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Windows 8 Tip #4 – Pin Any File to Start Screen

StartScreenI was working with a buddy of mine the other night and he mentioned his article on pinning files to the Windows 8 start screen.  So, today, I wanted to pin a file and did a search to see if I could find his article to solve this problem.  I found his article, but I also ran across other articles which described how to enable pinning of any file to the start screen, so I thought I would share it with you as well.

History

Before we get started, I will give you a little bit of history for those who don’t understand what I am talking about.  In Windows 8, you can pin a file from your File Explorer by simply right clicking on a file and selecting Pin To Start.

PinToStartOK

You will see the following on your Start Screen:

PinnedItem

Pretty easy huh?  Well, not so fast.  If you right click on a document such as a PDF, you don’t get the Pin to Start option!

PinToStartNo

Crazy huh?  Well, guess what?  Someone smarter than me came up with a registry hack that will allow us to pin any file type to the Start Screen.

The Hack

So, here we go…bring up your favorite editor of choice (mine is Notepad++) and type the following into it:

PinAnyFileHack

Now, let’s save the file to your desktop.  But before you do this, make sure that you save it as a binary file.  The simplest way to do this is make sure that you set the file type to *.* and name your file, PinAnyFileToStartHack.reg.

SaveAs

Now, double click on the shortcut, PinAnyFileToStartHack.reg on you desktop.

DesktopReg

You should get a prompt like the following, select Yes:

PromptForReg

Now, you should see the following, select OK:

Accept

If you go back to File Explorer, right click on a file, you will now get the Pin to start option.  See below:

PDFPinToStart

Select Pin to Start, and Bang, you should see it on your Start Screen.

PDFPinned

Nice right?  Well, what if you change your mind?  How do I remove this awesome new hack?  Well, that is pretty simple actually.  Hit Win+R on your keyboard and type in regedit.

RunRegedit

Select OK and this will load the Registry Editor.  Now navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/*/shell.  You should see the pintostartscreen key we created with the registry script.

DeleteRegistryKey

Delete pintostartscreen and that will remove the hack.  Close the Registry Editor.  Done.

I hope this post helps you out!  Enjoy!

 
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