How do I customise the Windows Start menu?

customise windows start menu
Does your Windows 10 start menu look like this? Fear not, here's how to tame it to your will...

If you’re anything like me, inertia┬ámeans you haven’t touched the Windows Start menu since the day it was loaded. But, once you know how things work, it’s simple to twist it to your liking. Here’s how to customise the Windows Start menu.

Customise Windows Start menu: removing tiles

The first step is to strip away all the tiles you hate. I mean, Candy Crush Saga?

customise windows start menuFirst, bring up the Start menu by pressing the Start key. Then move your mouse over the offending tile and right-click. You’ll be offered the option to “Unpin from Start”. Click it and the icon will disappear.

In case you’re worried, this doesn’t delete the program from your computer. So you can unpin the Word tile from the Start menu without fear.

Now repeat the process until you’re left with just the tiles you want. Don’t worry about the size of the menu or leaving lots of blank spaces. We’ll come to that in a moment.

Customise Windows Start menu: adding tiles

To add titles, first press the Start button. Your list of apps sits towards the left-hand side. If you press and hold on an app with the left-mouse button, you can drag it to wherever you like on the Start menu. The other tiles will move out of the way.

Or, you can right-click on the app and choose the “Pin to Start” option. Add as many as you like.

customise windows start menuTo keep things organised, Microsoft allows you to name groups of tiles. To do this, move your mouse above a tile you’ve just added. (Note that if you’ve added more than one, you’ll need to hover over the left-most tile.)

You’ll see a new field that says “Name group”. Click on these words and you can type in a name for that group of tiles.

Once named, you can grab a group of tiles and move it around the menu by left-clicking on its name.

Customise Windows Start menu: tidying it up

As you can see from the screen below, it’s easy to end up with lots of space and awkward gaps. There are a few things you can do about this.

customise windows start menuThe first is to resize tiles. Most apps will give you two options: Small or Medium. To select which you prefer, right-click on the app’s icon and then choose from the Resize menu.

Microsoft apps such as Minecraft will give you two more options: Wide and Large. Have a play.

Your other tidying option is the size of the menu itself. You can make this slimmer or wider by hovering over the right-hand edge of the menu, where it touches the background image.

Click on the two-sided arrow that appears, and then move it left or right. Note you can also adjust the height of the menu by hovering over the top.

Customise Windows Start menu: altering settings

customise windows start menuMicrosoft lets you tweak various other settings for the Start menu if you’re so inclined. For instance, you can ask it to show recent apps and switch off the suggestions (definitely switch off suggestions).

To delve into these options, press the Start menu and then click on the Settings option (just above the power button symbol). Click on Personalisation, and then click Start.

Is there anything that you’d like to do that wasn’t covered by the tutorial? Let us know in the comments below.

READ NEXT: What are the best Windows 10 gestures?

About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis. Email

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