Start Menu – Windows Blog by Brink

Start Menu

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Add or Remove Pin to Start Context Menu in Windows 11

The section at the top of the Start menu :win: is called the Pinned section. This section consists of pins arranged in a grid. The items in this section are a subset of all the apps installed on the PC; not all installed apps are included in this section by default. The number of rows and items in this view are consistent across device panel sizes.

You can Pin to Start an app, drive, file, folder, library, or site to Start.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the Pin to Start context menu item for all users in Windows 11.

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Open Start Menu in Windows 11

The Start menu is comprised of three sections: Pinned, All apps, and Recommended.

The Start menu contains shortcuts of all your apps, settings, and files.

The Pinned section is at the top of the Start menu. This section consists of pins arranged in a grid. The items in this section are a subset of all the apps installed on the PC; not all installed apps are included in this section by default. The number of rows and items in this view are consistent across device panel sizes. While the initial view of this section displays 18 items, a user can use the pagination control to move through pages of additional pins. The items in this section are a combination of Microsoft-defined apps, dynamically delivered apps, and OEM-configured items. Users can add, move, or remove pins in this section.

The All apps section appears when a user clicks/taps on All apps in the upper-right corner of the Start menu. All Apps is a comprehensive list, in alphabetical order, of all installed apps. Users can add or remove items in All apps.

The¬†Recommended section is the section below the “Pinned” section on the bottom of the Start menu that shows a list of the users¬†recently added apps¬†and¬†recently opened items. Users can click/tap on¬†More¬†to see a full list of their recently added apps and recently opened items.

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Change Name of Folder of Apps on Start Menu in Windows 11

The Start menu is comprised of three sections: Pinned, All apps, and Recommended.

The Start menu contains shortcuts of all your apps, settings, and files.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22557, you can now customize your pinned apps on the Start menu by organizing them into folders. You can add more apps to a folder, rearrange apps within a folder, and remove apps from a folder.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22579, you can now name your folders of apps in Start.

This tutorial will show you how to change the name of folders of apps on the Start menu for your account in Windows 11.

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Group Pinned Apps into Folders on Start Menu in Windows 11

The Start menu is comprised of three sections: Pinned, All apps, and Recommended.

The Start menu contains shortcuts of all your apps, settings, and files.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22557, you can now customize your pinned apps on the Start menu by organizing them into folders. You can add more apps to a folder, rearrange apps within a folder, and remove apps from a folder.

This tutorial will show you how to organize and group your pinned apps on the Start menu into folders for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove User Program Groups from Start Menu in Windows 11

The Start menu is comprised of three sections: Pinned, All apps, and Recommended.

All apps appears when a user clicks on All apps in the upper-right corner of the Start menu :win:. All Apps is a comprehensive list of shortcuts, in alphabetical order, of all installed apps. Some of these shortcuts are grouped into folders with the expandable folder in the list.

The Start Menu > All apps list for an account will include items (ex: app shortcuts) from the following locations:

  • New Users¬†– This profile includes items from the¬†C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs¬†folder that only get added for new accounts.
  • All Users¬†(common program groups) – This profile includes items from the¬†C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs¬†folder that are shared by all accounts on the PC.
  • User¬†– This profile includes items from the¬†C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs¬†folder for a specific user.

If you like, you can enable the¬†Remove user’s folders from the Start Menu¬†policy to remove the¬†User¬†(program groups) shortcuts from the Start menu > All apps list for all or specific users.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the User items from the Start Menu > All apps list for specific or all users in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Common Program Groups from Start Menu in Windows 11

The Start menu is comprised of three sections: Pinned, All apps, and Recommended.

All apps appears when a user clicks on All apps in the upper-right corner of the Start menu :win:. All Apps is a comprehensive list of shortcuts, in alphabetical order, of all installed apps. Some of these shortcuts are grouped into folders with the expandable folder in the list.

The Start Menu > All apps list for an account will include items (ex: app shortcuts) from the following locations:

  • New Users¬†– This profile includes items from the¬†C:\Users\Default\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs¬†folder that only get added for new accounts.
  • All Users¬†(common program groups) – This profile includes items from the¬†C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs¬†folder that are shared by all accounts on the PC.
  • User¬†– This includes items from the¬†C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs¬†folder for a specific user.

If you like, you can enable the Remove common program groups from Start Menu policy to remove the All Users (common program groups) shortcuts from the Start menu > All apps list for all or specific users.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove the All Users items from the Start Menu > All apps list for specific or all users in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Pin and Unpin Items on Jump Lists in Windows 11

Jump Lists are available when you right click on an app on the taskbar or Start menu > All apps.

Jump Lists are lists of app specific tasks or items you can quickly open or get to for every day usage. Jump Lists can include pinned items, recent items, frequent items, tasks, and/or websites.

Items pinned to an app’s jump list will appear at the top of the jump list for quick access.

You can enable the Do not allow pinning items in Jump Lists policy to disable and remove Pin to this list and Unpin from this list context menus for Jump Lists.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable pin and unpin items on jump lists for specific or all users in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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Pin or Unpin Items on Jump Lists in Windows 11

Jump Lists are available when you right click on an app on the taskbar or Start menu > All apps.

Jump Lists are lists of app specific tasks or items you can quickly open or get to for every day usage. Jump Lists can include pinned items, recent items, frequent items, tasks, and/or websites.

Items pinned to an app’s jump list will appear at the top of the jump list for quick access.

This tutorial will show you how to pin or unpin items on Jump Lists of apps for your account in Windows 11.

