Pin to 8

Microsoft has disabled the programmatic access to Start Screen items pinning in Windows 8.1 and above. This is impossible to fix.

Pin to 8, formerly known as Start Screen Pinner - the universal pinner software for Windows 8. It can pin anything to the Start Screen or Taskbar in Windows 8. Finally it got the possibility to pin anything to Taskbar!

Latest version is, the change log is available below.
With our Pin to 8 you will able:
  • to pin ANY file regardless of its type;
  • to pin ANY folder;
  • to pin drive;
  • to pin Control Panel items, all them including some hidden like God Mode/All Tasks, Network Connections;
  • to pin Libraries;
  • to pin Shell Objects like Run command, "Show Desktop", Window Switcher;
  • to pin any folders or files with drag and drop. Drop them on application window.

Note this pinning tool works properly in Windows 8 regardless of UI language.

Pin to 8 in action

Change log

Various app optimizations.
Added an option to check for updates manually.
Added an option to unlock the "Pin to Start Screen" feature to all files and folders in File Explorer. More info.
* improved user folders' location detection in case when folder redirection is enabled via Group Policy
* fixed crash of app when it was started from a network share
* fixed the file/folder pinning issue when the target file is located on a network share.
Many thanks to Alexey Maximov for the extremely useful bug report.
  • Fixed a bug in "already pinned" check
  • New command line options are implemented:
    "Pin to 8.exe" /t c:\DWM\DWMLoader.exe - pins DWMLoader.exe to taskbar.
    "Pin to 8.exe" /s c:\DWM\DWMLoader.exe - pins DWMLoader.exe to Start Screen.
Provided x64 version, which contains most complete list of "Special Items" of Windows 8 x64.

Initial release, based on Start Screen Pinner

Pin to 8 is a portable application and doesn’t require to be installed. Just unzip and run it.

Donate options for satisfied users:


  1. alex
    03 Oct 12

    motivates not see that you can create shortcuts in the menu to tile windows 8 metro OblyTile keep using that is better than this.

  2. Sergey
    03 Oct 12

    I understand nothing from your comment except OblyTile

  3. David
    09 Oct 12

    Great Work! A commadline option to pin link would be perfect for IT admins!!!

  4. Gaurav
    15 Nov 12

    Yeah a cmd line option would be great for pinning to Start screen. Taskbar Pinner for Windows 7 has it.

  5. sebas101
    23 Nov 12

    Still cannot pin Steam game (shortcut) to homescreen... i don't understand why because they are URL and you can pin URL shortcut :( can you add that feature soon ?! it would be amazing :d no need to go to desktop or steam to launch a game !

  6. thanks
    21 Dec 12

    A dream come true. Windows 8 suddenly makes sense. Thank you.

  7. nicklemarr
    05 Jan 13

    Does not work on any version of Windows 8 I try. I also tried the old version. Please update.

  8. Sergey
    05 Jan 13

    it works properly here
    Can you share more details?
    What is your OS language?
    What you have tried to Pin? Please tell the full path of file.
    Where you tried to Pin: Start screen or taskbar?

  9. slyrcc
    16 Jan 13

    Pin to 8 can not run in Win8 OS<Chinese (Simplified)>,but run normal

  10. Sudhir Dudeja
    20 Jan 13

    it doesn't work i tried to pin computer on my task bar but it crash

  11. Mvd
    24 Jan 13

    Hello, what is the commandline for this tool? Is there an option to run this every logon without having duplicate items?

    Thx for the good work!

  12. Sergey
    24 Jan 13

    There is no command line for this tool.
    The command line was "dumbed down" while it grows up from "taskbar pinner" to currect implementation

  13. Jeff Alessi
    06 Feb 13

    Is it possible to add "windows\fonts" fonts folder to the taskbar in Windows 8?

    Thank You

  14. No Excel support
    07 Feb 13

    I tried to pin a special excel file I use daily to the Taskbar, using a custom icon. It doesn't work. The Win 7 version of this worked flawlessly, until you added a routine that checks to see if it is being used on 7 or 8. Losers.

  15. Sergey
    16 Feb 13

    Pfff, they have exactly they same source base under the hood.
    Look for the troubles at your side.

