The Start Menu in Windows 10 looks different than what it looked like in Windows 7, and older versions of Windows. Microsoft revamped it with Windows 8, and it took quite a while for the company to get it right. With Windows 10, the Start menu has only been improving, you can pin websites to it via Edge, pin Settings, pin apps and folders, group tiles, and pin your favorite albums and playlists to it. What you can’t do is pin a file to the Start Menu, at least not by default. The right-click context menu has a ‘Pin to Start’ option but it doesn’t appear when you right-click a file. To add the option to the context menu of a file, and pin it to the Start Menu, you need to make a small edit to the Windows Registry.

You need administrative rights to edit the Windows Registry.

Pin A File To The Start Menu

Open the Windows Registry. You can open it by typing ‘regedit’ in the Windows search bar, or you can type ‘regedit’ in the run box. Navigate to the following location.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT*shellexContextMenuHandlers

Right-click the ContextMenuHandlers key, and select NewKey from the context menu. Name the new key “PinToStartScreen”. Inside this key is a string value. Double-click it and set its value to the following.

470C0EBD-5D73-4d58-9CED-E91E22E23282

That’s about it. Now, go to the file that you want to pin to the Start menu. Right-click it and check if the Pin to Start option appears in the context menu. If it doesn’t, proceed to the next step.

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Right-click the file and select Send toDesktop to create a shortcut. Right-click the shortcut, and select the Pin to Start option from the context menu. The Pin to Start option does not seem to appear in the context menu for all files. In this case, you will need to create a shortcut for it. After you pin a file to the Start Menu, you can delete the shortcut you created.

The tile size for pinned files depends on the program that the app is associated with. For example, the Notepad app only has two tile sizes; Small and Medium. If you pin a TXT file to the Start Menu, only those two tile sizes will be available. If the program associated with the file supports more tile sizes, you can use them for the pinned file.

Alternative Option

We should also mention that if an app supports the jumplist in the Start Menu, you can pin files to the jumplist and avoid adding more tiles to the Start Menu. Most UWP apps and a good number of desktop apps support the jumplist so if you only have a few files that you need quick access to, the jumplist is a good option. Accessing a file from an app’s jumplist takes a few more clicks than just clicking a tile and you might want to take that into consideration before you decide to pin a file to the Start menu, or pin a file to an app’s jumplist.