The Start menu has had a refresh on Windows 11. If you want to change how it looks and feels, you can customize it in the Settings app. Here’s how.
It’s safe to say that the changes to the interface in Windows 11 haven’t been universally popular.
The Start menu, in particular, has a new home (in the center of your taskbar) and a new look. If you’re not a fan, you might be wondering how you can configure the Start menu to look how you want it to.
Thankfully, you can easily customize the Start menu on Windows 11. You can control what items display in the menu, move it back to the left, and more.
Here’s a look at how to manage Start menu settings on Windows 11.
Whether you want to see what was recently installed or prefer a less cluttered Start menu, you can show or hide recently added apps.
To control what recently installed apps are displayed in the Windows 11 Start menu:
Windows will keep track of your recently opened files via the Start menu, allowing you to quickly return to them later. If you want to maintain your privacy a little, you may wish to turn this feature off.
To show or hide recently opened items in the Windows 11 Start menu:
This removes recently opened items from the Start menu. It also removes them from the Quick Access section in File Explorer. If you rely on that, you may want to keep the feature turned on.
If you have a few apps that you mainly use, having access to them from the Start menu is convenient. However, some users may prefer hiding the apps.
Do the following to show or hide your most-used apps:
Note: If you disable all Start menu settings listed above, you’ll have a Start menu with no items under the Recommended section.
Similar to folders on Windows 10, Windows 11 also allows you to manage available system folders.
To add or remove folders from the Start menu, do the following:
Many new users of Windows 11 aren’t a fan of the centered Start menu. Luckily, you can move the Start button back to the left, which feels more comfortable for long-time Windows users.
To move the Start menu to the left:
The Start menu on Windows 11 takes some getting used to, but the instructions above allow you to customize it. Like Windows 10, Windows 11 will get updates regularly, and you can expect new Start menu settings over time.
It’s also important to note that you can customize the Start menu look by changing its colors. If that’s not enough, you might want to try Start11 from Stardock. It’s $5.99 for one license that allows you to go much deeper with customizations. It even lets you bring back the Windows 7 Start menu on Windows 11.
If you’re not on Windows 11 yet, check out removing recently added apps from Windows 10 Start.
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