How to customize the new start menu in Windows 11

Windows 11 Start menu
(Image credit: TechRadar)

One of the biggest surprises announced with Windows 11, was the redesigned start menu. By default, it’s placed in the center of the taskbar, perfect for touch screens to easily select shortcuts to your favorite apps.

However, you may want to bring it back to the position it's been at for the last twenty-five years.

With our tips, here's how you can change the new start menu to your liking, way before the final build of Windows 11 is even released.

Hide icons in the Taskbar

Right click on the taskbar, which will take you to its Settings.

Windows 11, hide icons in Start menu

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Here, you can switch off the Search, Task view and Widgets from being shown on the taskbar.

Change the position of the icons

Right click on the taskbar, which will take you to its Settings. In the section called ‘Taskbar behaviours’, you can select ‘Taskbar alignment’ to move the icons to the left or the center.

Windows 11, moving icons in the Start menu

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Pin apps to the start menu

Select the Windows icon in the start menu, and go to ‘All apps’. Scrolling through the list, you can right-click any of the apps and select ‘Pin to Start’.

This will show the app in the ‘Pinned’ list, but if you want to remove an app, simply right-click on an app again, and select ‘Unpin from Start.’

Windows 11 start menu

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Organize pinned apps in the start menu

You can drag the apps in the ‘Pinned’ section here, as a way of easily reaching the apps you use the most.

Windows 11 Start Menu - Pinned Apps

(Image credit: TechRadar)

You can right-click an app and select ‘Move to Top’ to bring it in full view, everytime you go to this Pinned list.

Another new feature of the start menu, Windows 11 will try to figure out which files and apps should show at certain points in the day. Recently used files and apps will also show here.

Windows 11 Start menu

(Image credit: TechRadar)

You can go on ‘More’ to go through a list, or right-click one of these to either remove from the list, or go to the location of the file.

Windows 11, recommended apps in Start menu

(Image credit: TechRadar)
Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.