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Your Start Menu is a portal. If you use it to access the same applications every day, you probably pinned them to your Start Menu for easy access. Now you can do even more with pinning.
Windows 10 supports a featured called deep linking. Deep linking works with Windows Store apps and allows users to pin certain features to their Start Menu. In this article you’ll learn which apps support deep linking and how you can make the most of this feature to re-invent your Start Menu experience.
With deep linking, you can transform your Start Menu into many things.
1. Record Collection
Have an album you can’t stop listening to? Pin it to your Start Menu! Groove Music, Microsoft’s music player of choice, now allows users to pin songs and playlists to your Start Menu.
To pin an album to your Start Menu, right-click on the album and select Pin to Start. Same goes for attaching playlists to your Start Menu. If you subscribe to Groove Music Pass ($9.99/month), you can even attach radio stations dedicated to particular genres, artists, or individual songs into your Start Menu.
It’s like a virtual record collection smack dab on your Start Menu.
2. Mail Hub
One of the best Windows Store applications, in my opinion, is the Mail & Calender app. Not only does it provide timely email notifications, it also projects them into my action bar for easy perusing. Now, you can pin individual email accounts to your Start Menu.
To pin an email account to your Start Menu, click on the menu button to open your email list. Right-click on an account and select Pin to Start.
The live tiles will activate whenever you receive an email. If you deal with multiple, active emails, this is a perfect addition to your Start Menu.
3. GPS Navigator
Microsoft has made serious strides in attempting to tie mobile app marketplaces with desktops and laptops. Now users can access features on their desktop, which are normally reserved for mobile purposes. GPS navigation through Microsoft’s Windows Maps app is one of them.
Better yet, you can save a particular location, or directions to that location, directly onto your Start Menu. Search for your intended location in the Maps app. A window will pop up with the address information, phone number, and any other vital information. In this window, click the Pin button. You will have the choice of pinning the individual place or the directions to that location.
If you select Pin directions to Start, clicking on the following tile will send you directions to your destination from any location. If you’re worried about internet connectivity, the Maps app also allows users to download offline apps so you can use your Maps Start Menu tile anywhere you go!
4. Stock Ticker
For the more financially inclined, Microsoft’s financial app MSN Money is an excellent resource for stock news and figures.
As is the case with all of these other official apps, you can also pin particular stocks to your Start Menu. Simply click the Pin on any particular stock.
5. Game Launcher
Steam Tiles not only adds games to your Start Menu, you can also provide beautiful game banners for your Steam games. This includes games downloaded onto your computer, and games that have yet to be downloaded.
The only requirement is a Steam community ID. You can check your Steam ID by opening Steam, mouse over your account name, Profile, and Edit Profile. You should see an entry labeled Custom URL. Copy this entry and paste it into Steam Tiles. Now, you are able to attach as many or as few steam tiles to your Start Menu as you desire.
Here is a comparison between using pinning game executable into your Start Menu (above) and using Steam Tiles (below).
6. Sports Center
MSN Sports, Microsoft’s trusted windows store sports application, is an excellent and well laid-out program for sports news and game scores. Additionally, as you would have guessed, Sports has been updated with the pinning ability.
To pin things like scores or news of a particular sport, select an icon on the left-hand side of the window. From this window, you should be able to toggle the Pin feature. Almost instantly, your sports scores and news should now be a few clicks away.
If you want to follow teams, rather than entire sports, simply search for the team of your choice and pin it to the Start Menu.
Both features combined, you’re now able to keep up with both sports and sports teams from your Start Menu.
The Start of a Beautiful Friendship
The Windows Start Menu has been around since I can remember, and it’s inspiring to see that Microsoft has yet to stop innovating their classic menu. The ability to pin useful applications is just the beginning of what you can do with your Start Menu.
Don’t limit yourself to a shallow Start Menu. Get creative with pinning apps and customize your tiles!
What other features would you like to see from the Windows Start Menu? Let us know in the comments below!