Customize the start menu in Windows 10

The start menu is an important menu that you use dozens of times a day. Make sure it works the way you want it to. Windows 10 offers more options for this than you may think. Adjusting the start menu works as follows.

The Start menu has evolved a lot since its introduction in Windows 95. Where in the first version it was nothing more than a static part, it is now an intuitive menu with various options.

Before you get started with the programs in this article, it’s best to get one backup your computer and data. If something unexpectedly goes wrong, you can always return to the original situation. For example, create a restore point.

Personal settings

Open the section Personal settings, Start in the settings window (Windows key + I). With the option Show more tiles in Start you can increase the number of tiles: useful when you want to place a large number of programs as tiles. In the new mode, four instead of three columns are shown.

If you only want to see the tiles and only after a click the list of other programs, then disable the following option: Display list of apps in Start menu. If you do choose the list, you determine this via the options View recently added apps and View most used apps.

From start menu to start screen

The Start screen, introduced in Windows 8, was aimed at users of tablets and relatively quickly left the field in favor of the start menu as we now know in Windows 10. Still, the Start screen is of value, for example if you use a tablet or rather see a full screen list of programs.

The screen is still available in Windows 10. Open the settings window again and choose Personal settings, Start. Set the slider to On Bee Start using full screen.

Delete folders

By default, the start menu shows certain folders, such as Documents and Pictures. Decide for yourself which folders (and default options) are shown. In the settings window, choose again Personal settings, Start. click on Choose which folders appear in Start. Set the sliders to from at the folders you no longer want to see.

Adjust colors

You can choose an accent color to change the look of Windows. An accent color is chosen based on the color of your desktop background. You can also have this color appear in the start menu, so that it forms more of a whole.

In the settings window, choose Personal settings, Colors. Check the box Automatically select an accent color from my background. Then scroll down and check the box Start, taskbar and action center. These now also get the accent color.

With group policy

If you’re using Windows 10 Pro and want even more control over the start menu (for example, if you share the computer with family members), you can use Group Policy to further personalize the start menu.

A good example of this is the option to completely hide the list of all apps and – in contrast to the step described above – no longer show a button that still shows the list.

Open the start menu and type Group Policy. Choose Edit group policy. Go to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Start Menu and Taskbar. On the right you will find the full set of options. Select an option if you want to read more about it: you can find detailed information in Description.

Double-click an option, such as our example option Remove the All Programs list from the Start Menu, and choose Switched on to activate the option.

Pin to Start

If you often use the settings window, you can use the start menu to quickly access your favorite options. An example: if you often use the part Network and internet opens, you no longer have to click through this trick.

Open the settings window and browse to the item you want to include directly in the start menu. Right click on it and choose Pin to Start and confirm with Yes.Now open the start menu: the item has been added as a tile.

Limit animations

By turning off a number of animations, you can make the start menu open considerably faster. Open the start menu and type View advanced system settings. On the tab Advanced click on Settings in the box Performance. On the tab Visual effects do you choose Adjusted.

Remove the checkmarks from Window animations with minimize and maximize and Move controls and other elements within windows. End with OK.

Remove tiles from start menu

Finally, do you want a start menu without tiles, which is more like the start menu from Windows 7 and before? Then delete all tiles in the right part of the start menu. Right click on the tiles and choose Disconnect from Start.

Once all the tiles are gone, drag the right edge of the menu to the left so it’s as slim as possible. You end up with an alphabetical overview of programs and no further frills.


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