Can’t pin apps to Start in Windows 10 [COMPLETE GUIDE]

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Home » Windows » Can’t pin apps to Start in Windows 10 [COMPLETE GUIDE]

Windows 10 is a user-friendly OS, allowing you to pin to the Start page all the apps you use on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, sometimes when users try to pin certain items to Start, they encounter various errors: nothing happens, some of the icon apps are missing, or the apps appear only after reboot.

What can I do if apps won’t pin to Start Menu?

If you can’t pin apps to Start Menu, that can be an annoying problem for some users. Speaking of pinning apps, these are some of the most common problems that users reported:

  • Can’t pin to Start Menu windows 7 – This problem can occur on all versions of Windows, and even if you’re not using Windows 10, you should be able to apply most of our solutions to your version of Windows.
  • Pin to Start Menu not working Windows 10 – Many users reported that this feature isn’t working for them. If that’s the case, try disabling or removing your antivirus and check if that solves the problem.
  • Pin apps Start Menu disappeared, doesn’t work, doesn’t appear, not working – Several users reported that this feature doesn’t appear on their PC at all. If you’re having this problem, you might be able to fix the issue by changing your group policy.

Here’s how users describe the problem:

just installed Win10. And already facing very small and annoying problem which i wonder how MS could overlook.

If I try to “pin to start” any shortcut or application/.exe just nothing will happen, start menu is not reacting on this action. Same with “unpin from start”.

Before performing any troubleshooting actions, first make sure:

Solution 1 – Check your antivirus

According to users, if you can’t pin tiles to Start Menu, the problem might be your antivirus. Your antivirus can sometimes interfere with Windows 10 and that can cause certain features to stop working.

However, you easily fix that simply by checking your antivirus settings.


You want to check if your firewall is blocking some features? Follow the simple steps from this guide to find out.


Sometimes certain settings can interfere with Windows, and in order to fix the problem, you need to find and disable this setting. If you can’t find the setting that is responsible for this error, you might have to disable your antivirus entirely in order to fix the problem.

In some cases, you might even have to uninstall your antivirus. Users reported problems with Kaspersky Antivirus, however, they managed to fix the issue simply by removing it.

For the Norton users, we’ve got a dedicated guide on how to completely remove it from your PC. There’s a similar guide for McAffe users, as well.

If you’re using any antivirus solution and you want to completely remove it from your PC, be sure to check out this amazing list with the best uninstaller software you can use right now.

If you decide to remove your antivirus, you might have to consider switching to a different antivirus solution.

There are many great antivirus tools on the market, but the best are Bitdefender, BullGuard and Panda Antivirus, so feel free to try any of them.


Looking to change your antivirus with a better one? Here’s a list with our top picks.


Solution 2 – Use Group Policy Editor

Sometimes you won’t be able to pin app to Start Menu due to your policies. However, you can always change your policies by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter gpedit.msc. Now press Enter or click OK.
    Pin apps Start Menu doesn't work
  2. In the left pane, choose User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar. In the right pane, double click on Prevent users from customizing their Start Screen.
    Can't pin to Start Menu windows 7
  3. Select Not Configured and click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    Pin to Start Menu not working Windows 10

After changing these settings, your problem should be resolved.

Learn how to edit the Group Policy like an expert with the help of this useful guide.


You don’t have the Group Policy Editor on your Windows PC? Get it now with just a couple of steps.


Solution 3 – Run Windows PowerShell

If you can’t pin apps to Start Menu, you might be able to fix the problem by re-registering Start Menu. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter powershell. Right click PowerShell from the list of results and choose Run as administrator.
    Pin apps Start Menu doesn't appear
  2. Paste this command in the Windows PowerShell window: Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml”}
    Can't pin to Start Menu windows 7
  3. Wait for PowerShell to execute and complete the command. Ignore the errors that may appear.
  4. Restart your computer.

Windows PowerShell doesn’t work? Don’t let that ruin your day and solve the issue easily by reading this article.


Solution 4 – Run the System File Checker

If you can’t pin apps to Start Menu in Windows 10, the issue might be file corruption. There are various reasons for file corruption, but in order to fix the problem, it’s recommended to repair your files using the SFC scan.

This is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu. You can also use PowerShell (Admin).
    Pin apps Start Menu disappeared
  2. Type sfc /scannow > hit Enter. Wait for the scan to finish.
    Can't pin to Start Menu windows 7
  3. Try to pin the items to the Start page.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look on this guide.


scannow command has stopped before the process finished? Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy fix for you.


