Start Menu Documentation

Copper Contributor

I'd love to see some offical documentation on some of processes going on behind the Windows 10 Start menu. Some of it isnt very intuitive and I've never seen it written down. For exmaple:

  • If a shotcut exists in multiple subfolders within C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu, what determines where it appears on the start menu?
  • How does the Internet Explorer shortcut find it's way into "Windows Accessories"? It's not in the ProgramData location nor the default profile.

There are also a couple other things about the start menu that feel a little janky, such as if you disable Shutdown / Reastart options via group policy, the power icon is still there in the bottom left, and clicking on it will open an empty menu box. A number of our less computer literate users have found finding the "sign out" button confusing.

7 Replies

Thanks for the feedback. I will pass this on to the docs team. 

Hey Jack,


For your examples - any particular reason you're looking for that information. Usually we try to focus on broad scenarios in our documentation.

As for the 2nd part, I would suggest submitting it as feedback in the Feedback Hub app.

A specific case where more information on those would be useful is that we currently have some internal web applications that require Internet Explorer for various reasons so we do need direct users to it at times. The search functionality works great but many users are not used to using it and cannot find IE.

Usually, people use start layout customization to pin the right shortcuts to the taskbar or to start (assuming we're talking about Windows 10).

Alternativelly, you can probably expose these shortcuts to desktop and use GPP to distribute shortcuts to relevant users.

Will the above work in your case? (We have documentation for that)

Those options all work, but it's nice to be able to give users multiple options. It's a shame that something that used to be simple has now become arcane and appears to no longer be a viable customization option.

What have they used previously that works for them?

Btw, you can pin websites to taskbar with Edge - if your websites support it

On Windows 7 we've arranged shortcuts and folders in the start menu. We've got 300+ applications so pinned items or desktop shortcuts aren't great options. It's not impossible to achieve this now either, the issue is just that there are a number of unwritten rules on how things are displayed so it's a lot of trial and error.