I created my own shortcuts to a couple of HTML Help documents, and placed the shortcuts into my Start Menu folder here:

C:\Users\Misha\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

However, they do not appear in the Start Menu when I type their name.

Windows 10 Start Menu

For example, I have a shortcut named ADO 2.8 Documentation which references ado28.chm. Typing "ADO" or "Documentation" doesn't come up with any result.

What can I do to make these shortcuts show up like any other Start Menu shortcuts?

Edit: The shortcuts do show up in the All Apps list of the Start Menu. But I want them to show up when I start typing their name like any other app shortcuts. Boy am I annoyed. This Windows 10 experiment is really not working out so far.

Edit 2: OK I'm onto something. Shortcuts to executable files, aka. apps, come up as expected when you type their name. Shortcuts to documents like text files and help files do NOT show up. Yeah, clap clap MS for another job well done. Hide stuff you've decided we shouldn't see. I can't find a setting to "show all things", is there such a setting?!

  • 1
    It would help to understand what shortcuts you expect to show up, perhaps a shortcut, we can easily create on our own machines to see if this is actually intended behavior or unique behavior. That requires relevant screenshots though.
    – Ramhound
    Jan 27, 2016 at 1:39
  • 2
    @Ramhound Well duh I just clicked. It seems that only executable shortcuts show up. Non-executable shortcuts can be seen in the All apps list, but don't show up when you type their name. So all these .chm and .txt file shortcuts I used to put into the start menu for convenience (in Windows 7/8.x) are next-to-useless in Windows 10. Moronic MS.
    – misha256
    Jan 27, 2016 at 2:00
  • 1
    I personally need a screenshot to help. Don't be so quick to blame MS
    – Ramhound
    Jan 27, 2016 at 4:59

6 Answers 6


Navigate to the file, Right Click > Pin to Start. It takes a bit to actually appear. I just pinned a .zip file but it took 30 seconds to appear in start menu.

If you want to search for non-executable files from the start menu, there a couple additional (an annoying) steps:

Windows icon > start typing name of whatever you seek > click My Files at bottom left > click the "Show" drop-down and select Documents, etc. to narrow it down. Or, scroll to bottom of page and select "File Explorer."

P.S. I don't use the traditional "search" box on the taskbar (disabled it) nor do I use Cortana directly. I always search from the Windows icon, so there may be subtle differences between how we achieve results.

  • It's a good idea but, in my case, I'd rather not pin these files as (ultimately) I'm going have several dozen of them.
    – misha256
    Feb 9, 2016 at 22:24

Currently, in Windows 10, the Start Menu search feature presents only applications found in the two Start Menu folders:

C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\

Other shortcuts (i.e. those that do not link to applications but instead link to documents like help files) are excluded from the search results. Note that this logic is specific to the above two Start Menu folder locations.

I assume (and I would put good $ on it) that this is all by purposeful design, because historically application installers have polluted Start Menu folders with all manner of silly shortcuts (help files, readme text files, order forms, internet URLs, other spam). This pollution ruins the "app search" experience (think Windows 8.x) so with Windows 10 only apps are shown.

Now, to get to all the other shortcuts in your Start Menu folders, from the Start Menu itself, you can use the All apps... list, or the Search my stuff feature. Either workaround is far better, IMO, than navigating polluted app search results.


In Windows 10, clicking on Start > All Apps will start a service that "Discovers" other apps in the Start Menu folder. So you must do that occasionally to "Refresh" it.

On second thought, this isn't too bad actually, that's going to speed up the computer by making it only do the refresh on-demand.


some shortcuts are missing from particular appilication, http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-start/programs-missing-from-start-menu-windows-10/1de9b3fe-d994-48c0-9b9a-18f6991d44eb hope this link helps.

  • Please do not provide link-only answers as it degrades QA style of superuser.com. Sep 15, 2016 at 13:14
  • Please quote the essential parts of the answer from the reference link(s), as the answer can become invalid if the linked page(s) change.
    – DavidPostill
    Sep 23, 2016 at 7:27

In my case it turns out my user-specific Start Menu was not being indexed.

  1. Search for "Indexing Options" from the Start Menu
  2. Click "Modify"
  3. Ensure that %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu is checked (e.g. C:\Users\me\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu)

should work actually.. i am using a shortcut to a .xlsx in my start menu use path: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs then search for the entry and (if you like to) map it to the start page of your start menu

  • 1
    This does not answer the author's question.
    – Ramhound
    Apr 14, 2016 at 14:42

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