When Microsoft decided to change the traditional desktop layout of the Windows operating system to a more mobile look, it briefly contemplated doing away with the familiar Start Menu and its iconic button on the bottom left corner of the screen. This decision was implemented with the release of Windows 8, and the tech giant quickly realized that it was not a good move.

Users from around the world complained that the lack of a Start Menu button was a terrible idea, and Microsoft initially released a mouse that included a button dedicated to launching the familiar desktop menu function that had been a feature since Windows 95. When this peripheral was introduced in 2013, it was poorly received; it did not take long for the company to realize that future versions of Windows needed to include the Start Menu.

In Windows 10, the Start Menu has been expanded to include elements of the original Start Screen on Windows 8, but it also adds a lot more functionality. Here are a few useful actions you can perform with this new menu:

Changing the Size of the Start Menu

If you position the mouse pointer on the upper edge or the right boundary of the menu, you will be able to make it larger or smaller. Many users find the default size too large.

Changing the Appearance

By navigating to Settings and selecting Personalization, you will be able to choose from a large color palette to change the appearance of the menu. You can also detach the Live Tiles so that they are pinned to the desktop; this option is also known as Tablet Mode, and you will find it appealing if your computer use includes a fair amount of real-time web notifications. By doing this, your Start Menu will be limited to tasks.

Adding Shortcuts

If you enjoy organizing your documents into folders, you can add corresponding shortcuts from the Personalization tab of the Settings panel. If you wish to add shortcuts to apps, you will want to click or tap on the Pin to Start option.

Organizing Live Tiles

The default arrangement of Live Tiles may not be the most ideal for your own needs; the good news is that you can resize them, and move them around. You can drag and drop the most important tiles to the top, and you can also make them larger or smaller with the Resize context menu that comes up when you right-click a tile.