How to Add Folder Shortcuts to the Start Menu’s Left Sidebar on Windows 10

Windows 10 Hero Logo - Version 3

The Windows 10 Start menu includes a handy list of shortcuts to common locations (such as Pictures, Downloads, Settings) in a small sidebar. Using the settings, you can customize the shortcuts that appear there. Here’s how to do it.

First, launch “Settings” by opening “Start” and clicking on the “Gear” icon (or pressing Windows + I). This cogwheel icon for settings is an example of one of the shortcuts we’re going to customize.

In Settings, click on “Personalization”.

Under Personalization, select “Start” from the sidebar.

In the startup settings, scroll to the bottom of the window and click “Choose folders that appear on startup”.

On the “Choose which folders appear at startup” page, you’ll see a long list of common folder locations and shortcuts, each with a switch. To bring up any of these items in the Start menu shortcut sidebar, click the “On” button. If you want to hide any of them, set the switch next to them to “Off”.

The next time you open Start, you’ll see the shortcuts you’ve enabled as a vertical list on the far left of the Start menu. For example, here we have enabled all possible shortcuts.

The minimized shortcut sidebar in the Windows 10 Start menu

If you don’t see all of the shortcut icons you’ve enabled, your Start menu is too short. AT resize, click on the top edge of the Start menu and drag it up to make it larger. This will make more room for all the shortcut icons.

RELATED: How to resize your Start menu in Windows 10

Vertically resize Windows 10 Start menu

If you want to see the shortcut icon labels, hover your mouse over the Start menu shortcut sidebar area with your pointer cursor (or click the menu button with three lines at the top of the sidebar) , and the sidebar area will expand.

The shortcut sidebar developed in the Windows 10 Start menu

When you click on any of the shortcuts to special folders (such as “Music”, “Videos” or “Pictures”), you will be taken directly to the appropriate location in Windows File Explorer. Very useful!

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