How To: Pin Everything to the Start Screen in Windows 8.1

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Windows 8.1 provides you with a very helpful way to access anything you need faster. Furthermore, you can easily open and use apps, desktop applications, folders, libraries, network locations, websites and control panel items, by pinning them to your Start screen. As a result, you will become more productive and you will avoid any complex operations, required from you. For this reason, this guide will show you how you can pin almost everything you need to your Start screen.

Pin Apps to your Start screen in Windows 8.1

First of all, you need to find the apps that you want to pin to the Start screen. That’s why you should go the Apps list.

  • To open the Apps list, click the small downwards pointing arrow from the bottom left side of the Start screen. In case you are using a touch-screen device, press your finger on the bottom of the Start screen and then swipe upwards.

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  • Once you do this, the Apps screen will display, where you will see a list every app and desktop program you have installed.

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  • Right-click on the app you want to pin to the Start screen. Once again, if you are using touch-screen device tap and hold, while slightly dragging downwards. This action will open up a contextual menu on the bottom of the screen. You will have two available options. According to the current state of the chosen app, you will either choose Pin to Start or Unpin to Start.

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  • Click or tap on the Pin to Start option and your app will be pinned immediately to your Start screen.

Pin Desktop Applications to the Start screen in Windows 8.1

  • You should first find the desktop application that you want to pin. Be aware that you can use its shortcut too.

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  • Another way to find the desired application is by browsing to the location in your computer, where the program is installed. After this, choose the appropriate file.

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  • Alternatively, you could search for the application you want to pin by using the Search box in the File Explorer.

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  • Then right-click or press and hold on the application, and click or tap the Pin to Start option, available in the contextual menu.

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Now you could go the Start screen and see that the application you selected is already pinned.

Pin Folders and Libraries to the Start screen in Windows 8.1

The process of pinning folders and libraries to your Start screen is quite similar to the operation of pinning desktop applications.

  • Find the folder or library that you want to pin and right click or press and hold on it. Once again click or tap the Pin to Start option from the list, shown in the contextual menu.

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When you are done, the selected folder or library will be available on your Start screen.

NOTE: Be aware that in Windows 8.1 the libraries are not visible in Windows Explorer by default. 

Pin Network Locations to the Start screen in Windows 8.1

The pinning process of a network location is almost the same as pinni a folder or a library to your Start screen.

  • Find the network you want to pin by using the File Explorer. Note that a network location could be a computer or a shared folder.
  • When you find it, right-click or press and hold on it. Finally choose Pin to Start from the available options of the contextual menu.

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NOTE: Even if the network location you selected is no longer available, you will still be able to see its shortcut on the Start screen.

Pin Website by using the Touch version of Internet Explorer in Windows 8.1

  • Open the website you want to pin to the Start screen by using the modern version of Internet Explorer.
  • Then, right click or swipe from the bottom of the screen in order to open the options bar.
  • Once you do this, a list of your Favorites will display. On the top right corner of that list, you will see the Pin Site button. Click or tap on it to finish the operation. Now the website you chose is pinned on the Start screen.

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NOTE: Before clicking or tapping the Pin Site button, you can possibly rename the selected website.Otherwise, leave the default name, suggested by the Internet Explorer.

Pin Websites by using the Desktop version of Internet Explorer in Windows 8.1

In case you prefer to use the desktop version Internet Explorer, you should know that the pinning process will be a bit more time-consuming.

  • Open the tools menu and search for the Add site to Apps option. Click or tap on it.

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  • Then Internet Explorer will show you a confirmation dialog box, in which you should press Add to confirm your decision.
  • Now the site is pinned on the Start screen, but as you will notice its tile is not available yet. In order to enable its tile, go to the Apps list and find the shortcut of the site.  If you use the Category sorting, you will be able to find it in the Desktop section. Once you found it, click or tap and hold on it.
  • This will open up a bar menu on the bottom of the screen. Click or tap the Pin to Start option.

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The tile of the site will now be visible on the Start screen.

Pin Control Panel Items to your Start screen in Windows 8.1

Pinning Control panel items on the Start screen does not require the same method as the ones I mentioned above. In other words, you will not be able to pin a control panel item by right-clicking on it and then selecting the Pin to Start option from the menu. Unfortunately, this method does not work.The only possible way to pin those kinds of items is from the Control Panel.

  • Go to the Control Panel and browse to the location, where the item is found. For example, I wanted to pin Programs and Features to the Start screen. Therefore, I went to the Programs section.

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  • Right-click or press and hold on the desired item. Finally, select Pin to Start.

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The Control Panel item you have selected is pinned on your Start screen.

As you can see from this guide, you can easily pin any kinds of things to your Start screen. Go on and begin pinning stuff according to your needs and preferences.