  16. sss
    23 Feb 13

    win8 language polish pin don;t work well

  17. Tom
    02 Mar 13

    Windows 8 with german language. I try to pin a program from my nas with unc path. The result is a shortcut to my local temp folder. Then I tried with a local program, but with the same result. All pinned shortcuts go to my temp folder. And yes, I use the last version for win8.
    Thx for your help

  18. Sergey
    04 Mar 13

    Hello Tom
    I very sorry about this issue.
    I will try to resolve it as soon as I reproduce the bug.

  19. r0k
    19 Mar 13

    Hi. It would be nice to have an option to change display name of the pinned items. Some applications insist on having generic executable names like "launcher.exe" so being able to change the name of the Start Screen shortcut would be nice.

    For anyone willing to so this as long as a direct rename option has not been included : once you added your shortcut you can right click it and you'll have an option to "open the file location", from there you can simply rename the file the old way. It works great for normal files, didn't test for special folders or libraries.

  20. Jojo
    03 Apr 13

    I have the same problem with my German Windows 8 version.
    All Icons link to my C:\Temp folder where i find files like "Run....exe" or "All Tasks.exe". The filesize is always 0.

    I should mention though, that i set my temp path variable to "c:\temp".

  21. Tom
    05 Apr 13

    Hi Jojo, I'm sure that the temp variable isn't the fault. I did the same like you. But I switched it back to the default folder with no success. Always the same issues. I've a win7 + 8 pc with the same problems. The only solution is to copy the real path to the .exe file and edit the wrong link in the taskbar (shift+right mouse button). You can copy the path during the search dialog from pinto8. Quick and dirty but it works.

  22. Ragnar
    06 Apr 13

    Thank you Sergey! It's working great for me. Microsoft should hire you since apparently they aren't smart enough to figure this out for themselves.

  23. Tom
    16 Apr 13

    OK, my last post was a mistake. Now I had a little bit time to check the conditions more exactly. The Pinto8 and also Taskbarpinner works only correct if the user temp variable set to "C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Temp". All other variations are going wrong. The system temp variable is no matter.

  24. Raven
    26 Apr 13

    I have to say thank you very much for this simple portable program
    that I was hoping for to just Pin a folder to the Taskbar. Thank you
    again and thanks for creating it

  25. joe
    07 Jun 13

    this will not differentiate shortcuts with command line parameters. For example... you can run puttytray.exe alone, or with the parameters '-file myserver' .... the corresponding shortcuts run fine, but pinto8 parses the command only and not the parameters, so wherease the shortcuts would automatically connect to a given server (different behaviors) pinto8 says 'already pinned!' if I try and pin different shortcuts (which each have different behaviors) because pinto8 doesn't seem to care about the parameters to a command

  26. steelew
    07 Jun 13

    I pinned then unpinned a folder to the taskbar and now it says it is already pinned when I try to re-pin it back how do I undo the pinning.

  27. Joco1114
    11 Jul 13

    Is it possible to pin a program and set admin rights for it?
    (I mean make a shortcut which is run the program with admin rights.)

  28. Sergey
    11 Jul 13

    Use it is possible.
    Create that shortcut with the "Elevated shortcut" app or use any other way you like to create that shortcut.
    After that, in Pin to 8, click the "File" button, select the SHORTCUT you just created. That's all.

  29. Joco1114
    12 Jul 13

    Ah, easy as a pie!
    It would be nice with 1 step from CMD line, but it works!

  30. barbera
    31 Jul 13

    how to pin recycle bin to taskbar? :(

  31. Joco1114
    08 Aug 13

    Pin Special Item, choose Recycle Bin.

  32. mike a
    14 Aug 13

    Why don't you guys make this an APP? It would be nice to start your program from a APP tile

  33. Anonymous
    19 Aug 13

    I cannot pin Hardware and Sound/Change Audio Device/Soundcard or what the name is. :´-(

  34. DEMON
    25 Aug 13

    Why create file from user\AppData\Local\temp\filename.exe ???

  35. MRP
    25 Aug 13

    Fail in Windows 8.1 Preview

  36. tester
    29 Aug 13

    When I pin an app to start screen using this app, it shows the ugly 8.3 filename as the name of the tile.
    It even does it if I place a shortcut to the executable called with a human-readable name, i.e.
    target file: totalcmd.exe
    if I use pinto8, tile name will read: TOTALCMD
    if I create a shortcut to TOTALCMD.EXE and call it "Total COmmander", and for some reason add it to the start screen using Pinto8 instead of the usual way ("Pin to Start" in context menu), the tile name still reads "TOTALCMD".
    No way to rename the tile, so I guess naming should be implemented in Pinto8 during tile creation stage.

