Windows 10 Tip: Customizing the Start menu

With Windows 10, Microsoft has brought back the Start menu, but it's not quite the same menu that you may remember. With live tiles now appearing in the menu and accent colors changing the look of the UI, Windows 10 has a lot more room for personalization than the previous versions of the OS.

The first step in customizing the Start menu is deciding if you want live tiles to show up at all. If you do not want to see them, when you click Start, you can remove tiles by right-clicking on them and selecting "unpin from Start" from the context menu.

If you do want tiles, the first thing you will want to do is add the apps that you will use the most. You can add tiles by clicking on Start, all apps, then finding the apps you want to add, right clicking on them and selecting "pin to start." By doing this, the tiles will now show up on the right side of the Start menu next to all of the other tiles.

Once you have live tiles added to the menu, you can then rearrange them. By pressing and holding down the left click button, you can drag the tiles and arrange them any way that you would like. If you want to change the size of the tile, right click on the tile and then select the size you want.

There is also the ability to create headers for tile groups. If you move your mouse above any tile group, two lines will appear; if you click those lines, you can then rename the tile group. Alternatively, you can create a new tile group by dragging any tile to a free space within the Start menu and the same prompt will appear to rename the tile group.

The size of the Start menu is also customizable. You can make it taller and wider by grabbing the sides of the menu and dragging them to your preferred size.

Finally, if you want to change the default color for your tiles (you cannot change them individually) you can do this by right clicking on the desktop, selecting "Personalize," choosing colors on the left side of the new window, and then picking the color you would like your tiles to be.

If you want to learn more about Windows 10, make sure to check out our review here and for more tips, you can find them here.

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I wish there was a "color picker" tool for selecting the accent color. Over the weekend I upgraded Windows 8 to Windows 10 and it seems that Windows picks the worst color available in the background to use as the accent color ---- in cases where the background is not minimalistic.

I wish there was a "color picker" tool for selecting the accent color. Over the weekend I upgraded Windows 8 to Windows 10 and it seems that Windows picks the worst color available in the background to use as the accent color ---- in cases where the background is not minimalistic.

Winaero Tweaker lets you choose up to 10 or so custom accent colors with a color picker: http://winaero.com/blog/winaero-tweaker-0-3-0-1-is-out/

 

Or goto run and type 'control color'

Edited by DeusProto, Aug 3 2015, 10:34am :

I wish there was a "color picker" tool for selecting the accent color. Over the weekend I upgraded Windows 8 to Windows 10 and it seems that Windows picks the worst color available in the background to use as the accent color ---- in cases where the background is not minimalistic.

Right click the desktop and choose "Personalize" then click "Color" on the left navigation panel. Now turn off the "Automatically choose an Accent color", then choose a color from what colors are available and then turn on "Show color on Start, Taskbar and action center". Not much colors to choose from but I'm sure we all can manage. :-)

I wish there was a "color picker" tool for selecting the accent color. Over the weekend I upgraded Windows 8 to Windows 10 and it seems that Windows picks the worst color available in the background to use as the accent color ---- in cases where the background is not minimalistic.

Yeah. The default color choice is 55 colors. I can't get close enough to what I want for the title bar. Color is either too bright or dark. If course, this is to my taste only. Now that 10 is running well, it's time to nit pick on the little things.

'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery'

I'm sure www.thurrott.com will be flattered. All you need now is the domain name sams.com and to host a weekly podcast\review.

Oh hang on...

Thanks for the uncalled for personal attack, have a great Monday.
Don't let internet donkeys get you down Brad you're doing a great job. It's getting rare to find tech reporters that aren't either too trendy, hostile to Microsoft or both.

Thanks for the uncalled for personal attack, have a great Monday.

I read, in one of those useless college courses, that if you put six random people in a room there will be at least one that doesn't like someone for no reason at all. You do a very good job, Brad. Keep up the good work.

'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery'

I'm sure www.thurrott.com will be flattered. All you need now is the domain name sams.com and to host a weekly podcast\review.

Oh hang on...

Thanks for the uncalled for personal attack, have a great Monday.

Hardly a personal attack. What I thought was a valid observation after I got deja-vu reading Thurrotts site and browsing through his Windows 10 Tip articles.

'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery'

I'm sure www.thurrott.com will be flattered. All you need now is the domain name sams.com and to host a weekly podcast\review.

Oh hang on...

Thanks for the uncalled for personal attack, have a great Monday.

Hardly a personal attack. What I thought was a valid observation after I got deja-vu reading Thurrotts site and browsing through his Windows 10 Tip articles.

Well go waste everyone elses time there, instead of posting nonsense here.

First thing I did was get rid of those Tiles(had flashbacks of Windows 8). I wish we could really bring back the best Start Menu without having to rely on third party programs.

Amen. I spent some time trying to use the limited customization options for the Windows 10 Start Menu, then I gave up and installed Start10. That's the only way I can make the Start Menu productive and not just a mishmash of crappy metro apps and genuinely useful program shortcuts. Start10 quickly got rid of all traces of the hideous and gimped metro rubbish quick smart.

You can have a [url=https://sublevel.net/re/16992/]skinny start menu[/url] too:

[img]http://i.imgur.com/arKsNtt.jpg[/img]

"The size of the Start menu is also customizable. You can make it taller and wider by grabbing the sides of the menu and dragging them to your preferred size."

