How to Customize the Start Menu in Windows 11

The Windows 11 operating system has several significant changes compared to Windows 10, in particular, there is a new Start menu. The standard Start menu on a PC serves as a kind of main control panel, from where the user gets access to various system and software functions.

In this regard, the customization of the Start menu in the Windows 11 operating system occupies an important place, because it helps to increase the productivity of the computer.

Some users leave the default Start menu items unchanged. For other users, it is important to customize the Windows Start menu so that they can use their computer more comfortably and efficiently.

All users of the computer interact with this interface element, so we will look at various tips for using, editing and customizing the Windows 11 Start menu.

The context menu of the right mouse button in the “Start”, which is also called by pressing the “Win” + “X” keys, has remained almost the same with a slight change in some menu items. The left mouse button menu has been completely redesigned, in particular, tiles have disappeared from there.

Some users want to know how to organize the Start menu, how to customize the Windows Start menu for a better experience on the computer.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to customize the Windows 11 Start Menu and offer some tips. Using the instructions in this article, we will change some of the Start menu options:

  • Move the start menu to the left.
  • Pinning apps to the home screen.
  • Unpin apps from the home screen.
  • Move pinned programs in the desired order.
  • Pinning websites to the start menu.
  • Adding favorite folders.
  • Pinning any folder.
  • Remove all recommended items.
  • Remove programs from the start menu.
  • Gaining access to application tasks.
  • Change the color of the start menu.

Let’s start changing the settings of the Start menu, perhaps from this overview you will learn about some useful settings for yourself that you can apply on your laptop or desktop PC.

How to make the start menu on the left

The first change you will notice after installing the operating system on a PC or after upgrading to Windows 11 is the unusual placement of the Start menu and other icons on the taskbar. The Start menu and icons are in the center of the screen, unlike Windows 10 and previous versions of the OS, where they were on the left.

This arrangement is not always convenient, especially if there are many icons pinned to the taskbar. For example, opening new applications, closing running programs leads to the movement of all elements to the right or left, and not everyone likes this flickering.

If you want to change the alignment of the Windows 11 Start Menu, follow these steps:

  1. Right click on the start menu.
  2. In the context menu, click on “Settings”.
  3. Go to the “Personalization” tab and then click on “Taskbar”.
  4. Expand the Taskbar Behavior section by clicking it or clicking the arrow.
  5. In the “Taskbar alignment” option, open the drop-down list and select “Left” to move the Start menu and taskbar icons to the left.

How to Pin Apps to the Start Screen in the Start Menu

You can pin apps to the Windows 11 Start Menu in addition to pinning them to the taskbar. Some of the most frequently used programs users pin to the taskbar.

Popular applications can be pinned to the home screen so that you can quickly open the desired program without looking for it in the list of all programs.

Consider how to add applications to the Start menu:

  1. Open the Start menu and then click on the All Apps button.
  2. Right-click on the desired application in the list of programs, and select “Pin to Start” from the context menu.
  3. This app will appear in the Pinned section of the Start menu, from where you can quickly access it.

You can pin any application on your computer to the home screen, including portable programs. Find the application you want, then right-click on the program’s executable file, and select “Pin to Start” from the menu that opens.

If many program icons are added to the Start menu, several additional screens are automatically created.

How to unpin apps from the home screen

If you don’t use an app often, you can unpin it from the start screen of the Start menu.

To unpin an app, do the following:

  1. Right-click on the pinned app in the start menu.
  2. From the open menu, select Unpin from Start.

Keep in mind that the app will only be removed from the Pinned section. The program will not be removed from the computer or completely removed from the start menu, this software will remain in the list of all programs.

Organize pinned items on the Start menu

Pinned apps appear on the Start menu in the order they were pinned by default or by the user. If you wish, you can easily reorder the pinned programs to suit your needs.

There are two ways to change the position of pinned apps on the home screen.

1 method:

  1. Right-click on the pinned application icon.
  2. Select “Move to Start”.

This action will automatically place the selected program in the first place in the “Pinned” section.

Option 2:

Alternatively, if you want to manually arrange pinned apps, simply hold and drag the program icon with your mouse to a new position.

Pinning websites to the start menu

As with apps, you can pin links to websites to the Start menu. Clicking on a website shortcut will immediately open the page in your browser. You can pin websites using any browser.

When pinning a website page using Google Chrome, Yandex Browser, Opera, Mozilla Firefox and other Internet browsers, you first need to create a website shortcut and then pin it to the Start menu.

