How to Customize Windows Start Menu?

By Puja Chatterjee on May 11, 2023

The Start menu is perhaps the most used and one of the most important features in your computer. Since you will need to use it every now and then, you may want to customize it so that it suits all of your needs.

Yes, the Windows 10 Start menu is customizable, but most users are not aware of it. If you too do not know the ways to modify it, in this article, you will learn about all those ways.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Why Do You Need to Customize the Windows Start Menu?

One primary reason to customize the Start menu is to add more convenience while using it and to make it more personal and functional.

For example, if you make the window larger and taller, you can accommodate more columns in it than the traditional default number. This will allow you to add more apps and access them without needing to do a lot of scrolling.

Apart from that, a lot of users simply personalize their Start menu to make it look better or different from the traditional outlay and appearance offered by Windows by default.

Quite a few users also customize the Start menu app to make it easier on their eyes, apart from having a better user experience.

Ways to Customize the Windows Start Menu

Customize the Windows Start Menu

You can make the Start menu look wider and taller, provided you have the necessary space on both sides.

Press and drag the side of the menu or the arrow at the corner to make it wider, and drag the top border to make it taller according to your wish. You can even view the menu in full screen mode.

In addition to that, Windows offers a lot of options to customize your Start menu to make it look good.

For example, you can change the accent color of the Start menu and the other items in it or pin and unpin apps and arrange them according to your preference.

It also allows you to perform a lot of other actions. For example, when you right-click on a particular app, you can do the following:

You may even turn off the live tile feature of the apps to display a static tile with no live content updates being displayed. You can turn the live tile on again by simply repeating the process.

Method 1: Select the Apps and Folders to Show or Hide

You may choose specific apps and folders to be displayed on the Start menu based on your liking and/or frequency of usage.

Read Also:  What Does 64-bit OS Mean? Function, Pros & Cons

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

Select Personalization

Select Start from the left panel of the Personalization window

Now, if you want some specific folders to be displayed and hide the others, you can simply click on the ‘Choose which folders appear on Start’ option located below in the above window, as marked by the red arrow.

Then, follow the same routine as you did for the apps when the following window appears:

Choose which folders appear on Start

This will add the folders to the left side of the Start menu window.

Method 2: Select and Unpin the Apps You Do Not Use

You can even remove the apps from the Start menu that you do not use frequently by simply unpinning them. This will give it an uncluttered look.

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

Unpin from Start

Note:

If you unpin any app icon from the Start menu, it is not deleted. It is simply removed. You can still access the unpinned app from the full list of apps on the left, which is the second section of the Start menu, also referred to as the menu container for all apps.

Now, if you want to add your favorite apps, Excel for example, in their place or in an empty space, simply click on the icons of the app on the left side of the window and drag it to the tiles section, as shown in the image below:

add your favorite apps

Method 3: Resize the Icons

If you do not want large icons or if you want to accommodate more apps in the tile section of the Start menu by making each icon smaller, you can even resize the icons and arrange them according to your preference.

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

Click on the small arrow next to Resize to expand it

Note:

If you choose ‘Small,’ the size of the app icon will be a quarter of the ‘Medium’ size. On the other hand, choosing ‘Wide’ will set it back to medium but the width will be doubled.

And lastly, if you choose ‘Large,’ the icon will be double the height and width both compared to the medium size.

Method 4: Arrange the Apps to Create a New Group

Once you are done resizing the icons, you can then arrange the apps as you wish by simply pressing and dragging them to the desired places and letting them go. The apps will drop into the right place.

If you want to keep things more organized, you can even create a new group by putting the tiles of the related apps together.

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

solid bar

Finally, when all the apps are placed in the desired group that you created, you can also name the group as you want.

You may click or tap on the space just above the group and enter the name in the box indicated by the red arrow in the image below:

name the group

To move the group to another location, simply click and drag the sandwich icon or the double line, as shown in the image below by a red box, and release it where you want it to be.

drag the sandwich icon or the double line

Method 5: Place the Apps in a Folder

If you do not want to group the apps, there is even a better way to customize and organize your apps in the Start menu. You can put them all in a folder.

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

Select the app icon you want to place in a folder with another

You can drag and drop as many apps as you want to put into the folder, which will finally look like the one marked with a red box in the image below:

drag and drop as many apps as you want to put into the folder

To open the folder, simply click on the tile as you would in the usual way for any tile. This will change the image of the tile. There will be a tile with an up arrow and the contents of the folder will be displayed below, as shown in the image below.

