Pinning programs to the taskbar

A reader commented on our article about customizing the Windows 10 Start Menu.

“Can’t you just pin the most used programs to the taskbar? I did that by accident but now I only have to check the start menu when I need something else like solitaire. My most used programs are on the taskbar when I start up.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, pinning (in this context) means placing a shortcut either in the Start Menu or on the taskbar. Pinning your favorite programs to the taskbar is an easy way to get access to them. It’s actually my preferred method.  The one caveat is that you can’t pin “most-used” in the traditional sense where your PC shows you the programs you’ve used most or displays the programs you’ve used recently. It won’t automatically adjust the programs displayed to your actual usage the way Most-Used programs in the Start Menu does.

Here’s the default look of the taskbar on my new PC. Explorer (file explorer) and the Windows Store are pinned.


To add a shortcut for a frequently used program, I can either search for that program and right-click on the result…


… then select Pin to taskbar.


Or you can find the program under All Apps or Most Used.


Right-click and select More.  Then click on Pin to taskbar.


The program will appear on the taskbar and can be launched by clicking on it. Since I don’t use the Windows Store on a daily basis, I decided to unpin it. I can still find and launch it by using All Apps or searching for it. Just right-click and choose Unpin from taskbar.


I went through the Most used list and added several programs.


To arrange the order of the shortcuts, just click on the icon, drag, and release.


If you don’t recognize the icon, hover over it to see the name.

hover to view.jpg

If you have the program open, hovering over it will give you a preview of what’s going on in the program.


I would caution you not to pin too many programs to the taskbar. You don’t want it getting cluttered.


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