menu’ personalization settings. Click on the toggle next to the option to enable it.
- Show recently added apps: Enabling this option will show the recently added apps in the Start Menu.
- Show most used app: Enabling this option will show the apps that you frequently use in the Start menu.
- Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer: Enabling this feature will show the recently opened items, both files and folders in the Start Menu, Jump List, and the navigation pane of File Explorer.
- Folders: This option allows you to add a defined set of items to the Start Menu, right next to the ‘Power’ button.
While the first three options have been described in detail, let’s see what the fourth one has to offer. Click on the option to view the various folders that can be added to the Start Menu.
You will now find various folders listed on the screen. Enable the toggle next to the ones that you want to add to the Start Menu.
The folders you added will appear next to the ‘Power’ button on the Start Menu for easy access.
To remove these folders, disable the toggle for the one that you want to remove in Settings.
You now know how to pin, unpin and rearrange files and folders in the Start Menu. Also, the option to add folders to the bottom will surely enhance accessibility. Now, customize the Start Menu as desired, and make working easier than ever.