Enable "Pin to Start Menu" for Folders in Windows Vista / XP

The Start menu in Windows Vista and XP allows you to “Pin” items to the top for quicker access to your favorite applications. The problem is that you can’t pin folders to the start menu, even though that would be very useful.

There’s a registry hack that you can do to add this capability for folders as well… it’s not new, but still very useful.

Manual Registry Hack

To manually set up this context menu item, we’ll need to add an item to the right-click context menu. Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search box, and then browse down to the following key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\

Once there, you’ll need to create a new key called {a2a9545d-a0c2-42b4-9708-a0b2badd77c8} with no value.

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That should be the only thing you need to do. If you want to disable this, just delete the key.

Downloadable Registry Hack

You can choose to just download and use the registry hack files I’ve provided at the bottom of this article. Once you unzip the file, you should see two registry files:

  • EnablePinToStart.reg – Enable the menu
  • DisablePinToStart.reg – Disable the menu (deletes the key)

Using Pin to Start Menu

Find the folder you want to pin to your start menu, hold down the Shift key, and then right-click on the folder. You’ll notice the new item for Pin to Start Menu.

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Now your folder should be pinned to the start menu…

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I’ve found this to be very useful if you want to use the start menu for quick access to folders.

Note: This tip will not work if you are using the classic start menu.

Download EnablePinToStart Registry Hack

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.