Windows 10 Tip: Pin Favorite Settings to Start and the Taskbar

Posted on August 3, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Windows 10 Tip: Pin Favorite Settings to Start and the Taskbar

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.

pin-settings

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.)

pin-settings-group

Here, you can see three Settings groups—System, Personalization, and Update & Security—in Start.

settings-groups-pinned

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.

indiv-pins-in-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
Backgrounds: ms-settings:personalization-background
Battery Saver: ms-settings:batterysaver
Bluetooth: ms-settings:bluetooth
Calendar: ms-settings:privacy-calendar
Camera: ms-settings:privacy-webcam
Cellular: ms-settings:network-cellular
Closed Captioning: ms-settings:easeofaccess-closedcaptioning
Colors: ms-settings:personalization-colors
Connected Devices: ms-settings:connecteddevices
Contacts: ms-settings:privacy-contacts
Data Usage: ms-settings:datausage
Date and Time: ms-settings:dateandtime
Dial-Up: ms-settings:network-dialup
DirectAccess: ms-settings:network-directaccess
Display: ms-settings:display
Display: ms-settings:screenrotation
Ethernet: ms-settings:network-ethernet
Family & Other Users: ms-settings:otherusers
Feedback: ms-settings:privacy-feedback
For Developers: ms-settings:developers
High Contrast: ms-settings:easeofaccess-highcontrast
Keyboard: ms-settings:easeofaccess-keyboard
Location: ms-settings:privacy-location
Lock screen: ms-settings:lockscreen
Magnifier: ms-settings:easeofaccess-magnifier
Manage Wi-Fi Settings: ms-settings:network-wifisettings
Messaging: ms-settings:privacy-messaging
Microphone: ms-settings:privacy-microphone
Mobile Hotspot: ms-settings:network-mobilehotspot
Motion: ms-settings:privacy-motion
Mouse & Touchpad: ms-settings:mousetouchpad
Mouse: ms-settings:easeofaccess-mouse
Narrator: ms-settings:easeofaccess-narrator
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
Personalization: ms-settings:personalization
Power & Sleep: ms-settings:powersleep
Privacy: ms-settings:privacy
Proximity: ms-settings:proximity
Proxy: ms-settings:network-proxy
Radios: ms-settings:privacy-radios
Region & Language: ms-settings:regionlanguage
Sign-In Options: ms-settings:signinoptions
Speech, Inking, & Typing: ms-settings:privacy-speechtyping
Speech: ms-settings:speech
Start: ms-settings:personalization-start
Storage Sense: ms-settings:storagesense
Tablet Mode: ms-settings:tabletmode
Themes: ms-settings:themes
Typing: ms-settings:typing
VPN: ms-settings:network-vpn
Wi-Fi: ms-settings:network-wifi
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.

create-shortcut

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:

ms-settings:personalization

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.

blank-shortcut

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.)

change-icon

Much better. But hopefully, Microsoft expands the Settings pinning abilities to the taskbar in the future.