How to Change the Windows 10 Start Menu

Customize the Start Menu to suit your needs

The Windows 10 Start Menu is a popular tool for accessing favorite apps quickly and for restarting or shutting down a computer or tablet. While this feature is mostly known for its functionality, the Start Menu is also incredibly customizable and can be changed to reflect your personal design aesthetic and workflow.

This article addresses how to change the Windows 10 Start Menu color and size, plus pinning apps and websites, turning Live Tiles on or off, and getting the Windows 8 Start Screen back.

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10.

A man on a Windows 10 laptop next to colorful surfboards.
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How to Change the Windows 10 Start Menu Color

The Windows 10 Start Menu color is based on the custom accent color you might have chosen when setting up your device. The accent color settings will change the color of select parts of the Windows 10 operating system such as app windows and the taskbar. Here's how to change it.

The Windows 10 accent color can be changed as many times you like.

  1. Open the Start Menu using the Windows key on your keyboard, Cortana, or the Windows button on the bottom-left of your screen.

  2. Select the Settings gear icon to open Settings.

    Selecting Settings.
  3. Select Personalization.

    Screenshot of Personalization in Windows Settings
  4. From the left menu, select Colors.

    Screenshot of Background Settings window
  5. Select your preferred color from the available options. Your system's accent color will update in real-time.

    Screenshot of Windows colors in Background Settings
  6. If you want your Windows 10 Start Menu to have a solid color, uncheck the option under Transparency effects.

How to Customize the Windows 10 Start Menu's Size

There are two main options that can be used to change the size of the Windows 10 Start Menu.

  • Adding more tiles. Enabling this option will add an extra vertical row of tiles to the Start Menu to, as the setting's name suggests, allow more tiles to be seen. When enabled, this setting will make the Start Menu slightly wider than usual. This setting can be found by opening up the Windows 10 Settings app, clicking Personalization, and then clicking Start from the left menu.
  • Manually resizing the menu. After opening the Windows 10 Start Menu, you can manually resize it by clicking the top-right corner and dragging to the size or height you wish. Alternatively, the Start Menu can also be resized on Windows 10 devices with a touchscreen by using a finger in place of a mouse.

How to Pin Apps to the Windows 10 Start Menu

All Windows 10 apps can be pinned to the Start Menu. Pinning apps to the Start Menu makes them easier to find so doing so can be particularly useful for apps that you use on a regular basis. Here's how to pin an app.

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu.

  2. Locate the app you want to pin from the app list.

  3. Right-click the app's name or icon to bring up its options menu. Alternatively, you can also perform a long press on it if your Windows 10 device has a touchscreen.

    Screenshot of right-click menu in Start menu app
  4. Select Pin to Start. The app will immediately appear to the right of the app list on your Start Menu.

How to Resize and Move Windows 10 Start Menu Pins

All Start Menu pins can be moved simply by clicking on them and dragging them to the desired location. A variety of size options are also available for many Windows 10 app pins which can be selected to make more space for other pins or to display extra information on the pin's tile.

The supported tile sizes are Small, Medium, Wide, and Large. Some sizes may not be available for some apps.

To change the size of a pin's tile, right-click on it to bring up its menu, click Resize, and then select your preferred size.

How to Turn Windows 10 Live Tiles On and Off

Many apps support Live Tile functionality which allows their pinned tiles to display updated information or images without the need for the app to be opened. Examples of Live Tile content include weather forecasts, news headlines, message notifications, and fitness data.

To activate or deactivate a pin's Live Tile, right-click on it to bring up its menu, click on More, and then select Turn Live Tile on or Turn Live Tile off.

How to Get the Windows 8 Start Screen in Windows 10

One of the defining aspects of the Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 operating systems was the Start Screen that acted like a full-screen Start Menu. This was replaced in Windows 10 with the smaller Start Menu but there is a way to get the Start Screen back which requires no hacking or installation of any third-party software. Here's how to get the Start Screen back.

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu.

  2. Select Settings.

    Selecting Settings.
  3. Select Personalization.

    Screenshot of Personalization in Windows Settings
  4. Select Start from the left menu.

    Screenshot of Start Settings
  5. Select Use Start full screen.

    Selecting Start full screen.

Your Start Menu will now fill the entire screen when opened and will act almost exactly the same as the Windows 8 Start Screen.

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