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How To Add Folders to Windows 11 Start Menu

In Windows 11, there are primarily two methods for adding folders inside the Start Menu. These methods are:

  1. Adding folders next to the power icon using Windows 11 System Settings.
  2. Adding any folder of choice from the File Explorer by pinning it to the start menu.

The first technique is a bit limited in scope as only a handful of folders are eligible to appear next to the power button living inside the start menu. However, given the location, that makes sense.

On the other hand, the second approach gives complete freedom to insert any preferred folder. In this post, both methodologies are covered.

Method 1: Adding Folders Next to Windows 11’s Power Button Located Inside Start

How To Add Folders Next to Windows 11 Power Button
This image shows three adjoined folders to the power button.

Step 1: Navigate to Settings > Personalization > Start

The option to insert folders besides the power button is located inside the “Start” settings. So naturally, as your first step, you would need to head over to that section.

To get there, open your system settings. Then, under Personalization from the left panel, select Start. (See image screenshot below for reference).

navigating to start settings in Windows 11
As shown, go to “Start” settings as your first step towards adding folders next to the power button.

Step 2: Inside the “Start” Settings, Select the Sub-Option of Folders

When you are inside the “Start” settings, typically, you’d see the following additional choices to tinker with:

  • Show recently added apps
  • Show most used apps
  • Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer
  • Folders
  • Help with Start

As bolded above, and represented in the image below, click on Folders.

start setting choices in Windows 11
The five sub-options inside the main “Start” settings in Windows 11.

Step 3: Use the Toggle Switch To Decide Which Folders You Want To Add Next to the Power Button

As your last step with this approach, you have to decide which folders you want to add next to the power button residing within the start menu. You can execute so by leveraging the toggle switch and turning it on for every folder of your choosing.

Excluding the settings option, eight folders can be added abutting the power button. These are:

  1. File Explorer
  2. Documents
  3. Downloads
  4. Music
  5. Pictures
  6. Videos
  7. Network
  8. Personal Folder
list of folders that can be added next to the power button inside start
List of folders that can be added next to the power button inside Windows 11 Start.

Once you’ve determined which folders you want to add, they will appear on the left side of the power button icon — that’s nested inside Windows 11 Start.

Method 2: Adding Folders to Windows Start by Pinning Them

In this method, all you have to do is go to any folder of your choosing while browsing your Windows device inside its File Explorer.

Then, to add that specific folder to Windows 11’s Start, right-click on it, and select “Pin to Start.” (Take a look at the image screenshot below for visual context).

adding folders to Windows 11 start by pinning them
Adding folders to Windows 11 start by pinning them.

After you “pin a folder to start,” they will propagate inside the “Pinned” section every time you pop-open the Start Menu.

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Being Able To Add Folders to the Start Menu Is a Great Combination of Convenience and Functionality

Windows Operating Systems have a name for offering convenience and functionality into every new iteration of their OS versions, features, and releases.

By being able to smartly and thoughtfully add folders inside its start menu — in this instance, Windows 11’s start menu, one can only say that Microsoft stays true to its reputation about focusing on users and intelligent OS design and capabilities.