Friday, March 22, 2013

How to pin any document to the Start screen in Windows 8

Windows 8 comes with a completely new Start screen that replaces the start menu. After having tried some freeware that try to mimic the old start menu (that I were not that satisfied with) I have instead started to use the Start Screen and even though I don’t have a touch screen I find it quick and easy to use.

In Windows 8 you can by default pin only some things like programs (.exe) to the Start screen using Windows Explorer. But what if you want to pin a document? It can be done with a simple registry hack. Here is how I right-click on an Excel document and have the Pin to Start option.

Pin to Start

When ready you will find the document or file as a tile on the Start screen.

Copy the text in the box below into Notepad and save it as pintostart.reg. Then double click on pintostart.reg and accept the dialog boxes.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00





Another alternative is Pin to 8 that is a nice freeware with more features:

With our Pin to 8 you will able:

  • to pin ANY file regardless of its type;
  • to pin ANY folder;
  • to pin drive;
  • to pin Control Panel items, all them including some hidden like God Mode/All Tasks, Network Connections;
  • to pin Libraries;
  • to pin Shell Objects like Run command, "Show Desktop", Window Switcher;
  • to pin any folders or files with drag and drop. Drop them on application window.

There is also a manual way by adding a shortcut in this folder:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

When expanded it may look like this except jtb would be your login name: C:\Users\jtb\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Only thing is that you need to also pin it. Say you create a shortcut named “Windows 8 manual test” and put it in the folder above. Now press the Windows button and start writing the name of the shortcut and it should show up in the search result.

Right-click on the shortcut and select Pin to Start at the bottom of the screen and the tile should show up on the Start Screen.

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