Windows 11 gets a useful addition to the Start menu for a change – and some other nifty tweaks

Laptop running Windows 11
(Image credit: sdx15 / Shutterstock)

Windows 11 just got some useful new tweaks for the Start menu, albeit they are still in testing for the moment.

These came as part of the preview build (version 22635) that was released in the Beta channel late last week, which Microsoft added to over the weekend.

There are two main tweaks here for the Windows 11 interface, both of which apply to the Start menu and bolster it with useful functionality.

First off, Microsoft has added jump lists for apps which support them, meaning that when you right click on such an app in the Start menu, you’ll see a list of context-sensitive actions that you might want to take.

Think of these as handy shortcuts, so as in Microsoft’s example in its blog post for the preview, when you right click on the PowerPoint app, you’ll see options to immediately open files that you recently worked with in the program. Or for the Snipping Tool, you’ll be presented with options to immediately take a screenshot (or a delayed grab).

The second tweak Microsoft has made for Windows 11 testers, the one more recently added to this preview build, is the ability to drag and drop apps in the Start menu directly to the taskbar, or the desktop, in order to pin them.

Away from the Start menu, as regular leaker Albacore shared on X (hat tip to Windows Latest), there’s also been a change for the taskbar, although this isn’t in the Beta channel, but the Canary channel, an earlier testing avenue.

As noted, there’s a setting that turns off the notifications bell on the taskbar, giving you a bit more space, and a lack of nagging, if you’re not a fan of that feature. Right now, it doesn’t work though – and as ever with anything in this earliest testing channel, it might not make the cut for inclusion in Windows 11.


Analysis: Better late than never

There are some small but useful changes here, and hopefully with the Start menu tweaks, we should see these coming through soon enough (possibly in the Windows 11 24H2 update, which is rumored to be set for launch in September 2024).

Mind you, the change for dragging and dropping an app from the Start menu to the desktop (or taskbar) should really have been in Windows 11 in the first place. This is another example of a seemingly basic piece of interface functionality that was left out of Microsoft’s newest OS for no apparent reason – drag and drop in the File Explorer address bar is another example of this.

These represent odd decisions by Microsoft which are constraining in terms of the interface and your workflow when you come over from Windows 10 (where these abilities are available). At any rate, at least these pieces of the interface puzzle are now in place, if only in testing right now.

Via Windows Latest [1, 2]

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).