Customising the Start Menu in Windows 10


Windows 10:  3 Weeks and Counting…

Much to the chagrin of many people, the traditional Start Menu was dropped from Windows 8 and 8.1 and replaced by a Start Screen. As you would no doubt be aware by now, the Start Menu is back in Windows 10, albeit in a very different format. There is still an option to go full screen if you’d prefer but the new Start Menu displays as a popup overlay window by default.

Switch Between Start Menu and Start Screen

If you’d prefer the Windows 8/8.1 style full Start screen – go to Start>Settings>Personalization>Start and turn on the option to “Use Start full screen”.

Click image for full size

Click image for full size

Pin Folders to the Start Menu

From the above location, you can also choose from a selection of folders to pin to the Start Menu – click “Choose which folders appear on Start” and use the on/off switches to add your chosen folders into the Start Menu:

windows10-pin folders to start1windows10-pin  folders to start2

This will add textual links into the left side of the Start Menu. To add a tile, open File Explorer, right click the folder you want to add and choose Pin to Start:

Click image for full size

Click image for full size

Resize Start Menu & Customize Tiles

The new Start menu is much larger than the older traditional style, obviously to accommodate the added tiles. However, it can be resized to match your own preferences simply by dragging the borders:


Click image for full size

Click image for full size

Tiles can easily be unpinned or resized via a right click menu, you can even uninstall associated apps from here – right click a tile and choose your preferred option:

Click image for full size

Click image for full size

Moving tiles around is a simple matter of drag and drop, just drag tiles into your preferred order. Here’s a screenshot of my Windows 10 Start Menu after completing the above steps – (size shown is actual size):

windows10-start menu-customized2

NOTE: The “All apps” item at bottom left. This provides a very similar function to the old “All Programs” button, opening a list of all installed applications in alphabetical order.

Change the Colors of the Start Menu, Taskbar, & Windows Borders

To change your color scheme, go to Settings>Personalization>Colors:

windows10-colors1

From here, you can choose an accent color from the chart (or switch on the option to automatically pick an accent color from your background image). If you want to completely change the color of the Start Screen and Taskbar rather than just adding a highlight, you’ll need to scroll down and enable the appropriate option:


windows10-colors2

As you can see from the above screenshot, there are also options to choose a transparent background as well as a high contrast color scheme.

These then are the Windows 10 Start Menu’s basic customization options, no doubt I’ll come across more as time goes on. If you know of any further customizations that haven’t been mentioned here, please let us know via the comments.

*All included guides/settings pertain to Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview, build 10162.

 

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

5 Comments

  1. All this is well and good, but what can be done with a list of applications in alphabetical order. How to remember the name of each application you use from time to time only if you have many (especially at my age!). I always prefer a classification by categories of apps.
    With forced updates for the Home edition, it will probably the reasons why I will stay under win 7 and win 8.1.

  2. Jim
    Can’t work out how I’m suppose to get favourite websites off the internet onto my tiles? I open them on google chrome.
    John

    • Hi John – Not surprised you’re having a problem working it out mate, it’s a fairly convoluted process with Chrome.

      1) Open Chrome minimized so you can access the desktop
      2) Go to the site you want to pin
      3) Drag the icon at the left of the URL in the address bar to the desktop
      4) Click the icon on the desktop and then press Ctrl + C keys
      5) Open File Explorer and paste (Ctrl + V)
      6) You should now see an entry under All Apps>Chrome linking to the website
      7) Right click that entry and select Pin to Start

      You can now delete the original entry in All Apps if you want to:

      1) Right click the original entry and select Open file location
      2) Right click the file and select Delete

      That’s all there is to it… LOL