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Open and Customize the Start Menu

How to Customize the Start Menu in Windows 10

The Start menu features apps, settings, and files, along with Live Tiles. Some apps can be displayed as Live Tiles, which can show dynamic information from that app. For example, mail messages will be summarized in the Mail app's tile, while the Weather app's tile will show your weather forecast.

Open the Start Menu

Although Windows 8 replaced the old Start menu with the Start screen, the Start menu is back and better than before in Windows 10. Get started using Windows 10 by accessing your Start menu.

  1. Click the Start menu.
    The Start Menu

    Press Windows 10 on your keyboard.

View Account Commands

To accommodate the complete list of apps and programs in your Start menu, certain features such as File Explorer, the Settings app, user account photo, and power button appear docked on the left-hand side.

  1. Click your profile photo.

    Click the Expand button in the upper-left corner of the Start menu before clicking your name and profile photo.

  2. Choose the desired command.
      Commands include:
    • Change account settings: Make changes to your Microsoft account, including your picture and password.
    • Lock: Lock your computer, requiring a password to unlock it.
    • Sign out: Sign out of Windows, and allow another user to log in.
    The Start Menu

Press Windows 10 + L to lock your computer.

Open Apps

You can view a list of all your installed apps in alphabetical order through the Start menu. In previous versions of Windows 10, the All Apps feature was used to access a list of apps. The app view was updated to reduce the number of clicks required to access apps in the Start menu.

  1. Click the Start button.

    Recently added and most-used apps also appear.

  2. Click an app to open it.
    The Start Menu

Windows 10 comes equipped with some pre-installed apps. This table details many of the default apps you'll find in your Start menu. Each of these apps are customizable based on your interests and needs.

App Description
Windows 10 Alarms & Clock Set alarms for specific times, use a timer or stopwatch for events, and view your clock or other regional clocks.
Windows 10 Calculator. Calculator Use a standard calculator to make calculations and conversions. Conversions are helpful when traveling to another region that uses different units of measurement.
Windows 10 Maps. View a specific location on a map or get directions and traffic information based on your location.
Windows 10 Money. Track stocks, read financial news stores, and get current financial data.
Windows 10 News. Access news stories from publications such as the Associated Press, CNN, Reuters, and the New York Times. Customize news to fit your interests.
Windows 10 Notepad. Type notes to review later.
Windows 10 Skype. Use the internet to make video or phone calls to friends and family.
Windows 10 Sports. Use MSN Sports to view top sports stories, scheduled games, and up-to-date scores. Customize to view information about your favorite teams.
Windows 10 Sway. Create online presentations with headings, text, images/videos, or embedded content. Sway presentations are similar to those created in PowerPoint
Windows 10 Voice Recorder. Use your computer microphone to record a note.
Windows 10 Weather. View your city or another city's current weather conditions and five-day forecast. The Weather app uses the MSN Weather service to obtain this information.

Pin Apps to the Start Menu

You can add, or "pin," frequently used apps to your Start menu for quick access.

  1. Click the Start button.

    All your installed apps appear.

  2. Scroll through them until you find the app you're looking for, and right-click the app.
  3. Choose Pin to Start.
    The Start Menu

The app is pinned to your Start menu and will also appear as a Live Tile.

Remove a Pinned App

If you find you're not using a pinned app as much anymore, you can remove it from your Start menu just as easily as you added it.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Right-click the app tile you want to remove.
  3. Choose Unpin from Start.

    Unpinning an app removes it from your Start menu-it doesn't uninstall it.

    The Start Menu

    You can also right-click the app from app list in your Start menu to unpin it.

Resize an App Tile

Some apps appear as Live Tiles, which are shortcuts to open apps. Live Tiles also provide real-time information from that specific app. If there's a Live Tile you like but want to see a bit more information about it-like with the Weather app- you can make the tile bigger.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Right-click an app tile.
  3. Choose Resize.
  4. Choose the desired size.
    The Start Menu

The tile is resized.

Resize the Start Menu

Windows 10 gives you even more freedom to choose how much (or little) you see on your Start menu. You can resize the Start menu, which expands or collapses the view of your Live Tiles.

  1. Click the Start menu.
  2. Position your cursor on an outer edge of your Start menu until a double arrow appears.
  3. Click and drag the edge of the Start menu to resize it.
    The Start Menu

Name a Tile Group

Live Tiles are grouped together by type. You'll notice a gap between tile groups, where you can add a group title. It's easy to change or add a group title.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click the empty space between tile groups.
  3. Type a group name, and then press Enter.
    The Start Menu
  4. Click an existing group tile name to change it.
  5. Type over the existing name with the new one and press Enter.
    The Start Menu

Move an App Tile

If you don't like how the Live Tiles are arranged, you can move them around.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click and drag the desired tile to a new location on your Start menu.
    The Start Menu

Turn Off a Live Tile

If you no longer want to see updates from a Live Tile, you can turn it off. Once turned off, the Live Tile no longer provides real-time information.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Right-click an app's Live Tile.
  3. Choose More and then click Turn Live Tile off.
    The Start Menu

The tile no longer details real-time updates.

Add Favorite Folders to the Start Menu

If you find yourself accessing the same folders over and over, you can add those folders to your Start menu for quick access.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click the Settings button.

    Settings categories appear.

    The Start Menu
  3. Click Personalization.
    The Start Menu

    Personalization settings appear.

  4. Choose Start.
  5. Click Choose which folders appear on Start.
    The Start Menu
  6. Toggle folders on or off.
    The Start Menu

Folders toggled on appear as buttons on the left side of your Start menu.