SEARCH

How-To Geek

Add "My Dropbox" to Your Windows 7 Start Menu

Over here at How-To Geek, we’re huge fans of Dropbox, the amazingly fast online file sync utility, but we’d be even happier if we could natively add it to the Windows 7 Start Menu, where it belongs. And today, that’s what we’ll do.

image

Yep, that’s right. You can add it to the Start Menu… using a silly hack to the Libraries feature and renaming the Recorded TV library to a different name. It’s not a perfect solution, but you can access your Dropbox folder this way and it just seems to belong there.

First things first, head into the Customize Start Menu panel by right-clicking on the start menu and using Properties, then make sure that Recorded TV is set to “Display as a link”.

image

Next, right-click on Recorded TV, choose Rename, and then change it to something else like My Dropbox.

image 

Now you’ll want to right-click on that button again, and choose Properties, where you’ll see the Library locations in the list… the general idea is that you want to remove Recorded TV, and then add your Dropbox folder.

image

Oh, and you’ll probably want to make sure to set “Optimize this library for” to “General Items”.

At this point, you can just click on My Dropbox, and you’ll see, well, Your Dropbox! (no surprise there).

image

Yeah, I know, it’s totally a hack. But it’s a very useful one! Also, if you aren’t already using Dropbox, you should really check it out—2 GB for free, accessible via the web from anywhere, and you can sync to multiple desktops.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/29/10

Comments (36)

  1. Abdelaziz AlZarouni

    Nice, I would use it for other folders as well.

    Btw, have you tried Box.net?
    I think box is better because you can use it as a computer where you edit all documents, images, videos and audios.

    Give it a try if you haven’t, and tell me what you think.

  2. Carlfinity

    This is a win! Now I don’t have to go through the process of navigating to a series of folders. Thank you!

  3. zainali88

    Good one! I’m a DropBox fan too. and dropbox’s folder is the one I open most frequently. thanks for the trick.Now I know how to add a shortcut to any folder in the startmenu of win7. :)

    @Abdelaziz box.net is good but not as fast as dropbox. I was a huge fan of box.net until i found dropbox. and btw there’s a difference of 1 whole GB of storage space between these two.

  4. akash1810

    If DropBox is that frequently used why not pin it to the taskbar?

    DropBox ftw

  5. Howard

    Only seems to work with Explorer as your system file manager.
    I have directory opus and it always produces an INVALID FOLDER message unless I display the item as a MENU instead of a LINK

  6. Fuentes

    I like LiveMesh more – 5Gb online storage, works with Win based boxes, phones, allows synchronization and made by MS like the OS itself. Why bother with a 3rd party that also offers less online storage?

  7. Atreus

    Same thing as Howard :/

  8. Fuentes

    ok.live mesh doesn’t support osx and linux but that’s no big problem for me currently..

  9. Richard

    This is absolutely brilliant! Thanks.

  10. AJ

    This is an awesome tip. I used it to add my Projects folder to the start menu. Thanks!

  11. John

    I use and love Dropbox.

    Why don’t you just click the dropbox icon in the notication area and then click Open Dropbox Folder from the menu? You can also go straight to the website from the same menu.

  12. b4rk13

    Another trick I like to use to access things quickly on my computer is to create shortcuts to them and place it in the \Windows\System32 folder. That way you can launch them quickly through the Run dialog box, which can be brought up using the +R key combo.
    It works with anything you can create a shortcut to: folders, programs, files, URLs, etc.

    So, for example, you if you created a shortcut in the System32 dir to your DropBox folder called ‘db’, you could then open it with the following key combo: +r-db-

  13. b4rk13

    D’oh – commenting system thought my use of triangular brackets was for mark-up and I can’t edit it again.
    Here’s my comment again with square brackets instead – should make more sense:

    Another trick I like to use to access things quickly on my computer is to create shortcuts to them and place it in the \Windows\System32 folder. That way you can launch them quickly through the Run dialog box, which can be brought up using the [Windows Key]+R key combo.
    It works with anything you can create a shortcut to: folders, programs, files, URLs, etc.

    So, for example, you if you created a shortcut in the System32 dir to your DropBox folder called ‘db’, you could then open it with the following key combo: [Windows Key]+R ‘db’ [Enter]

  14. Steve

    Can’t you just make a new library instead of renaming an old one?

