Add favorite programs to the top of Windows 10’s Start Menu

The following guide explains how you can stick your favorite programs and applications to the top of the program listing in the Windows 10 start menu.

Microsoft's Anniversary Update, released on August 2, 2016 shipped with a number of changes. A start menu redesign was one of the changes. Microsoft moved the shutdown button to the bottom position for instance, and decided to display all installed application shortcuts directly on the first page of the start menu.

The program listing is sorted alphabetically, which means that apps may be listed at the top that you barely ever use. The first app on default installations is 3D Builder for instance followed by Alarms and Clocks, the Calculator and other applications that come pre-installed with Windows 10.

While you may place favorite programs on the right of the listing for quick access, Windows 10 ships with surprising little options to modify the full list of programs.

In fact, there is no option to hide entries from the listing. You may remove apps or uninstall programs, but may only want to do so for programs and apps that you don't use.

Add favorite programs to the top of Windows 10's Start Menu

windows 10 favorites start menu

The whole process is rather easy to carry out. First thing you need to do is open the folder that contains the entries listed in the start menu.

Visit C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs on your computer for that. You will notice folders and shortcuts listed there. The method works for files and folders listed there.



Now, do the following to stick a program to the very top of the listing:

Read also:  Set different virtual desktop wallpapers on Windows 10

Step 1: Right-click on the shortcut name and select Rename from the context menu.

rename shortcut

Step 2: Move the cursor to the beginning of the shortcut name.

start menu windows 10

Step 3: Hold down the Alt-key on the keyboard, and tap on the following keys one after the other on the numpad: +0160. This should add a space in front of the shortcut name. Press Enter, and confirm the UAC prompt that appears to complete the process.

space in front of file

Step 4: Repeat the process for any file or shortcut that you want displayed at the Very top of the windows 10 Start Menu.

Note: It may take a moment before the changes become visible when you open the start menu. Windows picks the change up automatically though which means you don't have to restart before the listing changes.

If your favorite program is not listed, simply create a shortcut for it and place it in the same folder. Then follow the steps outlined above to get it to display at the top of the start menu.

You create shortcuts of programs with a right-click on them and selecting the "create shortcut" option from the context menu.

create shortcut

Summary
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Add favorite programs to the top of Windows 10's Start Menu
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The following guide explains how you can stick your favorite programs and applications to the top of the program listing in the Windows 10 start menu.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Add favorite programs to the top of Windows 10’s Start Menu

  1. Michael August 3, 2016 at 9:18 pm #

    Is there any possibility to change the "&" sign above Google Chrome shortcut? Can I name it somehow?

  2. Michael August 3, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

    I mean the name of the category with the "&" sign. I want to change its name but I don't know how to and where to find this option.

    • Martin Brinkmann August 4, 2016 at 6:32 am #

      Michael, that name is derived from the Alt-Key I used. Basically, when I used the Alt-Code, I added an invisible character (for Windows) to the file name. You may use a different code, but you cannot change the name to something else (e.g. a string like favorites).

  3. ask August 4, 2016 at 6:13 am #

    Will this make the shortcut unremoveable after uninstall because the name has been changed?

    • Martin Brinkmann August 4, 2016 at 6:26 am #

      I'm not sure. You can still remove the shortcuts from the start menu location then though to get rid of them.

  4. Charlie August 4, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Another newbie here..
    I don't have a C:\ProgramData folder on my W10 home PC.
    I have C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86)
    Search did not find C:\ProgramData
    What to do?

    • Martin Brinkmann August 4, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

      It is a hidden folder. Select File > Change folder and search options > View > Show hidden files, folders and drives.

  5. beemeup4 August 4, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

    Feels like 2 steps back then 1 step forward. MS should not have messed with the Start Menu. It has changed very little since Windows 95 and then reached perfection in Windows 7. Putting your most used programs front and center was something you could always do in previous Start Menus.

    Ideally though, your most used programs would likely be in your Taskbar, one click away when you need them.

  6. Mick August 5, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    Start menu has always been buggy for me. Some time ago I finally gave up and installed Classic Shell. So far so good!

  7. slumbergod August 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

    Or say FY to m$ and install classic shell

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