If you want to remove any app from the folder, all you have to do is simply drag it away from the folder and release it where you want it to be.

tile with an up arrow

Method 6: Set the Menu to Full Screen

You can even set the Start menu to full screen if you wish. This will allow you to make the most of the screen space.

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

Use Start full screen

The Start menu, when clicked, will then look like this:

Customized Start menu appearance

Note that in this window, you cannot see all the apps but just the pinned tiles. If you want to see all of the apps, you will need to click on the All apps icon located in the top-left corner of the screen.

All apps

And, to go back to the pinned view, click on the Pinned tiles icon, which is indicated by the red arrow in the above image.

If you want to exit full screen, go back to the Start page and slide the switch back to OFF.

Method 7: Change the Accent Color of the Items and the Start Menu

If you want to make the Start menu look different from its traditional image, you can even change the accent color of the Start menu, which is used for the buttons, tiles, highlighted items, and others.

Usually, Windows chooses the accent color automatically from the background, but it also allows you to choose your favorite color from the grid or create a custom color from the palette.

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

select Personalize from the drop-down menu

It may be selected as Custom by default but you can choose from Light or Dark as well. Click on the small down arrow in the right side of the box to find the options in a drop-down menu.

Choose Colors from the left panel of the Personalization page

Just under it, as you can see in the above image, you can Choose your default Windows mode or app mode by clicking on the small circle next to Light and Dark.

There is also a slide switch under Transparency effect that you can set to ON if you want to see through the Start menu, taskbar and action center to the windows beneath.

Note:

If you choose the dark app mode, the background will change to black, like this:

slide switch under Transparency effect

Now, to select the accent color you want, you can choose one from the grid.

If you want to create a new color, you can alternatively click on the Plus button next to Custom color button below the grid.

select the accent color

Click anywhere on the palette to Choose a custom accent color. You can even adjust the intensity of color by using the slider below the palette.

You can see how it will look from the Color preview and whether or not the color will make it difficult to read, when and if it is applied.

Choose a custom accent color

If you want to make some more adjustments, click on the small down arrow next to More, as shown in the image above by a red box.

Read Also:  What is 32-bit OS? Function, Pros & Cons

It should change to Less with an up arrow, as shown in the image below, again by a red box. This will allow you to make changes in the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) value and Hue Saturation Value (HSV) scale.

change to Less with an up arrow

Finally, click on the Done button to make the changes.

Now, whether you choose custom colors or Windows colors, you can choose where Windows should show the colors.

You can check the small square boxes under Show accent color on the following surfaces next to ‘Start, taskbar, and action center’ or ‘Title bars and window borders,’ as shown in the image below by two red arrows:

Show accent color on the following surfaces

All these changes will be applied immediately. Simply close the window of the Settings app and take a look at your newly customized Start menu.

Method 8: Remove the Tile Container to Make it Classic Start Menu

You can even make the Start menu look like the old version without the tile container.

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

The menu will typically look like this:

right-click on each and every app icon

Method 9: Change the Name of the Start Menu Tile

If you do not like the name given by default to the tile in the Start menu, you can also change it to your liking.

Note:

You may not be allowed to rename a few specific types of apps.

For example, assume that you want to change the name of the OneNote app to One Note, with a space in between the two words.

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

Open file location

This will take you to the OneNote file in the Windows Explorer, directly.

Rename File

One Note

Open the Start menu again. You will find that the name has been changed, both in the tile container section as well as in the app menu section on the left of the Start menu, as shown in the image below:

Open the Start menu again

Method 10: Change the Icon of the App

Almost in the same way as above, sometimes you can even change the name of the icon used for the apps in the Start menu, provided you are allowed to.

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

Shortcut tab in the new One Note Properties

Alternatively, you can also click on the Browse button next to the box under ‘Look for icons in this file’ to have more options to choose from any icon from the library on your computer.

Change Icon window

Now, click on the Apply button, which was grayed out earlier in the One Note Properties window.

You may see a window pop up saying Access Denied because ‘You will need to provide administrator permission to change these settings.’

You will need to provide administrator permission to change these settings

You can now see that it has changed the icon of One Note in the all-app section in the Start menu.

changed the icon of One Note

Conclusion

So, those are all the ways in which you can customize the Start menu on Windows 10.

You may apply any or all of them to make it look different from the default menu and even add to your convenience while using it, making it easier for you to access the apps as and when required while working on any project.