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How to customize Windows 10's Start Menu

Nick Mediati | Aug. 10, 2015
Windows 10's Start menu is a melding of two worlds: With it, Microsoft is attempting to bring the best of the classic Start menu together with the best of the Windows 8 Start screen. Whether Microsoft pulled it off is a topic for debate, but you do have some control of what appears in the new Start menu.

windows 10 start

Windows 10's Start menu is a melding of two worlds: With it, Microsoft is attempting to bring the best of the classic Start menu together with the best of the Windows 8 Start screen. Whether Microsoft pulled it off is a topic for debate, but you do have some control of what appears in the new Start menu.

Add, rearrange, and resize live tiles

Windows 10 comes with a default set of live tiles in the Start menu--those large icons that populate the right-hand side of the Start menu--such as the Weather, Calendar, Mail, and Photos apps, as well as the Edge browser. But you can add just about any app to the live tiles pane.

Pop open the Start menu, then click All apps. Find the app you want to pin to the Start menu; right-click it, then select Pin to Start. That app's icon will now appear at the bottom of the live tiles pane.

If you want to remove a live tile from the Start menu, simply right-click the icon in question, then select Unpin from Start.

The right-click menu also lets you resize live tiles: Mouse over the Resize menu item, then select the size you want. You can choose between four different sizes: Small (a tiny version of the live tile), Medium (The default size for most live tiles) Wide (twice as wide as a Medium live tile), and Large (twice as tall as the Wide size).

Once you pin the apps you want, simply drag and drop live tiles around the Start menu until you find the arrangement you like.

Not every app takes full advantage of live tiles, so you won't necessarily get at-a-glance information from every icon in the live tiles pane, but at the very least, it'll provide quick access to the apps you use the most. If an app's live tile updates are getting in your way, you can always turn off that app's live tile by right-clicking it and selecting Turn live tile off.

Unfortunately, with Windows 10, you can't rearrange the items in the Start menu's left-hand column as you can with the live tiles: Windows 10 uses this space to automatically show the apps you use the most.

Group your live tiles

You can also group your live tiles as you please. You can create a group for games, for example, or one for productivity apps, communication apps, design apps...it's up to you. 

To create a new group, click and drag a live tile to an empty space in the Start menu's live tile pane until a horizontal bar appears (the bar's color will vary depending on your accent color). Once the bar appears, release the mouse button, and Windows will create a new group containing that app.

 

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