Customizing What Appears on the Right Side of the Start Menu

by Barry Dysert
(last updated July 23, 2020)

The Start menu can be customized as to what appears on the right side, whether items are displayed as links or menus, and how submenus behave when you hover over them.

Windows 7

To customize the Start Menu, right-click the Start button and click Properties. Windows displays the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box; the Start Menu tab should be displayed by default. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Start Menu tab of the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box.

Click the Customize button, and Windows displays the Customize Start Menu dialog box. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Customize Start Menu dialog box.

You'll want to scroll down in the Customize Start Menu dialog box to see the extent of the changes that are possible. As you can see, you can indicate whether a particular item is shown on the menu by selecting or de-selecting the "Don't display this item" radio button. And for items that are displayed, you can indicate whether they should be displayed as a link (where if you simply hover over the link it will expand to reveal its contents) or as a menu (that you'd have to click to see more).

With some trial and error, you'll be able to determine what items you really want displayed, and how you want them to behave. When you're finished customizing, OK your way out. Your new Start menu will be waiting for you.

Windows 10

Customizing the Start Menu is somewhat different in Windows 10. Follow these steps to customize the Start Menu to your liking:

  1. In the search box to the right of the taskbar, type (without quotes) "Start Settings," then press Enter. Windows launches the Start section of the Personalization settings of the Settings dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  2. Figure 3. The Start settings of the Settings dialog box.

  3. Click on the link that says "Choose Which Folders Appear on Start." This displays the options for which folders you can display in the start menu. (See Figure 4.)
  4. Figure 4. The Choose Which Folders Appear on Start settings of the Settings dialog box.

  5. Choose which of the nine folders you want to be displayed on the Start Menu. (Click on the toggle switch to the left of any of the folders.)
  6. Close the Settings dialog box. Windows applies your settings automatically.

Now, regardless of the program you're in, you can quickly jump to the folder you want straight from the Start menu. If you find you no longer want a folder listed in the Start menu, repeat the process above and turn the folders off in step 3.

 This tip (11562) applies to Windows 7 and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

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