Prevent Applications from Auto Pinning to Windows 8 Start Screen

Traditionally, program installers would place shortcuts of installed programs on the desktop, start menu and occasionally and optionally on the quick start menu. Now that the start menu is gone, on Windows 8, where does these shortcuts end up on? Right, on the start screen. Previously, a couple of additional shortcuts on the start menu didn’t matter because the start menu was small, didn’t expand more than it is necessary and the icons themselves were tiny. On Windows 8’s start screen, the icons are fat and thick. Install a handful of programs and your start screen will elongate by another foot or so.

AutoPin Controller is a free program that takes care of this issue by temporarily putting a hold on programs wanting to pin tiles to your start screen. All you have to do is click on the “Lock Pin to start screen feature” button before you install a program. After installation, click another button to disengage the lock. This is particularly useful when you are about to install a large number of application.


It would have been great if AutoPin Controller was automatic, but it’s not. So you have to remember to run this tool before commence installing a program.

Alternatively, just keep an eye on the installation process. Most installers will ask you whether you want shortcuts placed on the start menu/start screen and desktop.

Another feature of AutoPin Controller is that it allows you to reset the Start Screen with one click. Resteiing the start screen will remove all tiles/shortcuts placed by third party programs and set them to first logon state.

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