Windows 8: How to Pin Websites to Your Start Screen

Dennis Faas's picture

We recently received this question about pinning items to the Windows 8 desktop:

"Dear Infopackets team,

Last week, when complaining about having to sift through an extensive list of my preferred websites under the "Favorites" tab in Windows 8's Internet Explorer, one of my co-workers suggested that I start pinning these sites to my desktop. I went home to do some more research and stumbled upon a website called "Pinterest." Yes, I can upload my favorite websites, but it looks like everyone will be able to see my list if I decide to go this route.

I really don't want to make this a public thing, even if it might save me time in the long run. Any idea if this was what my co-worker was talking about?


Clara M."

Thanks for the question Clara!

Pinterest is a photo-sharing website that allows users to manage image collections using designated themes, including events, hobbies, etc. Those who use Pinterest can upload, save, and sort their images (known as 'pins') on collections known as 'pinboards.'

Pinboards are themed so that the pins can be discovered by others who browse Each image is attached to a website, so clicking on a desired thumbnail once will expand the image, while clicking on the expanded image a second time will direct you to its online source.

It sounds as if your co-worker was suggesting the pinning feature available in Windows 8.

Pinning in Windows 8 is similar to pinning in Pinterest. However, instead of uploading an image to one of the many themed, public pinboards, you are pinning the websites that you visit most often directly onto your Start screen as its own Windows 8 tile. (Source:

Think of it as an updated version of the classic shortcut feature on previous Windows models.

Pinning Made Simple

Pinning preferred websites to your Start screen is a relatively simple process.

You begin by opening up Internet Explorer from the Start screen and typing in your desired website. Next, click on the pin icon in the lower right-hand corner of the address bar and select "Pin to Start".

Finally, we suggest that you change the description to something shorter, so that you can recognize your pinned site by a name you have chosen (and not its URL). Once again, confirm your changes by clicking "Pin to Start". (Source:

When first using the Windows 8 operating system, many people have been overwhelmed with the pre-populated tiles Microsoft has selected for their Start screen. These people likely do not delete any of them out of fear of removing a tile that might be considered important later on.

The fact of the matter is that some tiles are really not necessary. Taking a few minutes to replace them with pinned websites will save you time by allowing you to access your desired websites a lot quicker.

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