This is how you can customize the start menu and taskbar in Windows 11

3 min


In Windows 11, the start menu and the taskbar have a new look. We’ll show you how you can adapt the new interface to your preferences.

Move the system tray icons to the left again

What is immediately noticeable at the beginning: For the first time, the symbols in the taskbar are no longer on the left edge, but in the middle. This also applies to the start menu. Microsoft has made this change according to its own information, so that the most important buttons are always in the field of vision on ultrawide monitors.

If you can’t get used to this new approach, you have the option of pinning the start menu and the other icons back to the left edge of the screen.

  1. Right click on the system tray.
  2. Select the “System Tray Settings”.
  3. Click on “Taskbar Behavior”.
  4. Set the button for “Taskbar Alignment” to “Left”.

Taskbar-left

With just a few clicks, the taskbar is back on the left edge of the screen.

Show and hide system tray icons

There are a few new icons in the Windows 11 system tray that cannot be easily disconnected from there. This applies to the magnifying glass for search, the window and desktop icon, the widget menu and the chat icon for Microsoft Teams.

However, if these symbols bother you or you don’t need them anyway, you can hide them.

  1. Right click on the system tray.
  2. Select the “System Tray Settings”.
  3. Deactivate the sliders for the system tray items that you want to hide.

System tray icons

In the settings of the taskbar you can specify which symbols should be shown and hidden.

In addition, you can use the menu to show other symbols in the lower right corner of the taskbar by activating the corresponding slider under “Symbols in the taskbar corner”. You can also activate additional icons under “Overflow in taskbar corner”, which should appear on the right edge of the taskbar.

Hide the taskbar on individual monitors

As in previous Windows versions, you can also set the taskbar in Windows 11 so that it is automatically hidden when you don’t need it.

  1. Right click on the system tray.
  2. Select the “System Tray Settings”.
  3. Click on “Taskbar Behavior”.
  4. Check the box next to “Automatically hide the taskbar”.

With this setting, the taskbar will only appear when you move the mouse pointer to the lower edge of the screen.

If you use multiple monitors on your PC, you can also use this menu to specify that the taskbar is only displayed on the main monitor. To do this, simply uncheck “Show my taskbar on all display devices”.

Taskbar Alignment-Windows-11

In the settings you can specify whether the taskbar should appear on all monitors.

Alternatively, you can set that on each monitor only the system tray symbols are displayed for which program windows are also open on the respective screen. You can find the options for this in the selection window under “If several screens are used, show my taskbar apps on …”.

Customize the apps in the start menu

The new Windows 11 Start menu will initially present you with a selection of apps that Microsoft believes will make the most sense for you. In the upper area of ​​the start menu, however, you can display exactly the apps that you would like to see there yourself.

Windows 11 start menu

The Windows 11 start menu does a lot differently than in Windows 10.

  1. Right-click an app icon and select “Uninstall from Start” to remove it from the view.
  2. Move the app symbols with the left mouse button as you like.
  3. Click on “All apps” and select other apps from the overview that you want to pin to the start menu by right-clicking them and clicking “Pin to start”.

Add files and folders to the start menu

In addition to apps, you can also pin any folder or file from the file explorer to the start menu. Just click on it with the right mouse button and select “Pin to start”. You will then appear in the upper area of ​​the start menu.

Add shortcuts to the start menu

If you wish, you can also add various shortcuts to menus and functions of your computer to the start menu, which then appear in the lower area of ​​the menu next to the “On / Off” button.

  1. Open the Windows 11 settings.
  2. Select the sub-item “Personalization”.
  3. Then click on the “Start” submenu on the right.
  4. Select the “Folder” item and tick the areas and functions for which you would like a shortcut in the start menu.

Start menu folder

You can add various shortcuts to the Windows 11 start menu.

The shortcuts will then be displayed in the start menu and you can, for example, switch to settings, the download folder or your documents folder with a simple click.


Steve

Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...

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