How to customize the Windows 11 Start menu

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The virgin Windows 11 Start menu is too simple and messy at the same time. If you upgrade from Windows 10, you will lose all customizations in the Start menu and will get some preinstalled apps. While you can customize the Windows 11 Start menu, your options are limited.

How to customize the Windows 11 Start menu


To customize the Windows 11 Start menu, open the Settings app (press Windows key + I), go to Personalization> Home, and dive into the few options available here. If you open the Start menu yourself, you can only add, reorder, or remove pinned apps. The easiest way to get a more functional start menu is to replace it entirely or restore the classic start menu.


To change the orientation of the Start menu, right-click the taskbar and select Taskbar settings. Scroll down and expand Taskbar behavior. You can find them here Align the taskbar evil center or Left.

Align the Windows 11 taskbar and the start menu on the left.

While it’s technically a customization of the system tray, changing the default center orientation makes the Start menu easier to find when you keep your system tray hidden. If you like the macOS-esque look, you can just press the Windows key on your keyboard to open the Start menu.

Manage pinned apps

The Windows 11 start menu is pre-assigned with pinned apps. Many are pre-installed third-party apps like TikTok or Instagram. Others are Microsoft’s own offerings, including Groove Music, Solitaire, or Windows System Tools. There’s no need to keep these apps, and there’s no way you should clutter your Start menu.

Remove an item from being pinned from the Windows 11 Start menu

Tina Sieber / Android Authority

To pin new items to the Start menu, open All apps by clicking the appropriate button in the upper right corner of the Start menu. Right click on the app you want to pin and select On home page.

Pin an app to the Windows 11 Start menu from the All Apps view.

Tina Sieber / Android Authority

Pin files or folders to the Start menu

Unfortunately, you cannot pin files. However, you can access recently used files from the Start menus Recommended Section. click on lake to view the files that you have used in the past few months.

You can’t pin folders either, but you can view default system folders next to the power button. Press on your keyboard Windows key + I to open the Settings app; You can also open the app from the start menu. Go to Personalization> Home> Folder and select which folders you want to see in the start menu.

Add folders to the Windows 11 Start menu from the Settings app.

Tina Sieber / Android Authority

The selected system folders are displayed next to the power button.

Standard system folders pinned next to the power button in the Windows 11 start menu.

Tina Sieber / Android Authority

the Recommended The Windows 11 Start menu section shows files and apps that you’ve recently used. This can be useful if you refer to the same documents frequently. After all, you can’t pin them to the Start menu. However, if you prefer a less cluttered look, you can delete this part of the Start menu.

To completely remove items from the recommended section of the Windows 11 Start menu, press Windows key + I and go to Personalization> Home. Choose Out in addition to Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer Opportunity.

Hide recently opened items from the Start menu in Windows 11.

Tina Sieber / Android Authority

To remove individual items from the recommended section of the Start menu, right-click the appropriate item and select Remove from list.

Show recently installed and most frequently used programs

If you’re not sure which apps to pin to the Start menu, or you’re looking for an easier way to access newly installed programs, enable either or both of these options. They appear at the top of the list of all apps in the Windows 11 Start menu.

Open that ideas App (Windows key + I) and navigate to Personalization> Home. Turn it on now View recently added apps and or Show the most frequently used apps. The next time you go back to the Start menu and click All apps Button is headed the list of one or both categories.

Windows 11 Start Menu All apps are displayed with the most frequently used items on top.

Tina Sieber / Android Authority

Change the background color of the start menu

To change the Start menu background color, you’ll need to change your Windows 11 color palette as a whole. Open that ideas App (Windows key + I) and go to Personalization> Colors. You have to use Dark Mode for Windows, otherwise you will not be able to customize the background of the Windows 11 Start Menu. When you hire Choose your mode evil Dark, it applies to Windows and your apps. When you hire Choose your mode evil Changed, you can keep your apps bright.

Change the color mode for Windows 11.

Choose your now Accent color, then switch on that Accept Show Color on Startup and Taskbar Option.

Select Accent Colors for Windows 11 and enable them for the Start menu and the taskbar.

Start Menu X lets you toggle between different Start menu styles, including a Windows 7-like classic style and a Windows 10-like style. You can also resize the start menu and change the default screen position freely. However, the most useful option is virtual grouping of programs.

Continue reading: Run Android apps on Windows 11

frequently asked Questions

Can I group apps in the Windows 11 Start menu?

No, that is no longer possible. Live tiles are gone for good, meaning you cannot create separate sections in the Start menu. You can still move apps, but you are limited to six apps per row and three visible rows. However, you can add more apps and scroll through additional lines. Besides that, Groups app icons is one of the most requested features in Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program, so it may be added again in the future.

Can I change the size of the Windows 11 Start menu?

No, Windows 11 does not allow you to change the size of the Start menu. You can resize the Start menu in Windows 10 and even view it full screen. Unfortunately, Microsoft removed this functionality in Windows 11.

Is it still possible to activate the Windows 10 Start menu in Windows 11?

Unfortunately not. Previously, you could add a registry value to restore the Windows 10 Start menu. This registry hack no longer works in newer Windows 11 versions.

Can I use Classic Shell on Windows 11?

Technically yes. Classic Shell, an alternative to the start menu, is now called Open the shell menu. Although it’s not officially supported for Windows 11, it works. Open Shell Menu is still very similar to the Windows 7 Start menu.

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