The Start Menu was changed on Windows 8/8.1, and refined on Windows 10. For the most part, the Start Menu on Windows 10 is functional and not the disaster it originally was when Microsoft first attempted to change it. You still have tiles that are a quick way to launch your favorite apps, and you have the app list where you can browse for and run any app installed on your system. If you still do not like it, you can replace Start menu tiles with the app list. Here’s how.
Replace Start menu tiles with app list
In order to replace the Start Menu tiles with the app list, you will have to first remove every single tile that’s pinned to the Start Menu. This is going to be a bit tedious although, if you’re on Windows 10 1903, you can unpin entire groups of tiles. To do this, right-click the little ‘positioning’ button at the end very end of a tile group, and select the ‘unpin group from Start’ option. It doesn’t matter if a tile group has a name or not. You can unpin a nameless tile group the exact same way you can unpin a named tile group.
Once you’ve unpinned all the tiles, you’re basically going to be left with a rather large empty column. To fix it and replace it with the app list, open the Settings app and go to the Personalization group of settings. Select the Start tab and enable the ‘Show app list in Start Menu’ option.
When you next tap the Windows key on your keyboard, you will get just the app list and no tiles. You won’t see the empty column for the Start menu that used to still appear as a ‘place holder’ area for tiles that you had to pin.
The app list is sorted in alphabetical order and if you click the letters, you get a sort of speed dial that lets you jump straight to a particular letter. It’s a quick way to access an app that begins with a certain letter without having to manually scroll through the app list.
Be warned that once you unpin tiles from the Start Menu, and you later decide they weren’t so bad, you will have to pin them all back one at a time. If you’re not certain you’ll like the change, it’s a good idea to first back up the Start Menu layout so that you can easily restore it later.