Windows 10 Tip: Customize the Start Menu

Windows 10 Tip: Customize the Start Menu

A little old, a little new

On traditional PCs, Microsoft will provide a new Start menu rather than the full-screen Start screen that debuted in Windows 8. This move will be welcomed by all kinds of users, but the new Start menu isn't exactly like the one you may remember from Windows 7. Here's quick guide to customizing it to work the way you want.

Pin to Start

Items you pin to Start are pinned to the right, Modern side of the Start screen. That way, if you switch back to the Start screen, they're still available. But this may surprise or disappoint some people, but the quick links feature (described below) somewhat replaces this feature.

Customize quick links

The available sections, or areas, on the left side of the Start menu have changed since Windows. Instead of the pins area at the top, you will now find your user and power options and then a list of quick links: Documents, Pictures, PC Settings and File Explorer.

The big question is how or if you can customize this area.

To remove a quick link item, right-click it and choose "Remove from this list" to remove it.

I don't see obvious way to add an item, and my guess is that there is a hidden folder containing these shortcuts under your user profile, similar to the Links folder (which populates the Favorites list in File Explorer). However, you can add items to quick links: Just drag in an app shortcut (or whatever) and position it wherever you want.

Update: Actually, there is a UI as a few have pointed out in the comments. Open up Taskbar and Start Menu Properties, navigate to Start Menu, and click the Customize button.

Customize the MRU

Below quick links is the Most Recently Used (MRU) list, which is auto-populated with those apps you use most often. For this reason, you can't add items to the MRU. But you can remove them easily enough: Just right-click one and select "Remove from this list."

Note: This tip works with the "Frequent" list you see next to desktop applications in the Start menu too.

Uninstall Modern and desktop apps

As with the Windows 8 Start screen, you can right-click any Modern app anywhere in the Start menu and select "Uninstall" from the pop-up menu to remove that app from your PC. It works with desktop applications too, as in Windows 8.

Customize the pins area

The area on the right side of the Start menu—which resembles the Windows 8 Start screen and displays live tiles—can be customized much like the Windows 8 Start screen. You don't have every Windows 8 Start screen personalization at your beck and call, but you can resize and reposition tiles much as you did in Windows 8.

Change the Start menu color

To change the color of the Start menu—and the taskbar and window borders along with it—right-click a blank area of the Start menu and choose Personalize.

Change how the Start menu works

To change Start menu settings, right-click a blank area of the Start menu and choose "Properties." The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window will appear. From here, you can navigate to the Start tab and switch to the Start screen and configure various Start menu features.

But wait, there's more! Be sure to check out Windows 10 Tip: Customize the Start Menu (Part 2) too!

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.