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How to master the all-new Windows 10 Start Menu

The return of the Start Menu is probably the most anticipated feature of Windows 10 — since Windows 8 radically changed the way that people find and start applications, some users have been clamoring for a return to form. The Start Menu in Windows 10 combines elements of the simple menu-based lists of Windows 7 and earlier with the finger-friendly design of the full-screen menu from Windows 8.

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While this combination is effective and versatile, it can take some getting used to. There’s a lot of different customization options, much more so than any previous version of Windows. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the new Start Menu.

Resizing the Start Menu

The new Start Menu is comprised of two parts: the primary program and settings area, a vertical list on the left, and the live tiles area, the Windows 8 portion of the menu on the right. Neither area can be disabled (at least as of the Windows 10 launch) but both can be resized.

start menu resize

Michael Crider/Digital Trends

To resize the Start Menu, move your cursor over the vertical or horizontal edge, click, and drag, just like most Windows programs. Making the menu larger vertically will give more space to the list and the live tiles area, while adding horizontal space will only extend the Live Tiles. At its smallest horizontal setting, the Start Menu can only handle three “medium” columns of the smaller live tiles, but at its maximum setting it can fit six.

start menu full screen

Michael Crider/Digital Trends

If you actually preferred the full-screen Start from Windows 8, you can get it back in Windows 10. Right-click an empty area of the desktop, then click “Personalize.” Switch the “use” Start full screen” option to “on.” Now the live tiles area will take up your entire desktop (which is handy for touchscreens).

Related: Windows 10 will pack full-screen start menu, tablet mode

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