How to add new software shortcuts to the bottom left of the Windows 10 Start menu

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The Windows 10 Start menu includes 10 built-in shortcuts at the bottom left (shown the snapshot directly below). They include shortcuts to things like videos, pictures and settings. You can add or remove these predefined shortcuts from the Start menu as covered in this article. However, you can also rename those shortcuts and change their shortcut paths to open any software package with them.

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First, open File Explorer and enter ‘%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Places\’ in the address bar. That will open the folder in the snapshot below in File Explorer. It includes nine of the 10 shortcuts you can add to the bottom left of the Start menu.

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Next, you should right-click one of those shortcuts and select Properties to open the window below. The Shortcut tab on that window includes a Target text box. So to alter what the Start menu shortcut opens, you can enter an alternative path in that box.

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For example, you could add a Google Chrome shortcut to replace Documents on the Start menu. To find the path for Chrome, open its folder in File Explorer, right-click the Chrome exe and then select Properties. Copy its path on the General tab into the Target text box of the Documents shortcut at %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu Places\. Copy and paste the path with the Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V hotkeys. Then press Apply and OK to close the Documents Properties window.

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Then you could also change the shortcut title. Right-click Documents and select Rename from the context menu. Enter Google Chrome, or any other software title, and press Return to edit the title.

Open the Start menu, which will now include the new shortcut at the bottom left. Click on the new shortcut to open the software package. Thus, you can effectively add nine software shortcuts to the bottom left of the Start menu.

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This is a handy customization trick for the Windows 10 Start menu. Now you can add some of your most essential software shortcuts to the bottom left of the menu instead of the desktop or taskbar.

Posted by Matthew on June 13, 2016

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