Everything You Need To Know About The Windows 10 Start Menu [Review]

Windows 10 has brought back the Start menu and Windows users are all to familiar it but in Windows 10, it has a new look. It isn’t just the old menu that we were all nostalgic about; once you begin using it you realize that the Start menu is a  comprehensive version of the Start screen and many features in it aptly reflect this. We’ve detailed all you need to know about this new Start menu below, what it has to offer, and what customization options are available.

Modern UI Design

The Start menu has received the Modern UI treatment and that is evident with the live tiles and the flat design. It still features pinned programs and a search bar as well as an ‘All Apps’ list that allows you to launch any selected app. What’s different is the ability for it to house far more pinned programs than it could in Windows 7 as well as support for pinning Modern apps. The list of pinned and recent apps contains Modern apps as well as desktop ones. The tiles however can only house Modern apps and their tiles. You can drag a modern app from the pinned list to the tiles but you cannot do the same for a desktop app.

windows 10 start menu

Live Tiles

The live tiles are what emulate the Start screen in the Start menu. They update in real time and can be resized, rearranged, pinned/unpinned, and turned on or off. To rearrange a tile, simply click and drag to reposition it. Given that the Start menu is a more compact version of the Start screen, you cannot add dividers. The tiles snap into place as you move them around so that they take up as little room as possible.

rearrange tiles

To resize a tile, right-click it and select from one of four sizes in the Resize menu. You an also unpin a tile from the Start menu, and pin/unpin it from the Taskbar from its right-click context menu.

tile size

Drag & Drop Items To Pin

This is an old feature from Windows 7 that has duly carried over to the Start menu in Windows 10. You can drag & drop files and folders from anywhere and they will be pinned to the start menu.

pin to start menu

Customize Start Menu

There is a new and dedicated customization menu for the Start menu. To access it, open the Taskbar properties and go to the Start Menu tab, or right-click anywhere on the Start menu and  select properties. Go to the Start menu tab, click Customize, and choose which folders and locations you want to include and exclude from the Start menu. You can also disable dragging & dropping items to the Start menu and disable sub-menus that open when you hover the mouse pointer over them.

customize start menu

Color Theme

You can change the Start menu’s color the same way you can with the Start screen. Right-click on the Start menu and select Personalize. Select a color and apply it. The same color is applied to the Taskbar and to app windows.

personalize start menu win 10

 

It really leaves you thinking why Microsoft didn’t just do this in Windows 8 since the execution is pretty good and you sort of still have everything the Start Screen has to offer you.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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