When I right click on certain shortcut and click "Pin to Start Menu," it does not appear on my start menu. When I right click them again it still says "Pin to..." instead of "Unpin...".

The thing is it works for most shortcuts, just not some random ones.

The applications I'm unable to pin are Visual Studio 2015 and WinSCP. Why can't I pin these items?

Also another quirk, I am unable to pin anything to the start menu by dragging and dropping it in. My cursor looks like this when I try:

enter image description here

  • Something more strange happened to me, After adding about 10 pins to the start menu, after one restart everyone of them disappeared, also missed Win Explorer's favorites. got shocked, worked that way a day, at my next restart again everything was in its place. How buggy!
    – Sypress
    Aug 20, 2015 at 10:13

9 Answers 9


The issue I think arises due to that shortcut not being in the Programs links directory first.

Follow this:

  1. Copy the shortcut to %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
  2. It should now show up in the start menu under Recently added
  3. Pin it now
  • 3
    It shows up but still cannot pin it
    – GuidoG
    Sep 13, 2016 at 8:00
  • @GuidoG see that the target of the shortcut is unique. Try adding extra space in between (not at the beginning / end) Sep 13, 2016 at 8:07
  • 3
    I got it now it seems that you cannot pin when the shortcut is pointing to a network drive. The solution is to copy the exe to your local desktop, than pin it, than change the properties of the pinned shortcut to the network location and now it works
    – GuidoG
    Sep 13, 2016 at 8:34
  • 2
    @GuidoG Great workaround for network shorcuts! Thanks! (You should put this as an answer.)
    – Marvin
    Jan 11, 2017 at 14:05
  • 2
    I solved it by deleting the shortcut and recreating the shortcut from the application.
    – dgo
    Oct 17, 2018 at 20:10

Same problem here.

It seems that there is a bug in Start menu code, in the way that if you have more that 512 shortcuts in Start Menu.

You can check how many you have starting PowerShell with the command: Get-StartApps | measure

Powershell shorcut count

This is affected not only by installed programas, but also by each shortcut in "All programs" created. So if a program installs a folder with shortcuts to 100 plugins, each one takes one slot.

Several solutions are provided that sometimes fixes things, others not. The only sure thing to do so far is going to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs, and deleting any unnecesary shortcut, so the count goes below 512. After that, reboot may be not required, but recommended.

Many programs have one main executable shortcut, one uninstall shortcut, and several shortcuts that may be removed. My advice is to create a separate folder, and move there the unnecesary one instead of deleting them. As allways, procede with caution.


UPDATE: As 12th January 2016, it seems that with latest updates, Windows 10 Start Menu is working as intended, no matter how many shortcuts you have. If you still suffer this problem, ensure you have the latest updates installed.

UPDATE2: On 26th June 2016, Microsoft released a Windows 10 Start Menu Troubleshooter wizard that may help fix this: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/windows-10-start-menu-troubleshooter

  • For those looking for the Microsoft source page for the troubleshooter mentioned in 'UPDATE2' (rather than a direct download), it is here. Expand the 'Try the troubleshooter' section.
    – Geoff
    Aug 25, 2016 at 14:56
  • The link posted by @Geoff no longer points to that content, instead just suggesting what to do if your taskbar is accidentally hidden.
    – WBT
    Jan 18, 2020 at 22:55

Try pinning a shortcut:

  1. Press and hold or right-click the desktop, click New, and then click Shortcut.
  2. click browse, and select the item you wish to shortcut.
  3. pin this item, and delete the original shortcut if you wish
  • I did the same and it worked for apps, that I could not pin as is.
    – Gino Pane
    Jan 13, 2016 at 16:31
  • 1
    It's June 2016 by now, and this is still the only way to pin certain programs to the start menu: using the desktop as a workaround location for the shortcut. Trying it directly from other folders, e.g. /Program Files, will fail. This applies to e.g. portable programs that have not been "installed".
    – bobsoap
    Jun 1, 2016 at 8:03
  • tried this but the new shortcut also is not pinnable. This only happens on some shortcuts not on all so what is the difference ?
    – GuidoG
    Sep 13, 2016 at 7:56
  • Nov 2017. Still same issue (but works with above solution, +1) Nov 7, 2017 at 19:50

See the article How to create custom Start menu Tiles in Windows 10 using TileCreator.

This uses TileCreator from the Windows 10 store and TileCreatorProxy.exe to bypass a pinning restriction imposed in Windows 10 and pin any executable file as a modern looking tile on the Start menu.

This example from the article shows a tile created from Photoshop.exe :


  • This looks like it should work, but I couldn't get it to. I got as far as making an icon, but it did not run, and I re-read the instructions on running TileCreatorProxy.exe as admin only after uninstalling TileCreator. Now it refuses to re-install, so I can't check that that was the problem. Also annoying that I have to find images for everything - it doesn't pick up the app's icon, and you can't choose an EXE as a source for the image. Aug 20, 2015 at 5:20

After messing around with so many things, reinstalling things, restarting etc... WinSCP randomly started being able to snap... I have no idea why or what I did to cause it to work.

I got so fed up with it, I went ahead and downloaded Start10, a start menu replacement. I'm loving it so far, and I definitely think I'll be paying the ridiculously cheap $5 for it when my trial expires.

  • StartIsBack++ is cheaper and better to bring the Win7 start back. Aug 18, 2015 at 4:26

The option will not work if you try pinning the shortcuts of the programs present in start menu. But you will be able to pin these programs to taskbar if you pin them using the original exe files or if you have the window open for the program then if you right click the open window and use the option ‘pin this program to taskbar’.

You may refer to the following links for resolution on similar issue: Link 1 Link 2

  • Some of the applications I couldn't pin were in the start menu and some weren't. I could find any correlation. Adding and removing the items from the start menu had no effect.
    – Entity
    Aug 30, 2015 at 14:08

It seems that you cannot pin when the shortcut is pointing to a network drive.

The solution is to copy the exe to your local desktop, than pin it, than change the properties of the pinned shortcut to the network location and now it works and you can delete the local exe again.


The workaround I use for pinning files to the start menu is:

  1. Create a shortcut to a folder
  2. Pin the folder to the startmenu
  3. Go to the file location of that pinned folder
  4. Go into the properties of the shortcut in the startmenu directory path (not the original one you created) and change where it points to to your desired file.

Same problem for me with MySQL Workbench. Other apps can be pinned. Another thing is that windows can't find mysql workbench from the search, not even when reinstalled the program.

Solution (Edit from previous answer):

  1. Search for "windows features"
  2. Deactivate windows powershell

I have no idea why this works but it solved the start menu issue as well as the search issue on my computer. Not an elegant solution but you can activate the powershell again if you need it.

  • I don't have Stardock Fences installed and I have the same problem.
    – mpen
    Jul 31, 2015 at 6:01
  • Can windows find your program from the search bar?
    – Paintoshi
    Jul 31, 2015 at 6:43
  • 1
    No, it couldn't. After adding it to %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs it can.
    – mpen
    Jul 31, 2015 at 6:46
  • It must have been a coincidence that it started working again, because I don't see how disabling powershell has anything to do with pinning items to the taskbar. I use powershell almost every day.
    – Entity
    Aug 15, 2015 at 5:12

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