Pin Windows Settings to the Windows 10 Start Menu

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 20, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows tips

Microsoft reintroduces a proper start menu in its upcoming operating system Windows 10 after throwing the start menu to the trash in Windows 8 and reviving it in an unloving way in Windows 8.1.

Windows 10's start menu differs in two essential ways from the start menu in Windows 8.x. The first, and in my opinion most significant change is that Microsoft pulled the two-layered interface in Windows 10.

Instead of switching between the desktop and start screen on Windows 8, you stay on the desktop at all times when you use the start menu on a desktop PC in Windows 10. The switching was disruptive in my opinion and unusable on desktop systems without touch.

Another core difference is that the start menu looks like a merger of the Windows 7 start menu with bits of Windows 8's start screen added to it.

The start menu mixes desktop programs and modern apps by default. Users are in control though as it is possible to pin or unpin programs, apps or settings to the Start Menu to customize what is displayed by it.

windows 10 start menu pin settings

One of the new features that Microsoft introduced in the Windows 10 Start Menu is the ability to pin settings to it.

The feature is limited to the Modern Settings section of the Windows 10 operating system currently but it seems that the pinning of Control Panel settings will be supported in the future as well.

If you right-click on select entries in the Control Panel, you will notice the "pin to start menu" option in the context menu. Using it has no effect currently but since the option is there, it seems likely that Microsoft will make it available in the future.

For now, it is limited to the Modern Settings section. To pin a setting to the start menu, right-click on it and select "pin to start" from the context menu to add it to the menu.

pin to start modern settings

It is possible to pin main entries, e.g. System, Devices or Ease of Access, or individual entries listed under main entries for instance Windows Update, Apps & Features or Storage.

The entries are added to the Start Menu when you select the option where they can be dragged and dropped around to a suitable location.

Closing Words

The option to add settings to the start menu is quite useful even though it is still limited in several aspects. For one, the already mentioned lack of support for control panel items even though that may come in a later build. What weights more in my opinion is the lack of text-only display options but that is a general issue as the start menu does not support text only links to programs, apps or settings currently in the right half of the interface.

I'd really like to see that option get implemented in future builds as it would improve the usability of the start menu on the desktop further.

Pin Windows Settings to the Windows 10 Start Menu
Article Name
Pin Windows Settings to the Windows 10 Start Menu
Windows 10 ships with options to pin settings to the start menu for fast access. We take a look at the feature and explain how to use it.
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  1. Donnie said on April 2, 2016 at 8:42 am

    When I still had windows 8.1 only days ago, I had all of my important sites saved to the Pinned to Start folder, but I lost them when upgrading to Win 10. The Geeks and MS say I must recall and repin these lost sites? Had I placed them in Favorites, I would still have them. Can anyone help me?

  2. Anonymous said on April 2, 2016 at 8:29 am

    What about sites that I had just pinned to the start on windows 8. I lost these inks when I upgraded now I am having to find them by memory?

  3. Dwight Stegall said on June 21, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    I use Start Menu X. It is very customizable and allows me to keep the default Windows Start Menu. I have it setup to open with mouse click and Windows key opens default menu.

  4. Inderjeet said on June 20, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Pinning settings sections to the start screen is one of the experiences that works quick and well, even with touch and in tablet mode. One of the things I can would very much like to compliment microsoft with. This feature somehow makes sense. Things I think that needs an update here:

    1. The font of the settings title needs to be smaller. Many of the tile titles don’t fit in the tile dimensions. Its not readable.

    2. I miss more live tile sizes with the settings tile. Normal is not enough. I would also like the small tile option.

    3. I miss the advanced functionalities of the settings live tiles. I think the settings experience would be more complete and immersive if the settings live tile was only a link icon. For some settings such as powermanagement and memory, it would be nice if for tablets and tablet mode the tiles could show information on the medium and large tiles, such as battery status, file sizes, memory usage, top 3 most intensive power consuming apps, screen resoution and brightness, map update tile message, etc. (Tiles are more than just icons, they are a pinnacle windows experience!)

    1. fokka said on June 21, 2015 at 1:29 am

      i absolutely agree. we have those big new live tiles here, loaded with potential, yet the most they are used for right now are lame news headlines or some clickbait bull… i want more sizes, i want more info, i want more options.

      i also want the option to directly link standby/restart/shut down to the start menu with small tiles. i just hate that extra click i always have to do to chose one of those things. /nitpick

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