[Windows 10 Start Menu] Review, Tips-n-Tricks and Customization
UPDATE: The Start Menu review has been updated with new information and screenshots for Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
The most impressive and noticeable feature of Windows 10 is the brand new Start Menu. When Microsoft released Windows 8 without Start Menu, people started complaining about the missing Start Menu and Start button. With the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft tried to improve the new Start Screen to please Windows users but it didn't work.
Finally Microsoft decided to bring the good ol' Start Menu back to Windows 10. This new Windows version comes with a new and advanced Start Menu which is actually a combination of both Windows 7 style Start Menu and Windows 8/8.1 Start Screen as shown in following screenshot:
Windows 10 Start Menu shows almost everything which was used to show in the Start Menu of older Windows versions whether its user documents, pictures, recent documents or all programs list. Along with all good ol' things, the new Start Menu also shows live tiles taken from the Start Screen.
It shows small icons such as power options, user account options, Settings shortcut, etc without labels in a vertical row in left-side which can be expanded by clicking on the hamburger (3-lines) icon present at the extreme top-left corner of the Start Menu as shown in following screenshot:
The good thing is that you can remove all live tiles and make the new Start Menu look-like old school Start Menu which was present in Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.
The new Start Menu in Windows 10 is fully customizable. You can change its size, add or remove items, change background color and everything else.
Today in this exclusive review article, we are going to share some useful tips-n-tricks and how-to instructions to tweak and customize Windows 10 Start Menu look-n-feel as well as functionality.
So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:
Remove Tiles and Make Windows 10 Start Menu Look-Like Windows Vista / 7 Style
You just need to right-click on each live tile and select "Unpin from Start" option. Once you remove all live tiles, you'll get a slim Start Menu without any live tile which will look very close to Windows Vista/7 Start Menu.
Now you can access all installed apps and programs without any live tile similar to Windows Vista/7 Start Menu:
PS: Windows 10 Start Menu also allows you to resize (small, medium, wide, large) or uninstall Metro (Modern) app tiles just like Start Screen. You can get these options in tile context menu (right-click menu). You can also turn live tiles off or pin any tile to Taskbar using tile context menu.
Resize Windows 10 Start Menu
Did you know you can resize Start Menu in Windows 10? Yes, just move your mouse cursor to the top-border or right-border of Start Menu and you'll be able to increase or decrease Start Menu height and width. As you can see we have decreased Start Menu height in following screenshot:
BONUS TIP: If you are a keyboard shortcut lover, here is a hotkey for you to resize Start Menu:
Press WIN key to show Start Menu, then hold down CTRL key and press Left/Right/Up/Down keys to resize Start Menu.
Pin Items to Windows 10 Start Menu
You can pin shortcuts, files and folders to Start Menu. Just right-click on desired item and select "Pin to Start" option. It'll immediately pin the item to the right-side of Start Menu.
Now you can right-click on the pinned item and change its size according to your requirements. You can also drag-n-drop pinned items to move or change their location.
Pin Items to Left-Side List of Start Menu
UPDATE: In Windows 10 final RTM version, you can't pin items to left-side pane of Start Menu. But checkout following exclusive tutorial to add/remove/rename or change shortcuts on the bottom-left area of Windows 10 Start Menu:
If you want to pin items to left-side of Start Menu, just drag-n-drop the desired item from right-side to the left-side of Start Menu. It'll be added immediately to the left-side.
Now you can remove it from right-side by right-clicking on it and selecting "Unpin from Start" option. You can drag-n-drop shortcuts from anywhere else to the left-side of Start Menu using the same way. You can also directly pin any item to left-side of Start Menu. Press and hold SHIFT key and then right-click on any item, you'll get a new option "Pin to Start List" in context menu. Click on it and it'll directly pin the selected item to left part of Start Menu.
Show or Hide Recently Added and Most Used Programs in Start Menu
If you don't want Start Menu to show your recently added programs or most used programs in left-side pane, open Settings app from Start Menu and go to "Personalization -> Start" and set following options to Off:
- Show most used apps
- Show recently added apps
Here you can also set whether recently opened items should be shown in jump lists on Start Menu and Taskbar or not.
Add More System Shortcuts to Start Menu Left-Side List
While you are on Settings app -> Personalization -> Start page, click on "Choose which folders appear on Start" option.
Now you can enable or disable desired items such as File Explorer, Settings app, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos, Network, etc on Start Menu left-side list.
Disable Start Menu and Enable Start Screen in Windows 10
By any chance if you don't like the new Start Menu and want to re-enable Start Screen in Windows 10, you can get Start Screen back with the help of following tutorial:
Change Start Menu Background Color and Transparency
By default, Start Menu in Windows 10 is shown in dark Black color but you can force it to use current Windows theme's accent color as its background color. So if you change the accent color using Personalization window, it'll also change background color of Start Menu.
Open Settings app and go to "Personalization -> Colors" page and set the option "Show color on Start, Taskbar and Action Center" to On.
Now you can set "Automatically pick an accent color from my background" option to On or select any desired accent color from the list to use it for Start Menu as well as Taskbar.
You can also enable or disable Aero glass transparency effect on Start Menu, Taskbar and Action Center from the same page.
Add / Remove Power Options in Windows 10 Start Menu
If you want, you can add or remove options in Power button of Start Menu.
The same steps given in following tutorial will work for this new Start Menu:
Change Icons and Names / Labels of Start Menu Tiles
If you want to customize icons or names of tiles showing in right-side of the Start Menu, you can take help of following guide:
The same steps will work for Windows 10 Start Menu as well.
PS: Check out following exclusive video showing previous Start Menu which was implemented in older Windows 10 testing builds:
Posted in: Windows 10
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