10 Tips to Enhance Your Windows 11 Start Menu Experience

Microsoft’s Windows operating system has long been a staple in the realm of personal computing, and with each iteration, users have become accustomed to navigating through its various features, perhaps none more iconic than the Start menu. However, with the advent of Windows 11, the Start menu underwent a significant overhaul, prompting mixed reactions from users worldwide. While some have embraced the new design, others find themselves yearning for the familiarity of previous iterations. Whether you’re looking to enhance the functionality of the revamped Start menu or longing to revert to the classic version, here are ten easy ways to tailor your Windows 11 experience to your preferences.

1. Customise the Pinned Apps Section

One of the notable changes in the Windows 11 Start menu is the absence of live tiles, replaced instead by a streamlined layout featuring pinned apps and recommendations. To make the most of this section, consider customising it to suit your needs. Begin by unpinning default apps and pinning those you frequently use. Simply right-click on any app in the Pinned section and select “Unpin from Start,” then navigate to the “All Apps” section to pin your preferred applications.

2. Rid Yourself of Bloatware

New devices often come preloaded with unnecessary applications, cluttering the Start menu and detracting from its usability. Take control of your Start menu by removing this bloatware. Right-click on any unwanted app in the Pinned section and select “Uninstall,” or access the All Apps section for a comprehensive uninstallation process.

3. Disable the Recommended Section

While Microsoft touts the Recommended section as a highlight of the new Start menu, its suggestions may not always align with your preferences. To reduce its prominence, navigate to Settings > Personalisation > Start and disable the option to show recently opened items.

4. Incorporate Quick Access Folders and Shortcuts

Enhance the functionality of your Start menu by adding quick access folders and shortcuts. Navigate to Settings > Personalisation > Start > Folders to enable features such as Settings, File Explorer, Downloads, and your Personal Folder.

5. Restore the Start Menu to its Left-Hand Placement

If the centralised placement of the Start menu doesn’t suit your preferences, fear not—there’s an option to revert it to the left-hand corner. Navigate to Settings > Personalisation > Taskbar > Taskbar Behaviours and select “Left” from the Taskbar alignment options.

6. Unlock Hidden Functionality with a Right-Click

Discover a treasure trove of options with the secret Start menu accessible through a simple right-click. Gain quick access to Settings, Task Manager, Terminal, Desktop, and more.

7. Personalise Your Start Menu with Start11

For those yearning for the familiarity of Windows 10, Start11 offers a solution. This app restores the classic Start menu, complete with a two-pane interface, customisable menus, and a search field at the bottom. With Start11, the possibilities for personalisation are endless.

8. Simplify with ExplorerPatcher

Streamline your Start menu experience with ExplorerPatcher, a free, open-source utility that reverts the taskbar, Start menu, and File Explorer to their Windows 10 counterparts. Enjoy a minimalist Start menu with just a click.

9. Explore Customisation Options with StartAllBack

Dive into a world of customisation with StartAllBack, a versatile Start menu replacement offering a plethora of tweaks. From taskbar icon changes to Windows 7 themes, StartAllBack empowers users to tailor their Windows 11 experience to perfection.

10. Embrace Innovation with PowerToys Run Launcher

Step away from tradition and explore new horizons with PowerToys Run Launcher—an alternative to the Start menu that offers streamlined functionality akin to Mac’s Spotlight. Launch apps, websites, and execute tasks effortlessly with this keyboard-driven launcher.

In conclusion, while the Windows 11 Start menu may have undergone a significant transformation, users need not feel confined by its default configuration. With these ten tips, you can take control of your Start menu experience, tailoring it to your preferences and workflow. Whether you choose to enhance the existing layout or opt for a complete overhaul, the power to customise your Windows 11 experience lies at your fingertips.

Elliot Preece
Elliot Preecehttps://www.nerdbite.com
Founder | Editor Elliot is a key member of the Nerdbite team, bringing a wealth of experience in journalism and web development. With a passion for technology and being an avid gamer, Elliot seamlessly combines his expertise to lead a team of skilled journalists, creating high-quality content that engages and informs readers. His dedication ensures a smooth website experience, positioning Nerdbite as a leading source of news and insights in the industry. elliot@nerdbite.com

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