Go through a few steps using the example of the Google Chrome browser:

  1. Open a website or bookmark a web page in a browser.
  2. Click on the icon with three dots.
  3. In the menu that opens, go to “More Tools”, select “Create shortcut …”.
  4. In the “Create Shortcut?” click the “Create” button. Check the box next to “Open in a separate window” if you want this website to open in a separate browser window.
  5. The created shortcut will appear on the desktop.
  6. Right click on it, select “Pin to Start Screen”.

To see the site shortcut, you may have to click the Next Page button on the right side of the pinned apps on the home screen.

If you’re using the Microsoft Edge browser, it offers a built-in feature for pinning websites to the Start menu:

  1. Open the website in the Edge browser.
  2. Click on the “Settings and more” button (three dots).
  3. In the menu, click on the item “Additional Tools”.
  4. In the submenu, click “Pin to Start Menu”.
  5. In the pop-up window, click on the “Yes” button to confirm to pin this tile.
  6. This website will appear in the Pinned Programs section of the Start menu.

Create folders on the start screen of the start menu

Starting with Windows 11 22H2, users have the ability to create folders from app icons on the Start screen. This method works in a similar way to both Android and iOS mobile devices.

To create a folder, you will need to drag and drop an app onto another app’s icon. You can then add other programs to this folder.

How to Pin Favorite Folders to the Start Menu

The Windows 11 Start menu shows favorite folders and some important apps next to the power button: Settings, File Explorer, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos, and so on. You can choose which of these folders to show or hide.

Do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app on your computer.
  2. Go to “Personalization”, open “Start”.
  3. Click on “Folders”.
  4. Enable or disable the toggle next to the items you want to appear in the Start menu.
  5. Pinned folders will appear in the lower right corner of the Start menu.

Pinning any folders to the home screen

The above method allows you to pin only your favorite folders to the Start menu. What if you want to pin another folder to the start menu?

Do the following:

  1. Right-click on any folder on the Desktop or in Explorer.
  2. Select “Pin to Start” from the menu.
  3. This folder will appear among the pinned programs.

Removing all items from the “Recommended” section

The Recommended section of the Start menu displays recently opened files or frequently used programs. Despite the seeming convenience, if other people have access to your computer, outsiders can obtain information of a private and confidential nature using the information in this section.

You cannot completely remove the recommendations section from the start menu. If you want the “Recommended” section of the Start menu to be empty of any items, do the following:

  1. Open Settings → Personalization → Start.
  2. Turn off the switches next to the options: “Show recently added applications” and “Show most used applications”, “Show recently opened items in the Start menu, in jump lists and in File Explorer.”

Remove Programs from the Start Menu

One of the easiest ways to uninstall apps in Windows 11 is to do it from the Start menu.

Use the following method:

  1. Enter the All Apps list.
  2. Right click on any program you want to remove from your computer.
  3. Click Remove.

You can also remove pinned apps directly from the home screen.

Quick access to application tasks

Some apps let you quickly access some important tasks from the app’s icon in the Start menu. For example, Google Chrome allows you to access tasks such as New Window and New Incognito Window.

Do the following:

  1. Open the list of programs in the Start menu by clicking the All Apps button.
  2. Right-click on the desired program to view the available options and actions.

For example, the Calculator app allows you to open different types of calculators using the app icon.

Change the color of the start menu

Usually, the Start menu is either light or dark depending on the theme you are using. But, you can personalize the start menu color by choosing another suitable color.

Follow the steps to change the color of the start menu:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Personalization, then Colors.
  3. In the “Select a mode” setting, select “Custom”.
  4. After that, two more options will become available that will allow you to choose themes for panels and Windows applications. Since we want to change the color of the start menu, then you must select “Dark” for the “Select the default Windows mode” option. The light theme for Windows mode does not allow custom colors.
  5. Scroll down on the same screen and turn on the “Show color of items in the Start menu and taskbar” toggle.
  6. Scroll up to the color list section. Click on the appropriate color to apply it to the start menu.

If you did not find a suitable color from the available list, click on the “View Colors” button to see the full color palette.

Article Conclusions

The Start menu in Windows 11 is noticeably different from other versions of the operating system. New elements and sections were added there, tiles were removed, the appearance was significantly changed. In this regard, setting up the Windows start menu will help you change the parameters of this interface element, according to the needs of the user for more convenient and fruitful work on the computer.

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