How to add a portable app to the start menu

How to

Portable applications do not appear on the Start menu? Follow these steps to add Portable Apps to your Windows Start Menu.

For most Windows users, portable apps are great. One of the great advantages of portable apps is that you don’t have to install them. Once you download a portable application and run the EXE file, you can start using the application without any installation process. Best of all, with a portable application, you get all the benefits of a regular application, including advanced functionality.

Most portable applications work just like installable applications, with one thing missing: they do not appear in the default Start menu. After all, in most cases there is no installation or initial configuration process. If they do not appear in the Start menu, it becomes difficult to search the Start menu to find the application.

To remedy this, most portable applications have one or two options to be added to the Start menu. This way you can search for the application in the Start Menu and attach it to the taskbar or Start Menu.

If your application does not have this option or cannot be found, you can easily add a portable application to the Start Menu. This is fairly easy.

This brief Windows guide explains how to add a portable application to the Start Menu.

Adding Portable Applications to the Start Menu

To add a portable application to the Start Menu, you need to create a shortcut for the application and place it in the Start Menu folder. It is that simple. Here are the specific steps.

  1. Start File Explorer with “Win + I”.
  2. Navigate to the portable application’s folder.
  3. Right-click on the application EXE file.
  4. Select “Create Shortcut”.
  5. Select the shortcut and press “Ctrl+C”.
  6. Press “Win + R” to display the “Run” window.
  7. Insert “%appdata%MicrosoftWindows³Start Menu³Programs” and click “Ok.”
  8. Press “Ctrl + V” to place shortcut in the Start Menu folder.
  9. Close File Explorer.
  10. After a few seconds the application will appear in the “Start” menu.
  11. (Optional) Right-click the application and select “Pin to Start Screen”.
  12. This will pin the portable application to the Start menu.

Detailed instructions:

The first step is to create a shortcut for the portable application. To do this, open File Explorer with the “Win+E” hotkey, navigate to the Portable Applications folder, right-click on the application’s EXE file, and select “Create Shortcut Option”.

Note: Windows 11 users should select the “Show More Options > Create Shortcut” option from the right-click menu. Alternatively, hold down the “Alt” key and drag & drop the EXE file into the same folder to create a shortcut.

You can rename the shortcut if desired.

Once the shortcut is created, select it and press “Ctrl+C” to copy it.

Then press “Win+R” to display the Run dialog box. Paste “%appdata%MicrosoftWindowsStart Menu” and “Programs” into the blank space and press the “OK” button. This will open the Start Menu folder in File Explorer.

In the Start Menu folder, press the “Ctrl + V” hotkey and paste the portable application hotkey you just copied.

Close File Explorer. It will take a few minutes for the system to index your changes.

(Optional) If desired, you can add the portable application to the Start menu. This way, portable applications can be launched from the Start menu without having to search for them. To pin a portable application to the Start menu, search for the application in the Start menu, right-click on the application, and select the “Pin to Start Menu” option.

That’s it. Adding a portable application to the Windows Start menu is very easy.

We hope this simple and easy guide to working with Windows will help you.

If you get stuck or need help, please comment below and we will do our best to help.

YouTube video: How to Add a Portable App to the Start Menu


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