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SOLUTION: You cannot add items to the start menu if they reside on a network drive, so move the item to a local drive and then add to the start menu in the normal way (as suggested in the accepted answer below).

I have an exe which I use quite a lot, and on my previous machine I managed to add a link to it in my Start menu.

I can't remember how I did it previously. I've tried everything I can think of, including using shortcuts. There must be a way, as I did it on Win 7 64-bit Professional before.

Edit: For those downvoting me, I do not have either of those obvious options. I do not get an option in the context menu, and cannot drag and drop it. I am semi-computer literate...

enter image description here

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Glad you sorted it out. – avirk Nov 21 '13 at 16:06
You should try out the answer from @KevinPanko. Looks like it may let you do it the network way - if it does, you should accept it instead. Sorry - I should have asked some clarifications up front about it being on a network drive (I must have missed that). Glad you got it working, and YAY putty! – nerdwaller Nov 21 '13 at 16:49
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Do you mean, other than Right Click > Pin To Start Menu?

enter image description here

Dragging and dropping in the start menu also works.

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Neither works. That was the obvious answer, I already tried those. Coincidentally, it is putty I'm trying to add! – BadHorsie Nov 21 '13 at 15:50
Okay, I figured it out. Couldn't add from network drive. – BadHorsie Nov 21 '13 at 16:03

Right click on exe and then create a shortcut on desktop of it. Now drag and drop the exe from desktop to start menu will do the job.

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Why bother with the shortcut on the desktop first - seems like an unnecessary step? You can just drag and drop the exe over the "orb" or the actual popped up menu. – nerdwaller Nov 21 '13 at 15:46
@nerdwaller Right buddy. – avirk Nov 21 '13 at 15:47
Doesn't work for me. Already tried. I get a red "denied" icon when I try to drag and drop it to the start menu. – BadHorsie Nov 21 '13 at 15:50
@BadHorsie I can do it easily on my Win-7 64bit version. May be any corruptted installation of Windows. – avirk Nov 21 '13 at 15:53
@avirk Yes, I should be able to but I can't. It's not corrupted, it's fine. it's a fresh install. – BadHorsie Nov 21 '13 at 15:58

There is a way to have executables on network drives, but you will not be able to add the shortcut to the Start menu.

An alternative is to place them on your taskbar, but not by using Pin this program to taskbar, as that will not work either.

  • Create a folder on your disk to hold shortcuts to your programs. I called mine c:\Users\<username>\taskbar-shortcuts
  • Place in this folder your shortcuts to programs which are on network drives.
  • Now add this folder as a toolbar on your taskbar, and the shortcut icons will show on your taskbar. Do this by right-clicking on the taskbar, select Toolbars from the menu and then New toolbar.... Now select the folder that you created. Customize the toolbar by right-clicking it and uncheck two boxes: Show Text and Show title. This makes the toolbar take less space.
  • You are done!

For pictures, see here: Add the Quick Launch Bar to the Taskbar in Windows 7

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