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How do I add "My documents" (or other folder shortcuts) to the right column (grey-tinted) on the start menu in Windows 7?

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don't understand what you meant, please screenshoot and show us. – superuser Nov 17 '12 at 11:40

Simply right click on the empty space and select properties:

enter image description here

Then select "Customize..."

enter image description here

Then choose the options you want to be displayed, and how you wish to interact with them.

enter image description here

and Voila! Documents have been added. Alas, you cannot add custom shortcuts, just the options provided in this list.

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Well, what if I want to add a folder? – Kuinesis Nov 24 '12 at 17:56
You can't. you are limited to just the items on this list. However, whenever you right click a folder you have an option to "Pin to start". This will add it to the LEFT column (the white one) which you can manipulate accordingly. – Jared Tritsch Nov 24 '12 at 19:48

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