How to customize pinned Start Menu icon?

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  1. AndreyT's Avatar
    Posts : 408
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    How to customize pinned Start Menu icon?


    I have a shortcut on the left-hand side of Start Menu that opens my Gmail in a Chrome window. This shortcut is actually a shortcut to chrome.exe with a bunch of command-line arguments that make it open my Gmail page right away. The shortcut has a custom "red enevelope" icon. It is displayed in the left-hand side of Start Menu with that icon.

    Now, I want to pin that icon to the "tile" side (right-hand side) of Start Menu. However, when I do that it immediatly appears as a tile with the regular Chrome icon. But I don't want it to use the regular Chrome icon. I want to see it there with that "red enevelope" icon - the same it uses on on the left-hand side of Start Menu.

    How can I achieve that?
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  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,610
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #2

    AndreyT said:
    The shortcut has a custom "red enevelope" icon. It is displayed in the left-hand side of Start Menu with that icon... I want to pin that icon to the "tile" side (right-hand side) of Start Menu. However, when I do that it immediatly appears as a tile with the regular Chrome icon.
    When you pin that shortcut to the 'tiles' side of Start you are actually creating a second copy of the shortcut. It is this copy that you need to customise. To find it, right-click on the tile. Select 'More > Open file location'. This opens File Explorer with the shortcut already selected. This is the one you should set a custom icon for, which will then appear on the Tile.
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  3. AndreyT's Avatar
    Posts : 408
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Bree said:
    When you pin that shortcut to the 'tiles' side of Start you are actually creating a second copy of the shortcut. It is this copy that you need to customise. To find it, right-click on the tile. Select 'More > Open file location'. This opens File Explorer with the shortcut already selected. This is the one you should set a custom icon for, which will then appear on the Tile.
    No, it doesn't seem to be the case. When I do 'More > Open file location' on the pinned Gmail tile, it opens exactly the same location as the one that's opened when I do 'More > Open file location' on the original Gmail icon in the menu.

    And, of course, the shortcut in that location shows the proper icon. But the pinned tile does not want to show that icon.

    So, it appears that it does not really create a second copy of the shortcut.
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  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,610
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #4

    Hmmm, I tried it with a tile for a pinned portable app, and it worked for that.

    How did you make the Gmail shortcut on the left side in the first place? What file location do you get when you 'open file location?'
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  5. AndreyT's Avatar
    Posts : 408
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Bree said:
    How did you make the Gmail shortcut on the left side in the first place? What file location do you get when you 'open file location?'
    I made it using Chrome 'More Tools > Add to desktop' command. This creates a folder under 'Start Menu\Programs' named 'Chrome Apps'. The full path is (in my case)

    C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Chrome Apps

    Chrome places the shortcuts into that folder. They are ordinary Windows shortcuts that lead to 'chrome.exe' with some extra command-line parameters.

    When I pin this menu entry as a tile, the tile leads to the same location shown above.
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  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,610
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #6

    AndreyT said:
    C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Chrome Apps

    Chrome places the shortcuts into that folder. They are ordinary Windows shortcuts that lead to 'chrome.exe' with some extra command-line parameters.
    OK, I have a comparable shortcut I added to Windows Accessories to start IE with no add-ons. It is in:
    C:\Users\<my name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories
    and is an ordinary shortcut to iexplore.exe with some parameters:
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -extoff

    It originally showed the default IE icon on the list of All apps on the left Start menu. I pinned it to Start and it showed the same IE icon. I then did 'More > Open file location' and gave it a different icon. As you can see, both the All apps menu and the Tile show the custom icon now.

    How to customize pinned Start Menu icon?-start-tile-custom-icon.png

    This was done with version 1607, what version does Winver say you have? It may be that this doesn't work on earlier versions, the Start menu had a lot of changes from that of 1511.

    I suggest you try changing the icon to something else, then back to your preferred icon after you have pinned it to Start. This may kick Windows into showing the correct icon on the Tile.
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  7. Edwin's Avatar
    Posts : 17,715
    Windows 10
       #7

    Chrome has it's own exclusive 'Visual Elements' that are used for any shortcut that invokes the Chrome.exe, that is why Google Chrome's tile never matches your accent color.
    You would need to change the visual elements in the highlighted location, as I have done, but you can't make a different one for every shortcut.

    How to customize pinned Start Menu icon?-000310.png
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  8. AndreyT's Avatar
    Posts : 408
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Bree said:
    OK, I have a comparable shortcut I added to Windows Accessories to start IE with no add-ons.
    ...It originally showed the default IE icon on the list of All apps on the left Start menu. I pinned it to Start and it showed the same IE icon. I then did 'More > Open file location' and gave it a different icon. As you can see, both the All apps menu and the Tile show the custom icon now.
    The fact that the same icon is shown in both places indicates that in your case no separate copy of that icon was created either.
    This was done with version 1607, what version does Winver say you have? It may be that this doesn't work on earlier versions, the Start menu had a lot of changes from that of 1511.
    I have the latest version of Windows 10 Pro x64: version 1607 Build 14393.693. The behavior I'm observing is apparently specific to Chrome, which is why your experiments with IE show a different result.
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  9. AndreyT's Avatar
    Posts : 408
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Edwin said:
    Chrome has it's own exclusive 'Visual Elements' that are used for any shortcut that invokes the Chrome.exe, that is why Google Chrome's tile never matches your accent color.
    I see.

    In order to achieve what I want I can probably try to work around this limitation by obfuscating the fact that the shortcut leads to 'chrome.exe'.

    I created a small .bat file:

    Code:
    @echo off
    start "" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" %*
    and created another shortcut to that .bat file in the same area with the same set of command-line arguments as the original Gmail shortcut.

    It works. And now I can customize the icon in any way I want.
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  10. Edwin's Avatar
    Posts : 17,715
    Windows 10
       #10

    AndreyT said:
    I see.

    In order to achieve what I want I can probably try to work around this limitation by obfuscating the fact that the shortcut leads to 'chrome.exe'.

    I created a small .bat file:

    Code:
    @echo off
    start "" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" %*
    and created another shortcut to that .bat file in the same area with the same set of command-line arguments as the original Gmail shortcut.

    It works. And now I can customize the icon in any way I want.
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