In Windows 10, Microsoft lets you pin Settings, Settings groups, and even individual settings to Start. But you can also create a shortcut to Settings on the taskbar and, with a little know-how, create shortcuts for individual settings on the desktop too. Here’s how.
Pin settings to Start
Windows 10 natively supports the ability to pin Settings, Settings groups, individual settings to Start. To pin Settings to Start, just right-click (or, with a touch screen, tap and hold on) it and then select Pin to Start from the pop-up menu that appears.
To pin a Settings group to Start, open Settings (WINKEY + I) and then right-click (or, with a touch screen, tap and hold on) the Settings group and choose Pin to Start from the pop-up menu that appears. (It’s the only choice.)
Here, you can see three Settings groups—System, Personalization, and Update & Security—in Start.
If you navigate into any Settings group in Settings, you can likewise pin any individual setting to Start. Just right-click (or, with a touch screen, tap and hold on) it in the list and, again, choose Pin to Start.
Here, you can see three individual settings—Display, Battery Saver, and Default Apps—pinned to Start.
Place shortcuts to settings on the taskbar
The taskbar is a bit trickier. You can create a shortcut to Settings itself to the taskbar easily enough, and it works exactly as does pinning Settings to Start: just right-click (or, with a touch screen, tap and hold on) it and then select Pin to Taskbar from the pop-up menu that appears.
Place shortcuts to settings on the desktop
If you open Settings (WINKEY + I), however, you’ll notice that you cannot pin Settings groups or individual settings to the taskbar as you can with Start. This is a curious omission, but enterprising tech enthusiasts have discovered the internal identifiers for some Settings groups many individual settings, and you can use this information to create shortcuts to them the desktop.
Here are the known settings identifiers:
Account Info: ms-settings:privacy-accountinfo
Airplane Mode: ms-settings:network-airplanemode
Battery Saver: ms-settings:batterysaver
Closed Captioning: ms-settings:easeofaccess-closedcaptioning
Connected Devices: ms-settings:connecteddevices
Data Usage: ms-settings:datausage
Date and Time: ms-settings:dateandtime
Family & Other Users: ms-settings:otherusers
For Developers: ms-settings:developers
High Contrast: ms-settings:easeofaccess-highcontrast
Lock screen: ms-settings:lockscreen
Manage Wi-Fi Settings: ms-settings:network-wifisettings
Mobile Hotspot: ms-settings:network-mobilehotspot
Mouse & Touchpad: ms-settings:mousetouchpad
Notifications & Actions: ms-settings:notifications
Offline maps: ms-settings:maps
Optional Features: ms-settings:optionalfeatures
Other Devices: ms-settings:privacy-customdevices
Other options (Ease of Access): ms-settings:easeofaccess-otheroptions
Power & Sleep: ms-settings:powersleep
Region & Language: ms-settings:regionlanguage
Sign-In Options: ms-settings:signinoptions
Speech, Inking, & Typing: ms-settings:privacy-speechtyping
Storage Sense: ms-settings:storagesense
Tablet Mode: ms-settings:tabletmode
Windows Update: ms-settings:windowsupdate
Work Access: ms-settings:workplace
With this information, you can create a shortcut to an individual setting like so:
Right-click on the desktop and chose New and then Shortcut from the pop-up menu that appears. This triggers the Create Shortcut wizard.
In the location text box, paste the identifier for the shortcut you wish to use. For example, if you would like a shortcut to Personalization, use the following:
When you tap Next, you are prompted to name the shortcut. Use something logical (Personalization in this case), and then tap Finish. A blank shortcut is created.
It’s plain-looking, but it works. If you would prefer something a little more customized, you can of course change the icon image to something a bit more interesting. To do so, right-click on the shortcut, choose Properties from the pop-up menu that appears, and then click Change Icon in the resulting window. In the Change Icon window, select an icon for your shortcut. (The new Settings icon is at the far right.)
Much better. But hopefully, Microsoft expands the Settings pinning abilities to the taskbar in the future.