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How to customize the Start menu in Windows 10

With the release of Windows 10 marks the return of the Start menu, missing since Windows 7. With a combination of new and old elements, the Start menu can be quite useful. Here's how to customize the Start menu in Windows 10.

Now some of the Windows users will recognize the Windows 10 Start menu as a revised version of the Start screen from Windows 8/8.1. It is now kind of split with traditional Start menu features on the left side and universal apps / shortcut tiles on the right side. You can only change certain items on the Start menu, mainly what appears on the main screen. You can do minimal editing to the All apps menu, but be careful as you cannot add anything to, or back to, the All apps menu. Once removed, it's gone. Of course you can always add a shortcut to the tiles, desktop or taskbar.

The Start menu now can be run as pop-up menu (desktop) or completely full screen (tablet). You can also change the look and feel of the Start menu couple of different ways.

Changing the Start menu size

Just like any other application, you can change the width and height of the Start menu. Hover your cursor over one of the edges of the Start menu until the sizing arrows appear, then hold the left mouse button and drag it to the size you want. You can also modify the Tiles (add, remove, resize and move around).

Changing the Start menu appearance

The majority of Start menu settings that you can customize are located under Settings > Personalization > Start. Items that you can turn on or off include:

  • Show most used apps
  • Show recently added apps
  • Use Start full screen
  • Show recently opened item in Jump lists on Start or the taskbar

Items on the Windows 10 Start menu that you can edit
Items on the Windows 10 Start menu that you can edit
Items on the Windows 10 Start menu that have important context menus
Items on the Windows 10 Start menu that have important context menus

You can also turn on or off which folders appear on the Start menu. They included File Explorer, Settings, Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, HomeGroup, Network and your Personal folder (where you Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Videos, etc. are stored). If you want to change the color and effects for the Start menu, just go to Settings > Personalization > Colors. There you will find the following appearance settings:

  • Automatically pick an accent color from my background
  • Show color on Start, taskbar, and action center
  • Make Start, taskbar and action center transparent

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