Vista Tip: Pin Your Programs

The Windows Vista START menu is a bit of a mixed bag compared to the one found in Windows XP. I’ve found its behavior to be erratic at times yet more powerful and useful once I’ve spent time to tame it.

Here’s one of my favorite and easiest tips I use all the time. Have you ever installed a program only to find it hiding in the long list install programs? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could easily move that program to the first level START menu?

Sure, you can drag shortcuts back and forth but here’s an easier way. I recently installed Photoshop. I’d like to add it to the START menu.

  1. Click on the Windows icon and then All Programs.
  2. Find the program you want to bring forward. (Photoshop in my case)
  3. Right click on it and select “Pin to Start Menu”.

Here’s how my Start Menu looked before, during and after with Photoshop added.

screen_2008-11-09 16.47.25 pin screen_2008-11-09 16.51.25

I reserve the first level START menu for programs I use every day. Sure, I could added these to the Quick Launch area but it starts to look crowded. Plus, having these program on the Start menu allows me to use the Window and arrow keys to launch them without having to lift my hands from the keyboard.

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