How to Put Shortcut Icons on the Home Page in Windows 8

By Joshua Phillips

You can pin any program to the Windows 8 or 8.1 Start screen.
i Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Windows 8 and 8.1 introduced one of the biggest changes to the Windows operating system in years: the Start screen. Designed to serve as a replacement for the Desktop view, the Start screen uses tiles to represent shortcut icons. Clicking or tapping one of these icons opens its respective program, similar to double-clicking the icon from the desktop. Pinning a program to your Start screen is the Windows 8 method for creating a shortcut; when you pin a program, a shortcut appears on your Start screen as a new tile.

Press the "Windows" key to return to the Start screen from your currently open program or application.

Use the Search charm to locate the program or application you want to pin to the Start screen. Access the Search charm by placing your mouse in the upper or lower right corner, or swiping from the right edge of the screen if using a touch-screen, and then selecting the "Search" icon.

Right-click or tap and hold on the program you want to pin to the Start screen.

Select "Pin to Start" to pin the program or application to your Start screen. The program appears on your Start screen on the far right side.

Move an application on the Start screen by clicking, or holding your finger, on the app you want to move. Drag the application to its new location on the Start screen, and then release your mouse or finger to place the application in its new spot.


Remove an application or program from the Start screen by right-clicking it, or tapping and holding if using a touch-screen, and then selecting "Unpin from Start."