Pin Shortcuts with Parameters on the Taskbar or the Start Menu/Screen

Some of our readers asked us about how to pin shortcuts to applications that include custom command line parameters. People want to start their favorite programs using custom parameters which make them run in specific ways. This guide will show how simple it is to create and pin shortcuts, which include command line arguments, to the taskbar, to the Start Menu (in Windows 7) and to the Start screen (in Windows 8).

Step 1: Create a normal shortcut

The first step is to create a shortcut towards the executable/application you want. We have a detailed tutorial for using the Create Shortcut wizard, that can be read here: How To Create Shortcuts in Windows.

Follow its instructions or... simply navigate to the executable of the application. Then, right click or press and hold, then select "Send to -> Desktop".

A normal shortcut towards the application is now found on your desktop.

Step 2: Edit the properties of the shortcut

It is time to add your additional parameters to the shortcut. For this tutorial, I used Internet Explorer as an example. I wanted to add the "-private" parameter, so that when I click or tap the shortcut, it starts an InPrivate browsing session.

Right click on the shortcut you just created and select Properties. Alternatively, you can select it with the mouse and press Alt+Enter on your keyboard.

The Properties window of the shortcut is opened. In the Shortcut tab, go to the Target field and add your parameters.

NOTE: When writing the parameters, make sure you search for the list of command line parameters supported by the application for which you create the custom shortcut. Using unsupported parameters might cause problems when starting the application.

When you are done editing the shortcut, click or tap OK.

Step 3: Pin the Shortcut to the Taskbar, Start Menu or the Start Screen

Right click or press and hold the modified shortcut. In Windows 8, the contextual menu will display the Pin to Taskbar or Pin to Start entries. Click or tap the one you want.

In Windows 7, the contextual menu displays the Pin to Taskbar and Pin to Start Menu entries. Pick the one you want.

I chose to pin the shortcut to the taskbar. When I click or tap on it, it starts Internet Explorer in InPrivate mode, as specified by the parameter I added.

NOTE: Now you can delete the shortcut you created on the Desktop (or any other location where you saved it). The pinned shortcut will remain pinned and will continue to work correctly.


As you can see, pinning shortcuts which include custom command line parameters is easy and doesn’t require too much additional work. For any other useful tips on pinning all kinds of things to the taskbar, check the articles recommended below.