Windows 10 marks the return of the Start Menu. Microsoft did away with this classic Windows feature with the launch of Windows 8, when the company introduced a Start Screen that covers your entire display. It looked great on tablets, but some folks found it to be a bit much for notebooks and desktops.
Now the Windows Start Menu is back… but it’s different. The Windows 10 Start Menu features apps and settings on the left and Start Screen-style live tiles on the right.
Don’t like the live tiles? There are few ways to make them go away.
Option 1: Unpin all your tiles
You can right-click on any tile and choose Unpin from Start to make it disappear. Don’t need weather conditions in your Start Menu? Get rid of the weather app. Don’t want a shortcut to the Windows Store? It’s gone.
So what happens if you unpin all the items? At first you’ll just see a blank section to the right of your most used, recently used, and settings shortcuts. But you can click the edge of that blank space and drag it to the left to collapse the unused space.
Now your Start Menu looks a bit more like the classic menus we’ve seen in Windows 7 and earlier.
Want to make it look exactly like the Windows 7 start menu?
Option 2: Use a third-party app like Start10
A few years ago Stardock introduced an app called Start8 that brought a Windows 7-style Start Menu to Windows 8.
Now the company has new version called Start10. It basically does the same thing, but it has a few new tricks including the ability to mimic the official Windows 10 Start Menu style if that’s something you want to do for some reason.
There are several different apps that bring a classic menu to Windows 10, but Start10 is a good place to start because the app only costs $5 and you can try it for free for up to 30 days before paying anything.
Note that even if you hate live tiles, there are a few reasons to give the new Start Menu a try. You can right-click on any app to uninstall it, for instance. And you can pin the Recycle Bin to your Windows 10 Start Menu.
On the other hand, Start10 offers a bunch of customization options: you can change the look of the Start logo, change the size of icons, and even configure the app so that clicking the bottom left corner of your desktop brings up the Start10 menu, while pressing the Windows key on your keyboard brings up the official Windows 10 Start Menu (or vice versa).