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How to change the Windows 10 Start menu

The Start menu on Windows 10 goes through small changes every now and then. Its design, after the terrible run it had with Windows 8/8.1, has now settled on something that most users like. It has two different versions; the traditional Start menu, and the Start screen. Between these two versions, most Windows 10 users can find something they like. They said, many still look to change the Windows 10 Start menu to their liking.

Change Windows 10 Start menu

There are lots of different ways you can change the Windows 10 Start Menu;

  • Switch to Start Screen.
  • Remove the Apps list and keep the tiles.
  • Remove all tiles, and keep the app’s list.
  • Change the color and layout of the Start menu.
  • Change the entire Start menu theme

1. Switch to Start Screen

The Start Screen is meant to be used on tablets and it’s what’s left of the Start menu that was introduced in Windows 8/8.1. Desktop users can enable it if they want.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the Personalization group of settings.
  3. Select the Start tab.
  4. Turn on the ‘Use Start full screen’ switch.
  5. Tap the Start button on the keyboard, or click it on the taskbar to open the Start Screen.
  6. Tap the button again to close the Start screen.

2. Remove the apps’ list and keep tiles

The apps’ list can be removed from the Start Menu. It will remain accessible via a tab but it won’t make the Start menu any wider than it has to be. The tiles you can keep.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the Personalization group of settings.
  3. Select the Start tab.
  4. Turn the ‘Show app list in the Start menu’ switch off.
  5. Open the Start Menu and click and drag the right edge to reduce its width.

3. Remove all tiles, and keep the app’s list

If you don’t like tiles and prefer to use the apps’ list and its speed dial to find and open apps, you can set the Start menu up without tiles.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Personalization>Start.
  3. Turn the ‘Show app list in the Start menu’ switch on.
  4. Open the Start menu, and right-click a group of tiles.
  5. Select ‘Unpin group from Start’.
  6. Repeat for all tiles/tile groups

4. Change the color and layout of the Start menu

The color of the Start menu can be set to almost anything but the color you set for it will also be set for taskbar and the Action center. As for the layout, you can select different tile sizes, and arrange them any way you want.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Personalization>Colors.
  3. Enable the ‘Start, taskbar, and action center’ option under Show accent color on the following surfaces.
  4. Scroll back up, and select a color from the swatches, or click ‘Custom color’ and pick the one you want to use.
  5. To change the tile size, right-click a pinned tile and go to Resize. Select one of the listed tasks.
  6. You can drag and drop the tiles anywhere you want to move and change their layout.

5. Change the entire Start menu theme

The previous customizations we’ve covered have been tame and used built-in features that Windows 10 has. If you’d like to change the look of the Start menu completely, say make it resemble the Start menu that Windows 7 had or that Windows XP had, there are apps that you can install.

  1. Download OpenShell. It is the ported version of ClassicShell that is under active development. Install the app. 
  2. Go to the app’s settings and select the Start Menu Style tab.
  3. Select the style you want to use.
  4. Go to the Skin tab. Select a skin or look online for skins to modify the Start Menu.

Conclusion

The Start menu can be customized in lots of different ways. If you stick to just tiles, you can create groups and arrange them so that they’re easy to use. If you’re looking for more drastic UI changes, you can look for skins that go with the Open Shell Menu app.

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