  37. Joco1114
    31 Aug 13

    Not working on RTM for me.

  38. Anonymous
    01 Sep 13

    Doesn't work with Windows 8.1 RTM. It will add items to the taskbar but fail to add to the start screen.

  39. Anonymous
    10 Sep 13

    Please add the ability to add the Control Panel - Sound applet to the taskbar. The one thing I wanted it for is unfortunately missing.

  40. ron
    14 Sep 13

    works great, thank you

  41. sarah
    06 Nov 13

    Cant pin anything to start screen with 8.1. This make me sad. Can you fix this?

  42. Sergey
    07 Nov 13

    You the checkox to unlock the NATIVE COMMAND in EXPLORER CONTEXT MENU
    See this

  43. mt
    07 Nov 13

    with win 8.1 x64 does not give the option to pin to taskbar or start menu. Taskbar only.

    Great software, thanks

  44. Sergey
    08 Nov 13

    oh really!
    what the surprise!

  45. labyrinth9
    29 Nov 13

    Same as mt. No option in x64 in 8.1

  46. King
    05 Dec 13

    Okay, I get it now. Wow... I feel kind of dumb. This may be the problem that is arising with other users. In the video, unless I misunderstood it had a pop up menu to give you the choice to pin it either to the start screen or the task bar. Unless mine had a downloading error, it does not give me that option. It only pins to the task bar. I kept playing around with it and getting irritated with it but it would only pin to the task bar. I tried checking the option for the "Pin to start", nothing. I put it through troubleshooting and tried everything. No pop up. Then I right clicked a file, folder, ect. and realized there was one more option available that before... "Pin to start". Wait a minute, so I unchecked the box for the application to pin to start and tada! No pin to start option. So for everyone having problems, the app works as it should, but the option to not choose like in the video through me off. So you can "pin to start", but only through the file explorer.

  47. hede
    07 Dec 13


    It could be really nice with all this super apps from you guys, if they were made, so you had the option to choose the settings to be for all users....
    Many of this apps could help a lot with making default settings in a terminal solution for all users, if this could be a choice.

  48. lalto
    13 Dec 13

    It looks as if it cannot pin an app to the taskbar. I would like to bring some apps from the metro interface and have them start from the desktop or taskbar. I am using Classic Start and when I drag an app icon into the program I get an error "Cannot resolve the shortcut."

  49. I found my problem
    10 Jan 14

    go here C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar and delete the old shortcut and then re-pin it and voila, it works.

  50. Micky
    04 Feb 14


    Nice program. I'm trying to pin the Modern Mail App to the taskbar. I have the path as such but I am not sure what item to select as the mail launcher from within the ModernMail folder.

    C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_16.4.4406.1205_x64__8re7yb3d8abwe\ModernMail

    Many thanks...


  51. SamirPA - Doubt!
    14 Mar 14

    Hi Sergey!

    Please, let me know how do you have selected the items so fast in start screen as you did in video?
    I need go to end of apps list to select them, but you just grab them in the right screen border in just a touch.
    I mean the moment at 2:22 of the video to be exact.
    Thanks another time for you attention!


  52. Sergey
    14 Mar 14

    I just captured them with the mouse pointer
    They were partially visible.
    That's it.

  53. Orla
    20 Mar 14

    Hi Sergey,
    this seems to be a very useful tool.

    Unfortunately I can't use it because of the following reason:
    - I moved the AppData-path to another partition (better for backup-handling).
    - PinTo8 always tries to access the standard-path "C:\Users\<Name>\AppData\...".
    - My path is "D:\Users\<Name>\System\AppData\..."
    - The correct path is retrieved be the SHGetFolderPath()-Function or in the registry [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders]

    Maybe you can fix this with the next version ...


  54. Sergey
    20 Mar 14

    Thanks for this report.
    I will look

  55. JerryKC
    15 Apr 14

    it worked great for me on Windows 8.1 Ent. Update 1 64bit.

    but it would not run on Windows 7 32bit Ent., the error message said "This application requires Windows 8"
    Also, the Windows 7 compatibility settings didn't help.