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Change Maximum Number of Items in Jump Lists in Windows 11

Jump Lists are available when you right click on an app on the taskbar or Start menu > All apps.

Jump Lists are lists of app specific tasks or items you can quickly open or get to for every day usage. Jump Lists can include pinned items, recent items, frequent items, tasks, and/or websites.

Windows 11 will display up to a maximum of 13 items in Jump Lists by default.

This tutorial will show you how to change the maximum number of items that can display in Jump Lists for your account or all users in Windows 11.

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Backup and Restore Pinned Items on Start Menu in Windows 11

The Start menu is comprised of three sections: Pinned, All apps, and Recommended.

The section at the top of the Start menu is called the Pinned section. This section consists of pins arranged in a grid. The items in this section are a subset of all the apps installed on the PC; not all installed apps are included in this section by default. The number of rows and items in this view are consistent across device panel sizes.

If you like, you can back up pinned items on the Start menu for any account, and restore the pinned items to the Start menu for any account.

This tutorial will show you how to back up and restore all pinned items on your Start menu in Windows 11.

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Pin Android Apps from Your Phone to Start on Windows 11 PC

You can tap into the power of Your Phone app with Link to Windows integration on select Surface Duo and Samsung devices to instantly access your Android phone’s mobile apps directly from your Windows 10 PC.

With Your Phone apps, you can instantly access the Android apps installed on your mobile device right on your PC. Using a Wi-Fi connection, Apps allows you to browse, play, order, chat, and more ‚Äď all while using your PC‚Äôs larger screen and keyboard. You can add your Android apps as favorites on your PC, pin them to your Start menu and¬†taskbar, and open them in separate windows to use side-by-side with apps on your PC ‚Äď helping you stay productive.

Android apps you pin to Start will get installed to the PC and listed in Start menu > All apps, but will still require your linked Android phone to be turned on.

When you unpin an Android app from the Start menu, it will not automatically uninstall the app from your PC.

This tutorial will show you how to pin Android phone apps to the Start menu on your Windows 11 PC using the Your Phone app.

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Change Start Layout to Show More Pins or More Recommendations in Windows 11

The Start menu is comprised of three sections: Pinned, All apps, and Recommended.

Starting in¬†Windows 11 build 22509, you can right-click on Start to quickly access Start settings and choose the ‚ÄúMore pins‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúMore recommendations‚ÄĚ layout option to show an extra row of either¬†pins¬†or recommendations, respectively.

You can now configure Start to show more pins or more recommendations based on your preference.

This tutorial will show you how to change the Start layout to show more pins or more recommendations for your account in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Items in All apps in Windows 11 Start menu

The Start menu is comprised of three sections: Pinned, All apps, and Recommended.

All apps appears when a user clicks on All apps in the upper-right corner of the Start menu. All Apps is a comprehensive list of shortcuts, in alphabetical order, of all installed apps. Some of these shortcuts are grouped into folders with the expandable folder in the list.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove items listed in All apps on the Start menu for your account, new accounts, or all accounts in Windows 11.

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Enable or Disable Recent Items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer in Windows 11

Your recently opened items will show in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer by default in Windows 11.

Recently opened items are stored in the %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Recent Items folder for the current user.

This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable showing recently opened items for your account or all users in Windows 11.

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Add or Remove Recently Added apps on Start Menu in Windows 11

The Start menu is comprised of three sections: Pinned, All apps, and Recommended.

The Start menu contains shortcuts of all your apps, settings, and files.

The¬†Recommended¬†section on the Start menu shows a list of your recently installed apps (aka: “Recently added”) and recently opened items.

This tutorial will show you how to add or remove recently added apps on the Start menu for your account in Windows 11.

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Turn On or Off Show Accent Color on Start menu and Taskbar in Windows 11

Windows 11 gives you the option to personalize the color and accent color of a variety of surfaces you see when you use Windows.

You can personalize the colors that appear in Windows and your apps by setting the mode to Dark, Light, or Custom.

The Dark mode has a darker set of colors and is designed to work well in a low-lit environment.

The Light mode setting has a lighter color scheme across the Start menu, taskbar, Quick Settings, and notification center. It works well during daylight hours. If you choose the Light mode, you’ll be able to show an accent color for window title bars and borders. You won’t have the option to personalize the color of the Start menu and taskbar (that option is only available for Dark and Custom modes).

The Custom mode gives you more options somewhere in between light and dark. You can choose an accent color or have Windows select one (the accent color will provide a contrast with or match your wallpaper and Windows color). You can also show an accent color for window title bars (the horizontal bar at the top of a window) and borders. Play around with the colors and modes to see which ones work best for you.

You can select to show or not show the accent color on the Start menu and taskbar.

You can select to show or not show the accent color on the¬†Start menu¬†and¬†taskbar¬†(also includes “Quick Settings”, and “Notification Center”).

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Restart Start Menu Process in Windows 11

The Start menu is comprised of three sections: Pinned, All apps, and Recommended. The Start menu contains shortcuts of all your apps, settings, and files.

Microsoft separated the Start menu into its own process, called StartMenuExperienceHost.exe. This has a number of benefits, including simplifying debugging and insulating Start from potential issues impacting other surfaces.

This will allow you restart the Start menu as needed without having to restart the explorer.exe process.

Restarting the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process can be helpful if the Start menu will not open, frozen, or acting buggy.

This tutorial will show you how to restart the StartMenuExperienceHost.exe process to restart the Start menu as needed for your account in Windows 11.

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