How to add Files and Folders to Windows 10’s Start Menu

This TechJunkie guide covered how you can customize Windows 10’s Start menu. Aside from adding new tiles to it, you can also add new folder and file shortcuts to the All apps list on the menu. This is how you can add new file and folder shortcuts to the Windows 10 Start menu.

First, open File Explorer. Then browse to the following folder path, or location: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs. That will open the Start menu Programs folder in File Explorer as below.

start menu folder

To add a folder to Start menu, you should right-click the desktop and select New > Shortcut. That will then open the window in the shot directly below. Select Browse, choose a folder to add to Start menu, press Next and then Finish.

start menu folder2

Now you should drag the folder shortcut on the desktop into the Start menu Programs folder (not a subfolder in the folder) open in File Explorer by selecting it and holding the left mouse button. Then you might get a Destination Access Folder Denied window. If that is the case, press Continue on that window to move the folder into Start menu.

Then when you click the Start menu and All apps, you should find the folder listed on the index. It will have New beside it to further highlight it’s a new Start menu entry.

start menu folder3

To add a new file, or document, shortcut to the Start menu, you should right-click a file in File Explorer to open its context menu. Then select Copy from the menu. Open the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs folder again, and press the Paste shortcut option on the toolbar.

When you press that, it might state, “Windows can’t create a shortcut here.” If that is so, press the Yes button to place the shortcut on the desktop instead. Then drag that shortcut from the desktop into the Start menu Programs folder in File Explorer. That adds a new document shortcut to Start menu as below.

start menu folder4

So that’s how you can add new folder and file shortcuts to the All apps list on the Start menu. Then you can quickly open your most essential folders and files from the Start menu instead of File Explorer.

6 thoughts on “How to add Files and Folders to Windows 10’s Start Menu”

Avatar Donna says:
If there is an answer/solution to this thread, please let me know. Thank you!
Avatar Donna says:
It doesn’t show up for me either and I have administrator rights
Avatar Hugo says:
I have the Sticky note folder and the StickyNot.exe file from that folder, both in the Startup folder. The Neither one appears in the Startup Menu. ??
Avatar Mark says:
The files still don’t show in the Start menu.
Avatar Filipe says:
best answer that i’ve found about it ! Well done….
Avatar Kip McGuire says:
Do you have to have Administrator rights to do this?
Avatar krisztian08 says:
yes because the “c:\windows” folder and it’s subfolders need administrator right to see the contents and edit it.

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