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What is the location of pinned start menu and taskbar items?

Is this list a registry, or a folder somewhere?

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up vote 84 down vote accepted

You can find pinned apps in:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

and for the start menu apps go to:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu
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Crazy ... Why did they put in a subdirectory of Internet Explorer? – Noah Aug 2 '10 at 22:00
Presumably, because way bay they were trying to integrate IE directly into the shell of Windows. (e.g. Active Desktop in Windows 98 was where they started going with this) – Colin Mackay Jul 25 '13 at 9:24
It doesn't look like pinned directories are stored here. Adding my own directory shortcuts here doesn't make those directories show up in the start menu. – bames53 Sep 30 '13 at 17:58
Cool. I had an portable app pinned for years and forgot it's location. This helped. – matrix Apr 11 at 23:23
The location for the Start Menu pinned apps was extremely useful for me as I upgraded Windows 7 to Windows 10, and discovered that Windows 10 uses a completely different pinning system in the Start Menu, and all the pinned apps in the start menu were gone! (Though the pinned apps in the taskbar were safe - seems like there was no change in the pinning system there.) So this helped me locate the list of apps I had pinned in Windows 7 and pin them again in the new Start Menu of Windows 7. It also prompted me to clean up this ridiculous new start menu, getting rid of loads of unnecessary tiles. – ADTC May 8 at 4:37

You can find the programs that you have pinned to the start menu at:

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned

and the taskbar shortcuts are at:

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

Just copying shortcuts into these locations does not work. You can, however, add shortcuts via a VBScript:

Set objShell = CreateObject("Shell.Application") 
Set objAllUsersProgramsFolder = objShell.NameSpace(CSIDL_COMMON_PROGRAMS) 
strAllUsersProgramsPath = objAllUsersProgramsFolder.Self.Path 
Set objFolder = objShell.Namespace(strAllUsersProgramsPath & "\Accessories") 
Set objFolderItem = objFolder.ParseName("Calculator.lnk")
Set colVerbs = objFolderItem.Verbs 
For Each objVerb in colVerbs 
    If Replace(, "&", "") = "Pin to Start Menu" Then objVerb.DoIt
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Technically that's only correct if you haven't relocated your AppData folder. – Pharap Dec 17 '14 at 19:08
Also - the link to the scripted way of adding items is VBScript - not Powerhshell - but probably could be adapted :) – GodEater Jun 18 '15 at 7:41
FYI, the linked VBScript does not work in Windows 10. The Shell object no longer returns the "Pin to Taskbar" verb. Microsoft is trying to inhibit apps from loading up the taskbar automatically. – David Chappelle Mar 29 at 14:15

To add a degree of precision to the replies which identified the…

%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu

…folder as the location where user pinned Start Menu items are stored, note that only actual programs—executables—that are pinned to the Start Menu will appear in that folder. Neither folders nor data files, both of which can also be pinned to the Start Menu, will appear in that folder. I mention it both for future readers who come upon this page via search engine result and because the original question mentioned Start Menu items, not just programs in particular. So if a user has, for example…

• 2 folders • 3 programs • 2 documents • 1 music file

…only the second item—the 3 programs—will show at the location above.

Don't know where the other stuff that appears there, like the folders, documents, and music file above, gets recorded, but the Registry is likely a safe bet.

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Depends on the type of application. Majority can be found in the answers already shared. But they are also contained at the following path.

%AppData%\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

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Wanted to add to other answers. The paths are:

%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\StartMenu

In my case, I wanted to pin certain programs there directly point to the EXE files due to some corrupt installers preventing icons from showing up from advertised shortcuts. For this, you have to pin the program as usual (right click on the button and "Pin ..."), then create a shortcut pointing to the exe file in some other folder (doesn't matter where), then overwrite the pinned shortcut with your manually created shortcut - voila the icons are back!

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Seems to be what you're looking for. There's a couple files in there, if you transfer that entire folder to a different PC you get your pinned tiles back.

Credits go to TPreston

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