There are a number of ways to customize the Start menu, some of the options can be customized from the menu itself, and additional options can be managed through the Settings app.
Changing basic Start menu settings
You can customize almost everything you see on the menu with the options available through the Start page in the Settings app using these steps:
Step 1: Open Settings.
Step 2: Click on Personalization.
Step 3: Click on Start.
In the Start page, you'll find a number of options you can customize, including:
- Show more tiles on Start —Allows you to add a fourth column of tiles to fit up to 8 (small) tiles in a single row.
- Show app list in Start menu —Disabling this option will remove the all apps list with only access to your pinned Live Tiles. You can still access your apps clicking the All apps button on the top-left, or typing a search as you open the menu.
- Show recently added apps —If you're not interested in seeing the Recently added list, you can turn off this option to remove it.
- Show most used apps —The Start menu lists your more frequently used apps, but you can disable this option if you only want to see all the apps.
- Occasionally show suggestions in Start —When enabled, the Start menu will show recommendations of Microsoft Store, which many consider as ads. You can use this toggle switch to prevent seeing suggestions.
- Use full screen —enables a Windows 8.1 Start screen-like experience stretching the menu across the desktop letting to see more pinned tiles without having to scroll.
To customize the left rail button, you can click the Choose which folders appear on Start link at the bottom of the page, and then simply turn on or off the toggle switch for the buttons you want to see on the menu.
Customizing Live Tiles
Alongside the customization options available through the Settings app, you can also personalize the experience from the menu itself.
You can resize the menu vertically and horizontally by stretching the edges outwards using the mouse.
Working with tiles, folders, and groups
The Start menu also offers the ability to drag tiles, groups of tiles, and folders anywhere in the menu.
In order to better organize your tiles, you can create a group by dragging tiles into an empty space. You can even click the header of the group to change the name to anything that makes more sense for that group — and yes, emojis are supported.
Folders is another way to group tiles inside of tile to optimize the space in the Start menu. You can create new "folders" by dragging and dropping a tile on top of another tile. Then dropping more items into the folder will add them to the group.
Live Tiles and folders support many sizes, which you can change right-clicking a tile, selecting Resize, and choosing from one of the available sizes, including Small, Medium, Wide, or Large.
If the live updates isn't a feature you like, right-clicking the tile, and selecting More, you'll find the option to turn off live updates. Also, depending on the app, you will see additional options, such as options to pin or unpin the taskbar, run it with administrator privileges, and more.
A Windows 7 Start menu look
In the case that you prefer a more classic look, you can always remove all the tiles to end up only with the all apps list view, which is a menu very similar to the one found in Windows 7. However, you'll need to right-click each tile and select the Unpin from Start option, as Windows 10 doesn't offer a setting to hide the Live Tile section.