I think there's a limit to how wide this menu can be; and the limit seems to be dependent on screen size and resolution. On my Surface 3, I can't do more than two full columns. On my desktop PC, I can do 4 full columns. I would have liked it if i could have as many columns as i wanted with an option to scroll horizontally.

"The size of the Start menu is also customizable. You can make it taller and wider by grabbing the sides of the menu and dragging them to your preferred size."

I think there's a limit to how wide this menu can be; and the limit seems to be dependent on screen size and resolution. On my Surface 3, I can't do more than two full columns. On my desktop PC, I can do 4 full columns. I would have liked it if i could have as many columns as i wanted with an option to scroll horizontally.

it's not a Surface 3 problem. it's a general problem with Windows 10 and by design. But on a tablet like the Surface 3 it looks especially stupid when in portrait mode.

The only thing that's missing is a custom color palette, the only way to bypass this is to enter a custom value on a string in regedit, which is boring.

I find the Start Menu & Start Screen are, layout & design wise, worse than their previous implementations.

1. Having tiles on the right side of the Start Menu seems awfully bloated for what is essentially an app launcher. The user should be able to just insert normal icons on left side of the Start Menu. & turn off the tiles if they wish.

2. The All Apps menu is clumsy especially in Start Menu mode. And the user can't change the sorting or groping. And I still don't see a simple way for the user to clean up the program shortcuts in All Apps. You can't even "open in explorer" on these icons any more.

3. As far as I can recall, in every other start menu & start screen implementation I could hit "Start" > "down arrow" > "enter" to launch what ever program I put in that location. That's no longer the case in either the start menu or screen.

I find the Start Menu & Start Screen are, layout & design wise, worse than their previous implementations.

1. Having tiles on the right side of the Start Menu seems awfully bloated for what is essentially an app launcher. The user should be able to just insert normal icons on left side of the Start Menu. & turn off the tiles if they wish.

2. The All Apps menu is clumsy especially in Start Menu mode. And the user can't change the sorting or groping. And I still don't see a simple way for the user to clean up the program shortcuts in All Apps. You can't even "open in explorer" on these icons any more.

3. As far as I can recall, in every other start menu & start screen implementation I could hit "Start" > "down arrow" > "enter" to launch what ever program I put in that location. That's no longer the case in either the start menu or screen.

"You can't even "open in explorer" on these icons any more." ..."Open In File Explorer". The new name for Windows Explorer. "I could hit "Start" > "down arrow" > "enter" to launch what ever program I put in that location"... You still can?!?!

Anyone having serious internet problems with W10? My internet drops after every 5-10 minutes. I updated my drivers and did a second reset but it hasn't helped.

Anyone having serious internet problems with W10? My internet drops after every 5-10 minutes. I updated my drivers and did a second reset but it hasn't helped.

Are you running a virtual machine software like virtualbox or vmware or openvpn? I had similar issues at windows 7 and after removing vmware my internet worked normal again. With VMware installed I had random stalls when playing WoW and it would take 30 seconds after a PC restart for the internet to be ON...

The "Most Used" section in the upper left corner seems redundant and wasteful. I already have access to my most used apps... in the pinned tiles and/or on my taskbar. So why repeat it? (This "feature" seems like a grating echo of the old upper menu on the Mac Classic OS.)

What I need is something closer to previous start menus: a quick way of finding programs I RARELY use. If I could pin or make the "All App" view the default in the upper left hand corner, this start menu would be much more useful.

If it's not changed, I may go back to Stardock and use the Start8/10 menu that served me so well in Windows 8.

The "Most Used" section in the upper left corner seems redundant and wasteful. I already have access to my most used apps... in the pinned tiles and/or on my taskbar. So why repeat it? (This "feature" seems like a grating echo of the old upper menu on the Mac Classic OS.)

What I need is something closer to previous start menus: a quick way of finding programs I RARELY use. If I could pin or make the "All App" view the default in the upper left hand corner, this start menu would be much more useful.

If it's not changed, I may go back to Stardock and use the Start8/10 menu that served me so well in Windows 8.

Workflow is the key. I use the windows key on the keyboard and just start typing; it's super fast.

As far as I can tell, there is no way to search for apps in the new start menu. I noticed that some of my apps are not showing (like MS Word). I cannot drag the icon from explorer to the start menu.

it drives me nuts that you are not allowed to have to wide tiles next to each others. it's working on phones but Microsoft decided that you can't do the same on the desktop and on tablets. it looks totally strange if you are forced to have a one column-wide group.

it drives me nuts that you are not allowed to have to wide tiles next to each others. it's working on phones but Microsoft decided that you can't do the same on the desktop and on tablets. it looks totally strange if you are forced to have a one column-wide group.

...two wide tiles...

first thing to do is remove the the space wasting and useless tiles...

I can see calling them useless and disabling them, but how are they "space wasting"? Do you spend a lot of time with your start menu open staring at the 300 pixels of screen you aren't using?

* Sorry for that coming off as snarky

Edited by Zagadka, Aug 3 2015, 5:20pm : Peace and love

when you were talking about Customizing Windows 10 start menu, i was thinking "how to create your own tiles like oblytitle did with windows 8 (with custom image, custom action, etc. ) not talking about " how to resize tile or create group" like everyone can find with a simple right click on a tile... :(

Installed W10 last night. I "unpinned" all the game tiles as I never play games, but they are still there. All I can do is make them "small".

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