Simple Steps to Customize Windows 11 Start Menu


The return of the Start Menu in Windows 10 has been a significant focal point for many users. Microsoft’s decision to reintroduce the Start Menu in a refreshed form brought familiarity while incorporating modern design elements. The company tried to force its Metro UI experience with Windows 8.0 but users reacted badly to the abrupt change. With Windows 8.1, we saw the return of the Start Icon, even through it was used to take us back to the Metro UI. With Windows 10, the company brought the iconic back to stay, and with Windows 11 it returned with another refresh in its design.

The Start Menu in Windows 11 features a centered layout, which is a departure from the left-aligned design seen in previous versions. This new layout provides a sleek and centered look, making it easier for users to access their favorite apps, documents, and settings. Interestingly, the Start Menu in Windows 11 offers a more customizable experience. Users have the ability to personalize the Start Menu by pinning apps and adjusting the size of the menu to suit their preferences.

Another notable feature is the integration of recommended content within the Start Menu. This feature dynamically displays suggested apps, documents, and websites based on the user’s activity, providing quick access to relevant content. Through this guide, we will teach you with simple steps how to customize Windows 11 Start Menu and make your experience more personal and familiar. (Via:DigitalTrends).

Customizing Windows 11 Start Menu

In Windows 11’s Start Menu, you’ll find a new feature called the “Recommended” section. This section presents your recently added apps and opened items, providing a convenient way to access your recent activities. If you’re looking to customize your Start Menu, this area offers ample opportunities for personalization. So it’s a good way to start if you’re looking for ways to make your OS looks unique and specially-crafted for you.

  • Step 1: To get started, open Windows 11’s settings by pressing the Windows key and “I” on your keyboard. Next, navigate to the “Personalization” option in the sidebar.
  • Step 2: Within the Personalization settings, locate the “Start” section and explore the various options available. If you prefer not to see your recently accessed files, simply toggle the switch to “Off.” This action will create an empty space in your Start Menu, which you can then customize further by toggling the switches for “Show recently added apps” and “Show most used apps” based on your preferences.
  • Step 3: For additional personalization, you also can change which folders appear on your Start menu next to the Power button. Look for this option under Folders and then click the various toggles for which items you want to see next to the power button.

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Remove, Add, and Personalize the List of Apps

To customize your Start Menu in Windows 11, you have the flexibility to remove apps you don’t need or rearrange their order according to your preference. Here’s how you can manage your app list:

Step 1: Removing Apps
To remove an app from your Start Menu, right-click on it and select “Unpin from Start.” This action will remove the app from your pinned list, decluttering your Start Menu.

Windows 11
Image Credit: DigitalTrends

Step 2: Pinning Apps
If you want to pin a different app in its place, click the “All Apps” button, then right-click on the desired app and choose “Pin to Start.” This pins the app to your Start Menu for easy access.

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Step 3: Rearranging Apps
At any time, you can rearrange your pinned apps on the Start Menu to suit your preferences. Simply click and hold down on the app you want to move, then drag it to the desired location using your mouse. This allows you to customize the order and appearance of your Start Menu according to your workflow and usage habits.

Changing the Start Menu Location

In Windows 11, the Start Menu has undergone a significant change in its default location, now positioned at the center of the screen. However, if you prefer the more traditional layout with the Start Menu on the left side, you can easily make this adjustment:

Step 1: Open Windows 11’s settings by pressing the Windows Key and “I” simultaneously. Then, click on the “Personalization” option and navigate to “Taskbar behaviors.”

Step 2: Within the “Taskbar behaviors” section, locate the option for “Taskbar alignment” and set it to “Left.” Once selected, you’ll notice the Start Menu relocating to the left side of the screen, providing a familiar layout for users accustomed to previous Windows versions.

Changing Start Menu Color and Appearance

If you’re not satisfied with the default color of your Start Menu in Windows 11, you can easily customize it to better suit your preferences. Here’s how to change the Start Menu color:

Step 1: Open Windows 11 settings by pressing the Windows Key and “I” simultaneously. Then, navigate to the “Personalization” option and click on it. Look for the “Colors” section.

Step 2: Within the “Colors” section, switch your theme to “Custom.” Under the default Windows Mode, choose “Dark,” and under the default app mode, select your preferred option.

Step 3: Next, under “Accent color,” choose a color that appeals to you. If you don’t find a suitable color listed, you can create a custom color by clicking on the “View color” button. Ensure that the toggles for “Show accent color on Start and taskbar” and “Show accent color on title bars and windows borders” are both set to “On.”

By following these steps, you’ll be able to add a personal touch to your Start Menu with a custom color that reflects your style and preferences.

More Options Via Third-Party Software

Third-Party App Alternatives

While Windows 11 offers some customization options for the Start Menu, third-party software like Start11 provide more flexibility. With Start11, you can explore a variety of additional options to personalize your Start Menu experience beyond what Windows 11 offers by default. One notable feature of Start11 is the ability to move the Start Menu to the top of the screen, a configuration not available in the native Windows 11 settings. Additionally, if you prefer the familiar layout of the Windows 10 Start Menu, Start11 allows you to revert to this classic design within the Windows 11 environment.

It’s important to note that Start11 is a paid software, priced at $6. While this may be an investment for some users, the enhanced customization options it offers could justify the cost for those seeking a tailored Start Menu experience. If you value extensive customization and want to unlock additional features beyond the native Windows settings, Start11 may be worth considering.

Another option is StartisBack, One Popular Application that was used to bring back the Start Menu experience to Windows 8.0 and 8.1. Even with Windows 10 and Windows 11 it offers some neat features for further customization.

In the end, it’s up to the users to decide if the customization options will be worthy of the hassle of installing a 3rd party app. If you don’t own a PC with enough hardware, be aware of the fact that these apps can eat some of your performance or RAM because they will be running in the background.

Conclusion

In summary, the Windows 11 Start Menu offers a host of customization features that allow users to personalize their desktop experience according to their preferences. From adjusting the layout and color scheme to managing app arrangements and folders, Windows 11 provides users with the flexibility to create a Start Menu that suits their needs.

Furthermore, third-party tools like Start11 extend these customization capabilities, offering additional options such as relocating the Start Menu or reverting to the classic Windows 10 layout. While some third-party software may come at a cost, the enhanced customization options they provide can greatly enhance the user experience for those seeking a more tailored desktop environment.

Overall, whether utilizing built-in Windows features or exploring third-party solutions, users have ample opportunities to customize their Windows 11 Start Menu, enabling them to create a workspace that is both functional and visually appealing.

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