How to Pin Portable Apps Easily to the Start Menu

Adding a portable app shortcut to the Start Menu is easier than you think.

Most app installers add a shortcut for you automatically so that you can access the apps from the Start Menu. This is not the case when you download and unzip a portable app. It does not create a shortcut for you.

If you would like to always access all apps, including the portable apps, from the All Apps list in the Start Menu, pin a portable app to the Start Menu. It is quick and easy.

There are several ways to do it, but this is probably the shortest route with minimum steps to follow (based on Windows 10).

  1. Enter shell:programs in the address bar of File Explorer (See Tips 1);
  2. Right-click an empty space in the right panel, select New and Shortcut from the context menu;
  3. Browse to the portable app (for example, notepad++.exe), then click Next;
  4. Rename the shortcut if you like (for example, Notepad Portable), and click Finish.

Now go to Start > All apps, and you will see the portable app pinned to the All apps list for ease of access.


  1. Using the shell command shell:programs helps navigate swiftly to this directory C:\Users\Your Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.
  2. As an administrator, you can pin a portable app for all users; copy the created shortcut, use this shell command shell:common programs to navigate to this folder C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs, and paste the shortcut into the folder.

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