How to get rid of all the junk in the Windows 10 Start menu

The Start menu is a mainstay of Windows, introduced with Windows 95. If you want to find a file, start an application, or put your PC to sleep, it’s your go-to place.

For many tasks, you can also use useful keyboard shortcuts to do the basics. Try Windows + L the next time you get up from your computer to lock it without clicking menus. Tap or click here for a guide to the best PC shortcuts.

Now, let’s talk about garbage. If you’ve had your computer for a long time, it’s probably full of files you don’t need. Tap or click to see some easy ways to free up storage space.

You can also clear the Start menu. That’s how.

1. Get rid of annoying suggestions

Have you noticed suggested links appear when you open the Start menu? Windows displays recommended applications that it thinks you might find useful.

If you’re tired of seeing these tips, you can turn them off so they no longer clutter up the Start menu:

  • Click on the Start menu> Settings icon
  • Click Personalization
  • Click Start on the left side of the glass
  • Toggle the slider off to disable “Show suggestions occasionally on Start”

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2. Simplify the list of applications

It is annoying when the application you are looking for is hidden among many others that you do not use. You have a couple of options to eliminate clutter.

To hide the list of applications in the Start menu:

  • Again, navigate to Settings > Personalization > Start
  • From here, toggle “Show app list in Start menu” off

If you find that there are apps that you no longer want, remove them:

  • Login to your computer as an administrator
  • Type Applications in the search box.
  • Below the search results, select Apps and Features
  • Select an application you want to remove.
  • Tap Uninstall
  • Repeat the process for each application you want to remove.

3. Disable the options you don’t use

By default, the Windows 10 Start menu shows things like recently added or most used apps. Seeing the new apps you’ve added in the last few weeks may be helpful initially, but you may not find that feature especially helpful over time.

To disable the other options in Windows 10:

  • Navigate to Settings > Personalization > Start
  • Toggle the function “Show the most used applications” off
  • You can also toggle off “Show recently added applications” in this section if you do not want all newly installed applications to appear

4. Arrange the mosaics to your liking

Home tiles are large, bright boxes that give you quick access to certain applications. Not everyone likes to be greeted by a bunch of square tiles with quick access to the Microsoft Store or the calendar upon login.

If you’d rather do without the built-in tiles in Windows 10, you can disable them. It is also easy to do. Note: You must be logged in as an administrator to enable or disable the “Show more tiles at startup” setting.

  • Navigate to Settings > Personalization > Start
  • Toggle “Show more tiles at startup” off

To rearrange or arrange tiles in Start:

  • Click the Windows button in the lower left corner
  • To move a tile, click and drag it where you want it to go

5. Choose which folders will appear

Three folders populate the Start menu by default: Documents, Pictures, and Settings.

You can add additional folders to the mix along with the default values. Maybe you want to add File Explorer, Downloads, Music, Videos, Network, or even a personal folder.

You will have to work within the height restrictions of the Start menu screen, but you can customize the folders that appear as often as you like.

To add, edit, or delete folders from the Start menu:

  • Navigate to Settings > Personalization > Start
  • Click Choose which folders appear on Start at the bottom of the menu
  • You will see a list of folder options
  • From here, toggle them on or off depending on your preferences

Voilà! Your Start menu is exactly how you want it.

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