The standard start menu in the Windows operating system is ready to undergo the biggest overhaul in years. The days of live tiles in the start menu are over. Instead, the standard menu now includes pinned apps, AI-based recommendations, folder shortcuts, and more. And yes, it also gets a new position in the system tray. In addition, all tools are available to you to customize the Start menu in Windows 11.
Microsoft added a number of personalization options. The default settings are fine, but you may want to change the look, feel, and function of the Start menu in Windows 11.
We’ll show you the standard behavior in the Windows 11 Start menu and how you can change it in the operating system.
1. Deactivate the translucent effect
The standard Windows 11 elements like the widgets control panel, the new notification area, the quick toggle and the start menu have a translucent effect. It’s part of Microsoft’s Fluent design system that the company uses in other first-party apps.
While it looks cool with the standard Windows 11 wallpaper, it may not work well with some third-party wallpapers.
You can open the settings menu and go to the Personalization> Colors menu. Then turn off the transparency effects in the following menu.
No restart is required here. You will immediately see the applied effect in the start menu.
2. Change the start menu design
You can change the design of the start menu individually. However, the proposed method changes the whole look and feel of the operating system.
The default start menu is set to the white design with a blue accent color. Follow the steps below to change this.
Step 1: Open the settings menu in Windows 11 (Windows + I keys).
Step 2: Go to the Personalization> Colors menu.
Step 3: Choose the default theme mode from Light, Dark, or Custom.
Step 4: In the same menu, you can choose the accent color that appears in the Windows 11 Start menu and throughout the operating system.
3. Change the start menu position
As mentioned above, Microsoft centers the position of the Start menu in Windows 11. However, if you keep coming back to the lower left corner, you can change the position based on old habits.
Step 1: Open the Windows Settings app and go to the Personalization menu.
Step 2: Choose Taskbar> Taskbar Behavior.
Step 3: From the alignment menu on the taskbar, select on the left.
Windows 11 moves the taskbar with the start menu and the app symbols on the left.
4. Pin / remove apps in the start menu
Fast live tiles are gone, and pinned apps on the Start menu are replacing them. As expected, Microsoft has overcrowded the start menu with its own apps and services.
You can right-click any app and remove it from the start menu. Likewise, users can right-click any app from the Apps menu and pin it to the Start menu.
Likewise, users can drag and drop apps into the Start menu to change their position. This allows you to pin up to 18 apps in the start menu.
5. Disable the Windows recommendations
With the switch to Windows 11, the Windows timeline is gone too. Now you have recommendations in the Windows 11 start menu. As of now, they only work with Microsoft apps and services.
You won’t find it useful unless you want to try everything Microsoft recommends. You can turn off the recommendations for the Start menu from the Settings menu. Here is how.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on Windows 11.
Step 2: Navigate to Personalization> Home and deselect Show recently opened items in Home, Jump Lists, and File Explorer.
We hope Microsoft will open the recommended API to third party developers. Imagine a scenario in which you a. can open WhatsApp chat or Twitter home directly from the Windows 11 start menu. Productive, isn’t it?
6. Add folder to the start menu
Microsoft provides an option to add shortcuts like File Explorer, Pictures, Downloads, etc. to the Start menu. This is very useful for opening the frequently accessed folders directly from the start menu.
Go to Windows Settings> Personalization> Start and select Folders. Next, select the folders you want to add to the Start menu.
To the example, we added the downloads and file manager shortcuts to the start menu.
Open the start menu and you will see newly added shortcuts next to the power menu. You can now pin and open your frequently used folders with a single click.
Customizing the Start menu in Windows 11
It’s good to see how Microsoft is doing Windows 11. Unlike Windows 10, however, you can personalize the new Start menu more. So make the necessary adjustments and feel right at home with the new Start menu in Windows 11.