Get that Windows 10 Start Menu Organized: Part 2

Here's how to get control of the left side of the Start menu in Windows 10

During our last look at the Windows 10 Start menu we concentrated on the right side of the menu and how to deal with Live Tiles. That is the bulk of the customization you can do with the Windows 10 Start menu, but there are actually a few modifications you can make to the left as well.

The left side is far more limited than the right. You're more or less constrained to turning various options on or off, but these small changes can still make a significant impact on how you use the Start menu.

1
Diving into the Settings app

Start menu personalization options in Windows 10.
Start menu personalization options in Windows 10.

Most of the tweaks you can make on the left side of the Start menu are hidden in the Settings app. Get started by clicking Start > Settings > Personalization > Start.

Here, you'll see a bunch of sliders to turn features on or off. At the top is an option to show more tiles on the right side of the Start menu. If you can't get enough of the live tiles feel free to turn that on.

Right below the Show more tiles option you have another non-essential option to show suggestions in the Start menu. I have this turned on, but to be honest I don't recall ever seeing any kind of suggestion. Whether or not you want to leave this on is up to you. Either way it currently doesn't have much impact.

Now we're getting into the "meat and potatoes" of the left side of the Start menu. The next option down says Show most used apps. This controls the "Most used" section at the top of the Start menu. You can't really control what appears in "Most used". All you can do is decide whether to turn it on or off.

The same goes for the next option called "Show recently added apps." Similar to the previous slider, this controls the "Recently added" section of the Start menu. Personally, I am not a fan of this option. I know what I've recently installed on my PC and don't need a section to remind me. Other people I know appreciate the section and find it very convenient.

2
Choose your folders

Settings menu in Windows 10
You can add a number of folders to the Windows 10 Start menu.

Now scroll down to the bottom of the window and click on the link Choose which folders appear on Start. This will open a new screen inside the Settings app with another long line of sliders to turn options on off.

What you're seeing here are options to add specific folders to the Start menu for easy access. You can add or remove quick access links for File Explorer, Settings, as well as Home Group and Network settings. For folders you've got options such as Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos and your user account folder (labeled Personal folder).

Those are the bulk of the modifications you can make to the left side of the Start menu. There really isn't a lot of direct personalization, but at least you have some control over what appears there.

3
Tasteful accents

Personalization options in Windows 10
Windows 10 lets you choose accent colors for your desktop.

One last thing to know about isn't a modification to the left side of the Start menu, but it does affect it. Open the Settings app and go to Personalization > Colors. Here you can make adjustments to the accent color of your desktop, which can affect the Start menu, taskbar, action center and title bars on windows.

If you'd like to choose a specific accent color then make sure the slider labeled "Automatically pick an accent color from my background" is turned off. Otherwise turn it on.

After you choose the accent color you want, turn to On the next option that says "Show color on Start, taskbar, action center, and title bar." Now your chosen accent color will show up in the spots mentioned above. There's also an option to make the Start menu, taskbar, and action center appear transparent, while still retaining an accent color.

That's about all there is to the left side of the Start menu. Don't forget to check out our earlier look at the right side of the Start menu to get complete control over this critical part of your desktop.