Customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10

In this guide, we talk about customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10. How to resize and change colours. We will show you how to pin and unpin applications, add folders, move and sort your tiles by groups and turn on or off the live tiles.

Start menu for windows 10

Users often leave the Start Menu for Windows 10 in the default state. This is a shame because it is a valuable tool when personalized to provide quick access to the items and locations you need.

Customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10

There are lots of different ways you can customize the Start Menu in Windows 10 and we will go through each. However, if you would like to jump to a particular section then please click the links below.

Start Menu for Windows 10 – Layout

Start Menu for Windows 10 layout

Change the size of the Start Menu for Windows 10

The Start Menu size can be made bigger or smaller to suit your personal preference. In the below section we provide simple instructions to help you change the size of the Start Menu.

Change the size of the Start Menu for Windows 10

  1. Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard  
  2. Use the mouse to move the cursor to an edge of the Start Menu. The cursor will change into a double-sided arrow as shown below.

Increase size of start menu

 

  1. With the double-sided arrow visible, left click the mouse and drag in the direction you wish to increase or decrease.
  2. This will change the size of the start menu in Windows 10

Please also note that it is possible to drag to increase/decrease from the sides of the Start Menu, the top and diagonally.

Enable the full-screen option for the Start Menu in Windows 10

The full-screen option for the Start Menu on Windows 10 will enable the entire screen to be used as a Start Menu when the Windows key is pressed.

Enable-the-full-screen-option-for-the-start-menu-in-Windows-10

  1. Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard 
  2. Click the Settings button as shown below

  1. A new window will open, select Personalization (If Personalization is not shown click Home and try again)

  1. Select Start from the list on the left side of the page, as shown below (1)
  2. Then click the on/off button below Use Start Full Screen (2)

  1. The Start Menu will be set to cover the entire screen.

Change the colour of the Start Menu for Windows 10

Changing the colour from the default blue or black can add a dramatic look and feel to the Start Menu experience. We find the ‘not so’ bright colours work best but this is about personalizing, so you can change the colour to anything you like by following the below instructions.

Change-the-colour-of-the-start-menu-for-Windows-10

  1. Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard
  2. Click the Settings button as shown below

  1. A new window will open, select Personalization (If Personalization is not shown click Home and try again)

  1. Select Colors from the list on the left side of the page (1)
  2. Next, select the colour you wish to use (2)
  3. Make sure the tick box next to Start, taskbar and action center is ticked.

Start Menu Color

  1. Open the Start Menu to see the chosen colour

If you would like the window accents to match the Taskbar and Start Menu, then also tick the box marked Title bars. We suggest you experiment and see which colours and options suit your personal style and preference. For example, we quite like a dark grey colour for the Start Menu and Taskbar but we leave the window title bars as default.

How to pin an application to the Start Menu for Windows 10

It is very easy to add an application to the Start Menu, Microsoft refers to this as ‘Pin to Start’ or Pinning.

How to pin an application to the Start Menu for Windows 10

The below instructions will show you how to ‘pin’ your favorite or most used applications to the Start Menu.

  1. Locate the program or application you wish to add to the Start Menu. For example, from within the Start Menu list of most used or from the Desktop
  2. Right-click the application and choose ‘Pin to Start’
  3. The application will be added to the Start Menu

How to unpin an application from the Start Menu for Windows 10

To unpin an application from the Start Menu please follow the below instructions.

How-to-pin-an-application-to-the-Start-Menu-for-Windows-10-(1)

  1. Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard
  2. Locate the application or program you wish to remove
  3. Right-click the program and select ‘Unpin from Start’   

How to add folders to the Start Menu for Windows 10

How-to-add-folders-to-the-Start-Menu-for-Windows-10

Adding folders to the Start Menu is exactly the same as adding applications.  The folders by default will be grouped together, however, you can move them around and organize them as you like

  1. Locate the folder you wish to add to the Start Menu
  2. Right-click the folder and choose ‘Pin to Start’
  3. The folder will be added to the Start Menu

Change the size of Tiles on the Start Menu for Windows 10

Change the size of Tiles on the Start Menu for Windows 10

If you would like to change the size of the Tiles on the Start Menu, please follow the below instructions.

  1. Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard
  2. Locate and right-click the Tile you wish to change the size of
  3. A new menu will open, select Resize
  4. Choose the required size, the tile will automatically adjust

Choose from Small, Medium, Large and Wide.

How to move Tiles around the Start Menu for Windows 10

How to move Tiles around the Start Menu for Windows 10

You can move tiles around the Windows 10 Start Menu by dragging the tile to the location you require.

  1. Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard
  2. Locate the Tile you wish to move
  3. Left-click and hold (do not release) whilst dragging the Tile to the desired location.
  4. Release the left-click when you are happy and the Tile will move.

How to arrange tiles by groups on the Start Menu for Windows 10

You can group tiles together in sections and then name the group anything you like.

How to arrange tiles by groups on the Start Menu for Windows 10

Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard

  1. Locate the Tile you wish to put in a new group.
  2. Move the mouse cursor to above the Tile and two horizontal lines will appear (as shown below)
  3. Click the horizontal lines to name the group by typing in the text box
  4. Add other tiles to group by dragging to location.

Customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10  Customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10

Note if you would like to rename existing groups, click the two horizontal lines and type the new name in the text box.

Customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10 – folder icons 

On the far left side of the Start Menu in Windows 10 there are folder icons for documents, music, video, downloads etc. which can be turned on or off individually.

Customize the Start Menu folder icons for Windows 10

  1. Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard 
  2. Click the Settings button as shown below

Customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10

  1. A new window will open, select Personalization (If Personalization is not shown click Home and try again)

Customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10

  1. Select Start from the list on the left side of the page, as shown below (1)
  2. Click Choose which folders appear on Start (2)

Customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10

  1.  Select which folder icons you would like to be visible from the list by clicking On or Off

Start Menu Folders Customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10

Turn Start Menu Live Tiles on or off in Windows 10

Turn Start Menu Live Tiles on or off in Windows 10

Live Tiles are Tiles which are capable of showing additional information. For example, weather, stock and news information or a slideshow of images.

  1. Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard
  2. Right-click the Tile you wish to enable or disable the Live Tile features
  3. Choose More from the menu 
  4. Select Turn live Tile on/off 
  5. Live Tile information will then automatically turn on/off

Please note that not all Tiles are capable of displaying live information.

Add Tiles to folders on the Start Menu for Windows 10

Add Tiles to folders on the Start Menu for Windows 10

If you add lots of Tiles to the Start Menu it can become crowded. Thankfully, you can create folders which you can place Tiles within on the Start Menu. This takes up less space but still gives you quick access to all the Tiles within the folder at the click of a button.

If you have two or more Tiles that you wish to combine together in a folder, drag one on top of the other as outlined below.

  1. Open the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard
  2. Select the 1st Tile you wish to add to a folder.
  3. Left-click the 1st Tile and without releasing the mouse button, drag it over the 2nd Tile that you wish to include in the folder and then release.
  4. Both Tiles will now be in a folder as shown below.   

Start Menu

  1.  Click the folder to open and both Tiles will be displayed. To close the folder click the up arrow as shown below.

Start Menu Folder 1

The new folder can now be resized, moved and made part of other folders in the same way you would control a regular Tile.

Customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10 problems

If you are having difficulties customizing the Start Menu for Windows 10, it might be because you do not have Administrator rights to the computer or if you are using a computer owned by your company, the IT department might restrict you to the default layout.

Let us know in the comments and we will try to help.

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