Move favorite apps to the top of Start Menu in Windows 10

As you may already know, Windows 10 Anniversary Update features a reimagined Start menu with recently added apps, most used apps and other installed apps combined in a single list with group headers. If the apps you use the most do not show up in the most used list and are not pinned to the right side either, it might be annoying to scroll down every time to open them or search for them. Here is a trick to move them to the top so you have to scroll less.


This trick is possible because of how Windows 10 sorts the apps in the Start menu. Apps are sorted alphabetically. This means if you rename your shortcuts keeping this in mind, you can adjust their position in the list.

For fast access, Windows 10 allows the user to pin apps to the right side of the Start menu. But after they are pinned, the app icons turn into a tile, which takes a lot of space on the screen and increases clutter as well. If you make the tiles smaller, the names disappear.

Adjusting the left column list is a more elegant solution. However, Windows 10 does not provide any option to drag and sort this list. Here is how you can bypass this limitation.

First of all, you need to open the Start menu folder. This can be done quickly as follows:

  1. Press Win + R shortcut keys on the keyboard to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type the following into the Run box to open the per-user Start menu folder:
    shell:Start menu

    Windows 10 shell Start menu
    Press Enter to open it:
    Windows 10 Start menu folder per user

  3. Now type the following into the Run text box:
    shell:Common Start menu

    Windows 10 shell Common Start menu
    This will open the Start menu folder common for all users on your PC.
    Windows 10 Start menu folder common

Shell: commands are a useful way to access any desired system location. See the full list of shell commands available in Windows 10.

Now, do the following.

  1. Right-click on the shortcut name which you want to move and select Rename from the context menu. Alternatively, you can just select it and press F2 on the keyboard:
    Windows 10 Start menu folder rename shortcut
  2. Move the blinking cursor to the beginning of the shortcut name. You can press the Home key to do this quickly.Windows 10 Start menu rename shortcut move cursor
  3. Press and hold the Alt key on the keyboard, and press the following keys one after the other on the numeric pad: 0160. If your keyboard does not have a numeric keypad, then it will have to way to type these using the Fn key (i.e. Alt+Fn and 0160). This will add a space to the beginning of the shortcut's name which Explorer does not remove automatically.
    Windows 10 Start menu rename shortcut add space
    Press Enter to finish. Confirm the UAC prompt if it appears.Windows 10 Start menu rename shortcut add space UAC
  4. Repeat the steps above for every shortcut you want to move to the top of the Windows 10 Start Menu app list.

For example, I made this change for Firefox and Winaero Tweaker.
Windows 10 Start menu renamed shortcuts
The result is as follows:
Windows 10 Start menu shortcuts moved
You can create shortcuts for apps which are not present in the Start menu (for example, for some portable app). Rename it this way to place at the very top of the app list. (Thanks Martin)

Additionally, you can disable Recently added, Most used sections and Suggested apps in the Start menu. It will make the Start menu display your renamed shortcuts right at the top edge, so you will not need to scroll the app list.

Windows 10 Start menu disable recent most used suggestedThe result will be as follows:

Windows 10 Start menu move apps to top

Watch the following video to see it in action:

Tip: you can subscribe to our YouTube channel HERE.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

5 thoughts on “Move favorite apps to the top of Start Menu in Windows 10”

  1. Is it possible to disable this list to appear automatically, and get only system items like Downloads, settings, power ( not only small icons ) ?

  2. Sergey? do you know how to make notification center icon appear to the left of clock and lang indicator, as it was on 1511 build. Now it is in the corner((

      1. Вы вроде по русски понимаете.

        Хотел спросить про пару интересующих моментов:

        1). Как настроить так, чтобы новые окна проводника появлялись справа от закрепленных иконок в панели задач, а не слева, как они появляются после обновления. Окна обычных приложений появляются справа как и положено. А то в итоге окна проводника сдвигают закрепленные иконки аж до середины панели задач.

        Для того, чтобы лучше было понятно, прилагаю скриншот.

        2). Иконка Defender’а, у меня раньше не отображалась в панели задач при включенной опции “всегда отображать все значки в области уведомлений”, а теперь при включенной опции висит там постоянно. Не знаете как убрать, кроме отключения опции?

        3). При обновлении с 1511 до Anniversary, что происходит с драйверами?
        У меня после обновления версии остались вроде как те же, но в логе написано, что драйвера были установлены в день апдейта системы, судя по дате.

        Спасибо за ответы.

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