Tech Tip Tuesday: Customize Your Windows 10 Start Menu

Change the Start menu’s size and shape

By default, the Start menu will adjust its size based on the resolution of your screen, but if you want to change the size just mouse over the edge of the Start menu until the resize pointer appears, then click and drag to resize it, just as you would resize any other window. You can make it tall and skinny, short and wide, or any other dimensions you desire. If you liked the Windows 8 start screen that took up the entire screen, open Settings, click Personalization, then select Start from the left-hand column. Toggle on “Use Start full screen.” If you don’t want the start menu to take up the entire screen but wouldn’t mind it being a little bit bigger, then you can toggle on “Show more tiles.”

Customize your tiles

Windows 10 comes with a default set of tiles in the Start menu, but you can add and remove anything and there are a lot of options for customizing. Click and drag to rearrange them, or right-click a tile to pick from four different sizes, each of which will show different amounts of information. If the changing information on a tile annoys you, but you want to keep the shortcut, just right-click on it and choose “Turn live tile off.”

Right-click a tile and choose “Unpin from Start” to remove it from the Start menu altogether. To add a new tile, find it in the All Apps section or in the upper left sidebar and right-click it then choose “Pin to Start.” You can also find your favorite apps by opening the Start menu and simply typing the name.

You can also create groups for your tiles. Click and drag a tile to an empty space in the Start menu’s live tile pane until a horizontal bar appears. Click on that horizontal bar and you can give the group a name.

Change the left side of the Start menu

We’re very limited in the options we have for customizing the left side of the Start menu but there are a few things that can be done. The top left side of the Start menu is the most used list and you can’t manually add anything to it, though you can remove items from the list. Just right-click on the item you want to remove, go to “More” then click “Don’t show in this list.” To keep recent items from appearing, open the Settings app, click Personalization, then select Start from the left-hand column. Toggle off “Show recently added apps.” If you want to get rid of the menu altogether then turn off “Show most used apps.”

The bottom left side of the Start menu allows you to choose from some special built-in shortcuts. Just like before, open Settings, click Personalization, then select Start from the left-hand column. At the bottom of this menu, click on the words “Choose which folders appear on Start.” From here you will get a list of all the different shortcuts you can toggle on or off to fit your needs.

Change the menu’s color and transparency

You also might like to change the color of the Start menu and its tiles. To do this, open Settings, click Personalization, and this time choose Colors in the left sidebar. Choose any color from the color palette. You can also have it automatically adjust the color to match your desktop background, which is cool. By default, this color will only affect the tiles on your Start menu. If you scroll down and toggle on “Show color on Start, taskbar, action enter and title bar”, the start menu and taskbar will inherit that color all over.