How to add shortcut to Start Menu in Windows

Many Windows utilities do not provide installers, so I end up creating a shortcut for their EXE file. I add the shortcut to the Start Menu, so I can start it easily from the next time. This same trick works for the Start Screen or Start Menu in Windows 8 and 10.

Windows 8 or 10

  • To open the Start Menu directory of a user: %appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

  • To open the Start Menu directory for all users: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

Windows 7 and older

It used to be easy to open the directory that held the shortcuts for Start Menu: right-click on All Programs and choose Open.

You could also open the Start Menu directory explicitly as above.

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