One of the elements that has been part of Windows for the longest time is the Start menu, which has become one of the most representative elements of Microsoft’s operating system. Within this menu we can create custom tiles for when we set an application or game, but these tiles do not always have the proper appearance.
Microsoft incorporates some customization options in Windows 10, but we cannot always have all the control that we would like over the appearance of different elements of the system, such as the Start menu. Here we find tiles that are added automatically when we install applications or games from the Microsoft store, but we can also add them ourselves.
Customize the Start menu system settings
Windows 10 allows you to make small configuration options for the Start menu. We can customize this section of the operating system from the Settings menu. Likewise, it is possible to add tiles manually, as we will see below.
Custom from the Settings menu
If we want to access the default configuration of the Windows Start menu, we must access the Settings section . To do this, we press the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I”. Once we have accessed, click on the Personalization section.
Finally, click on “Start” in the left column. Here we will find different configuration options, which we can activate or deactivate to our liking. For example, we have the option to “Show more icons”, which allows us to increase the number of programs that we can add to a row, going from 3 to 4 tiles. We can also “Show the most used applications” or “Use full screen Start”, which can be useful if we have a laptop with a touch screen and we want to use it as if it were a tablet.
In the event that we are bothered by the frequency with which we have to open the File Explorer to access the Downloads folder, we can select the “Choose which folders appear in the Start menu” section, and add different folders directly to the menu. Of start.
How to add tiles to the Start menu
If we wish, we can add tiles to the Windows 10 Start menu. To do this, we must right-click on any program in the menu and select “Anchor to Start”.
Once we have added a program to the Start menu, we see how it appears on the right side of the screen. We can then change the size of the icon by right-clicking on the program tile and selecting “Resize.” We will have the option to choose between “Small” or “Medium”.
Some programs downloaded from the Microsoft Store may contain built-in live tile features, such as weather applications. We can also add Chrome applications along with any program that we have installed on our computer.
Third party programs to create custom tiles
As we have seen, the options to customize tiles in the Windows 10 Start menu are quite scarce. Therefore, we can use some programs developed by third parties to achieve a better appearance of our mosaics.
Better StartMenu, create personalized and dynamic tiles
It is a popular tool with which we can customize the Windows 10 Start menu. With it we will have different customization options for live mosaics, in any size and with any image. We can run desktop applications, store applications, open web pages, as well as open files and folders from their custom tiles. The tool is divided into two parts: Better StartMenu and StartMenu Helper.
We can download Better StartMenu from the Microsoft Store, while StartMenu Helper can be downloaded from this link.
StartMenu Helper will be in charge of helping us create the custom tile
This program will allow us to save the mosaic data, including the name, icon and path of the program. Once downloaded, we must unzip the ZIP file and run the BetterStartMenuHelper.exe file .
Now we need to find high-quality icons, which we can download directly from the Flaticons website for free. All you need to do is create an account and complete the download. Once the download is finished, we unzip the ZIP file.
Now from StartMenu Helper we select «New Tile». Now we must click on the desired size and add the icon from the folder that we have downloaded. It should be remembered that Better StartMenu requires the files to be PNG so that it can create custom live tiles.
Next, we go to the “Other options” section, where we must assign a name to our dynamic mosaic. We can also choose a custom background or add a transparent background to it.
We go to the «Action» tab, where we must define which program will open our new personalized mosaic. We also choose the type of action from the drop-down menu. We can execute the action from the desktop, open file, open folder, open web page, etc.
Finally, click on «Generate tile» data to create our dynamic mosaic. Before we finish, we must make sure that we have the “Run at startup” box checked, to make sure that our custom tiles always work.
With Better StartMenu we will add the mosaic to the Start menu
We now open the BetterStartMenu application that will be in charge of adding the mosaic created to the Start menu. To do this, we must keep Better StartMenu Helper open, as it will be necessary for the wizard to remain open to process the links of the custom tiles that we have created.
Once Better StartMenu is open, the custom tile should appear in the central column. Now we only have to select it, and in the third column click on “Pin select tile to Start Menu” (Anchor the selected tile to the Start menu). Once this is done we will have our new mosaic ready to use.
WinTiLeR 2, create music for the Start menu quickly
This application will help us to customize the appearance and operation of our tiles within the Windows 10 Start menu. Although it is a paid application we can download a free trial version with which we can create our tiles but it will not let us add them to the Start menu, until we pay for your license. We can download it from the Microsoft Store.
Once we execute it, the main menu appears. The first thing is to click on the “Executable File” folder. Here we must select the path of the program file to which we are going to associate the mosaic.
Later we click on the mosaic boxes on the left to add the PNG image that we are going to associate with the mosaic that we want. We can use any that we have downloaded from the Internet, such as Flaticons, as we saw in the previous program. To do this, we will click on «Large image», «Wide image» and «Medium image» that we find on the right side of the menu.
The program will also allow us to add a background color for the mosaic, activating the “Background Color” option. Here we can add practically any shade of color that comes to mind. It allows us to configure RGB and HSV colors. Once this is done we can anchor it to our Start menu.