  56. Paul
    24 Apr 14

    It doesn't seem to give me the option to Pin to Start. Everything pins to task bar.

  57. Paul
    24 Apr 14

    Ignore my previous comment. Worked it out. Thanks. Great product.

  58. i8ts
    23 Jul 14

    It never prompt asking where to pin after first use. Only pins to taskbar since i picked that the first time?

  59. Anonymous
    28 Jul 14

    I would very much like to be able to unpin items like Windows "Store" and from the taskbar by command line.
    BTW - great application!

  60. Prince
    03 Aug 14

    Works for windows 8.1?

  61. Smithg325
    05 Aug 14

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  62. bioheber
    14 Oct 14

    I am very pleased with winto8 under Wind 8.1. I installed Wind 10 on extra partition and installed it there.
    But Winto8 failed to work at all under WIND 10.
    Would be nicee to make it running in the upcoming system.
    Under Win 10 by default you can now pin folders to START but still not single documents or special system relateted Objects.

  63. Rooster
    31 Dec 14

    I've tried EVERYTHING in the do it yourself Inet search-EVERYTHING! Days of aggravation & registry files &&&... FINALLY! BLESSINGS UPONYA!

  64. tent
    21 Apr 15

    does anybody also have problems with duplicate icons? and how to fix?
    (basically if I pin SkypePortable for instance, the icong shows up on the taskbar but as soon as I press it to start Skype I get another icon of Skype which is the running program itself.. it is supposed to be one very same icon instead.....


  65. jestor
    07 May 15

    Don't get the option to pin to taskbar or start menu. It pins it straight to the taskbar. Everytime.......

  66. paddyb28
    26 May 15

    Fraid Im a newbie and not a techie. I downloaded the program but cant find its icon either in the Win 8.1 start tiles or on my Classic Shell desktop. Any help would be gratefully received.

  67. fernman
    18 Aug 15

    It pins folders to the taskbar on 8.1 ok, but I don't seem to be able to change the folder icon, so I have a row of identical ones on my taskbar and I have to remember which is which. The name I have given each folder can be seen by hovering the mouse over it, but it takes too long to appear.

    The following ought to work, but whatever icon I choose it does not change the standard folder icon:
    Right-click on the icon > Right-click on the name of the shortcut that appears on the line above "Unpin this program from the taskbar" > Click on Properties > Click on Change Icon > Copy the location of the 8.1 icons,
    C:\Windows\system32\imageres.dll and paste it into the field where it says "Look for icons in this file":

  68. robertateis
    20 Oct 15

    It doesn't work with french windows 10. After selecting a file, I don't have the where to pin? windows. Unlock the "Pin to Start"...checkbox does nothing, as well.

  69. Sergey
    20 Oct 15

    Pin to 8, formerly known as Start Screen Pinner - the universal pinner software for Windows 8.

    software for Windows 8
    It is not compatible with Windows 10.
    Unlock the "Pin to Start"... is designed for the Start screen in Windows 8.

  70. Pin to 8 fan
    27 Oct 15

    It's a pity it doesn't work under Win10. I have a small hybrid notebook and I'm using SD card to store my programs. Pin to 8 has a superb ability to pin any program from SD card to taskbar which Win10 and any other Windows don't have at all. By default Windows can't let you pin anything to taskbar if you use SD card. Pin to 8 managed it and after upgrade I miss that function a lot.

  71. User1
    05 Nov 15

    Nice tool. Helps bypass M$'s way of ....... things (fill whatever work you like). When you pin a file though and the file is a shortcut, two things happen:

    1. The name of the shortcut in the taskbar is not the same as the name of the original shortcut, instead it's the name of the EXE in the original shortcut's target.
    2. If the shortcut's target is in a network path then parts of the icon's location are replaced by windows with environment variables whenever possible, even if this is not happening in the original shortcut (i.e. %COMPUTERNAME%). This makes the icon invisible when the shortcut is seen from another computer.

    It would be great if in this case (where "pin a file" target is a shortcut), the shortcut was pinned to the taskbar, then renamed to the original filename and then copy the original lnk file to C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar, overwriting the existing one. ATM, if this is done manually, it works like a charm. I dream of this being done automatically...

  72. Dwight Stegall
    06 Aug 16

    Will there be a Windows 10 version?

  73. Sergey
    07 Aug 16

    It is not possible to create this app for Windows 10.

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