Microsoft replaced the Start Menu with the Start Screen in Windows 8, and since then, this new UI element has been in the spotlight. The Start Screen displays everything, such as apps, web URLs, pinned folders and files in the form of tiles. Even though it faced harsh criticism, it seems like people are now learning to embrace it. Every now and then, a new application hits the internet, usually focused on making the Start Screen more user friendly. One such tool is Start Screen Pinner, which allows you to pin Windows special folders, user profile locations, Library folders and numerous other frequently used functions such as Auto Play, Connect to etc., to the Start Screen. Although Windows 8 lets you pin custom app shortcuts to the Start Screen (all you need is to select Pin to Start from an application’s right-click context menu), it doesn’t allow you to pin every type of program, file, folder and Windows special folders to the Start Screen. To do so, you need to tweak the registry to specify the target locations of the items that you wish to pin to the Start Screen. Start Screen Pinner makes this task much simpler.
The interface of the application is laid out keeping Windows 8 Modern UI design in mind. The navigation buttons also look quite similar to the Start Screen tiles. The GUI comprises of Pin a File, Pin a Folder, Pin a Library and Pin Special Item buttons. The Pin a File function enables you to pin different items, like music, video, image or text file etc., while the Pin a Folder comes useful in instances where you perform most of your work from Start Screen and need to pin a frequently used directory. The third feature is Pin a Library, which allows you to adds Documents, Music, Video, Picture or any other custom library folders to the Start Screen.
Clicking Pin Special Item allows you to pin system tools to the Start Screen. This includes Action Center, Administrative Tools, All Control Panel Items, All Tasks, Auto Play, Bluetooth Devices, Computer, Folder Options, Games, HomeGroup, Network, Network Connections and so forth. It’s worth mentioning here that you can pin all these items in one go; just select the items that you want to pin to Start Screen, and hit Pin Items button at the bottom.
All the pinned items appear in squarish layout, which you may easily move around.
Start Screen Pinner is designed to work only on Windows 8. Testing was carried out on Windows 8 64-bit.