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Adding non-pinned shortcuts to Windows 7 Start Menu

Really, this Windows 7 was designed to be annoying. They hid the Quick Launch bar (yet it’s possible to restore it) to replace it with pinning, they added that awful UAC that anyone ends up deactivating after a few hours, and they removed the classic Start Menu. I actually quickly got used to the new Start Menu style, which is quite practical after some basic customizations like a huge icon size decrease, except for (again) that pinning stuff: it seems that you can’t add normal shortcuts to the Start Menu, and of course when you ask about that there’s always a moron to reply “it’s easy you just need to pin it”. No way, pinning isn’t “shortcutting”. But you can stop worrying now, here is how to do it the proper way (step by step, yay :)):

  • Open Windows Explorer (Windows key + E)
  • Browse to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  • You can then edit like in the good old days of Windows XP (add your new shortcuts or folders there, etc). Maybe you’ll need to claim ownership of the folder, but at least you’ll need admin rights to write there.

And voilà, you’re done. Now when you search the start menu you’ll find the links you just added.

Hint: my personal favorite is to place a shortcut to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs in the Quick Launch bar. Pretty neat trick, I can edit the start menu just as easily as in Windows XP now 🙂

Posted in Windows Se7en.

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