  15. Leo Davidson

    @Steve: No, the Windows 7 start menu only lets you choose from a handful of hardcoded buttons on the right-hand side of the start menu.

    You cannot add your own buttons to launch arbitrary folders or applications, even though that would be incredibly useful and a fine use of all that blank space. :(

  16. CreepinJesus

    I know everyone has their own preferred way, but if you have Explorer pinned to your taskbar, why not just pin your Dropbox folder to that? It’s still only 2 clicks away there, too. This could be a better alternative if you actually use a Recorded TV library for exactly that…

  17. Snitzr

    Another option: Drag My Dropbox folder to the Start menu to create a link.

  18. chelseagirl

    This was an easy and great hack– I used it a week ago .

    BUT… then I had to reinstall Windows7 and guess what? There is no “recorded TV” link anymore. I tried using the “Games” button but when I right-click there is no “properties’ menu offered.

    Odd, eh?

  19. AL

    You guys rock. If I were a female I would say have my babies! I love your dropbox tips!

  20. bobby.tables

    One could just double click on the dropbox icon in the notification area. If it is hidden just switch it to always shown so it stays there. But thanks for the tip anyway as I will use it for other folders!

  21. Ricardo

    I am a great fan of FileBox eXtender which not only gets you straight to DropBox from your quick launch, but also from Explorer. It’s quick and easy to set up and will open any file or folder of your choice.

  22. Brant

    Microsoft Live Mesh, 5gb free online space … unlimited sync space between computers, and remote desktop access. Sharing of libraries between friends as well. 100% free

  23. Mike Eeee!

    Thanks for the tip- just what I was looking for!

  24. Ricardo

    I prefer to have the Dropbox icon on my Taskbar that opens it with just 1 click without having to go into START. To do that right click on the desktop and make a Text folder and rename it to Dropbox.exe. Now drag and drop it into your Taskbar. Right click on the taskbaricon and right click again on where you see Dropbox. In the window that opens change the Target to where Dropbox is located on your HD. Whilst in that window you can also change the icon to one of your liking. That’s all there is to it and in my opinion a much better solution.

  25. Elizabeth

    When I right click on ‘recorded tv’ , nothing happens.

    I just upgraded to windows 7 a week ago because Vista had me
    pulling my hairs out,,,,,,,,,,windows 7 seems to be user friendly
    as I get familiar with the OS.

    Today I was wondering why are the same files going into the same
    named folder under libraries and reading this tip answered my question.
    HowToGeek is and has always been my tutorial for EVERYTHING

  26. Chathuranga

    Your the man!
    Thanks a lot!
    :-)

  27. Josph

    Thanks! Got it to work! xD
    - joseph96.com

  28. John Chorley

    Is there a way to do this in Windows Vista? If so please could you tell me. Thanks.

  29. Tom M

    How about a hack for XP users (specifically XP for Netbooks)

    Tom

  30. Tep

    Thank goodness! I’ve been trying to figure out to do this for awhile! you guys are AWESOME!

  31. seasider

    Dropbox added added an icon to my taskbar. I could pin it to my start menu. Much as I love and revere HTG this is not really a hack, it’s basically just change the library folder name.

  32. Eric

    I tried to do the dropbox but when I right click on recorded TV nothing happens. Thats as far as I got.

  33. scouser73

    Excellent hack, thanks for the tutorial.

  34. herval

    Great! Thanks for the tip.

  35. Bubbatosthanes

    Nice Hack, indeed! Many thanks.

    Now … On older WinX platforms, I was able to create my own folders (sub-menus) within the Start menu and place shortcuts to various documents or applications in them to create the familiar flyout menus. I was then able to drag the shortcuts up or down to organise them I needed within a menu. Working with shortcuts was simply safer than working with actual files.

    Alas, in Win 7, I have no control over how items are listed within menus, including those created using the “drop-box” approach. I can still use shortcuts in place of the files they point to, but cannot organize shortcuts within the “drop-box” or its sub “boxes.” Is there a work-around for this short-coming?

    Since menu items are now automatically arranged in alpha order, the only thing I can think of is to rename them, prefixing numbers to force my own order. This is tedious and nowhere near as versatile as the nice, old drag method.

    There is no spoon.

    Bubba

  36. OldManFrom1953

    More simply.. locate Drop Box in start menu, right click and PIN TO START MENU

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!