Solution 5 – Simply drag and drop the apps to the Start Page

I found a temporary solution:

Drag and drop the application from all apps menu to start menu

That works for me, just right-clicking and choosing “Pin to Start” doesn’t work


Drag and drop is a simple action, but if it doesn’t work, you can fix it with the help of this step-by-step guide. 


Solution 6 – Restart Explorer within the Task Manager

Sometimes this issue can be caused by a temporary glitch. However, users found a quick and easy way to fix this problem. According to them, you just have to restart the Explorer process and the issue should be resolved. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager.
  2. Type Task Manager > stay on the Processes tab.
  3. Go to Windows Explorer (at the end of the list). Click the Restart button (bottom right of the task manager window).
    Pin to Start Menu not working Windows 10

Can’t open Task Manager? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.


Solution 7 – Use Regedit to change the Start page layout

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run > Type regedit.
    Pin apps Start Menu not working
  2. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows > Explorer (for some users Explorer may not be listed)
  3. Change LockedStartLayout from 1 to 0.
  4. Restart your computer.

If you can’t edit your registry, follow the steps in this dedicated guide an learn how you can do it like a pro.


Can’t access the Registry Editor? Things aren’t as scary as they seem. Check out this guide and solve the issue quickly.


Solution 8 – Create a new user account

If you can’t pin tiles to Start Menu, the issue might be your user account. Sometimes your account can get corrupted, and in order to fix it, you need to create a new account by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Now go to the Accounts section.
    Pin apps Start Menu doesn't work
  3. From the menu on the left choose Family & other people. In the right pane select Add someone else to this PC.
    Can't pin to Start Menu windows 7
  4. Select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    Can't pin to Start Menu windows 7
  5. Now choose Add a user without a Microsoft account.
    Pin to Start Menu not working Windows 10
  6. Enter the desired user name and click on Next.
    Pin to Start Menu not working Windows 10

After doing that, switch to the newly created account and check if the issue is still present. If not, it means that your old account is corrupted, so you’ll have to move your personal files to a new account and use it as your main one.

If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.


Windows won’t let you add a new user account? Follow some easy steps and create or add how many accounts you want!


Solution 9 – Turn off PowerShell

PowerShell is a powerful command line tool, and a core component of Windows 10. However, few users reported that they can’t pin tiles to Start Menu due to PowerShell.

It’s quite unusual to see that PowerShell is interfering with Start Menu, but you can fix this problem simply by disabling PowerShell. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter windows features. Now select Turn Windows features on or off.
    Can't pin to Start Menu windows 7
  2. Windows Features window will now appear. Uncheck Windows PowerShell 2.0 and click on OK to save changes.
    Pin to Start Menu not working Windows 10
  3. Restart your PC to apply changes.

Once your PC restarts, the issue with Start Menu should be resolved and you should be able to pin apps without any problems.


Solution 10 – Delete the TileDataLayer directory

According to users, sometimes TileDataLayer can cause this issue to appear. In order to fix the issue, it’s advised to delete this directory and check if that solves the problem. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Press Enter or click OK.
    Can't pin to Start Menu windows 7
  2. When Services window opens, locate Tile Data model server, right click it and choose Stop.
    Pin to Start Menu not working Windows 10
  3. Now go to C:\Users\Your_username\AppData\Local directory and locate TileDataLayer directory. Now create a copy of this directory and save it on your Desktop, just in case.
    Pin apps Start Menu disappeared
  4. Delete the TileDataLayer directory and restart your PC.

Once your PC restarts, check if the problem still appears. By deleting this directory you’ll force Windows to recreate your tiles, and the issue should be resolved.


Solution 11 – Copy the applications to the Programs directory

According to users, you might be able to circumvent this issue by copying your shortcuts to the Programs directory.

In case you’re not familiar, this directory holds all your Start Menu applications, and if you want to add items to Start Menu, you just need to move them to this directory. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that you’re logged in with administrator account.
  2. Locate the shortcut that you want to add to Start Menu, right click it and choose Copy.
  3. Now go to C:\Program\Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs directory and paste your shortcut there.
    Pin to Start Menu not working Windows 10
  4. Now open your Start Menu and you should see the new shortcut in Recently Added section. Simply right click the shortcut and choose Pin to Start and that’s it.

Epic guide alert! No more File Explorer issues for you. Fix them all with the help of this extensive guide!


Some users are also suggesting to copy the shortcut to C:\Users\Your_username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs directory, so you might want to try that as well.

Which workaround worked for you? Tell us in the comment section below. Also, leave there any other questions you may have.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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