One of the things that changed the most in Windows 10 was the start menu. Microsoft took advantage of the evolution of the operating system to create a completely renewed start menu that mixed, on the one hand, the list of installed programs, and on the other hand, the modern applications, or Live Tiles, of Windows 10. And this has liked and disliked equal parts to users. Especially because of the few customization options that Microsoft has offered in this new start menu, especially in the list of installed programs.
When we install a new program in Windows, it creates a shortcut within the list of programs in the start menu. So far there is no problem, since Windows has always worked like this. The problem is that Microsoft does not control what is added within this menu, and some programs create folders and add items to the start menu that break with its aesthetics.
Having the Windows 10 search engine, which allows us to find and run any program or application instantly, the list of programs in the start menu has lost much utility. Therefore, there are users who prefer to remove it to make this start menu more practical and more orderly.
What are the advantages of the Windows 10 Start menu?
It is true that over the years, especially in Windows 10, a growing number of users have largely rejected the use of this element of the system. In this way, they prefer to search and access the applications installed in another way instead of using the aforementioned Start menu. However, despite the many rejections that this element causes, the truth is that it also presents us with some interesting advantages. And it is that if we keep it well organized, it is a great way to locate a certain installed program in a matter of seconds.
At the same time, this is an element that has a good amount of organization and customization of the Live Tiles it houses. This does not allow first-hand access to everything that we consider important or commonly used. In addition, from the same menu we will have the possibility of managing what we want to anchor in the taskbar, uninstall applications directly, see the most recent arrivals installed on the PC, etc. But its use or not, depends on the needs or preferences of each one, so let’s see how to clean it a bit.
Remove all apps from the Start Menu in Windows 10
Hide program list from settings
By default, the Windows 10 start menu is configured to display both the list of programs and the Live Tiles panel. If we remove all Live Tiles, this part on the right will be hidden, but we can’t do anything like that with the list. Unless we configure it manually.
To do this, we must open the Windows Settings menu and go to the “Personalization> Start” section and here we will see a switch called ” Show list of applications in the start menu “.
If we deactivate this switch, the list of programs will be hidden in this start menu. But it will not disappear, but we can easily open it again by clicking on the new icon that has appeared on the left side of the menu.
Remove startup programs from the registry
If we do not want the programs to be grouped within the previous icon, and thus completely eliminate the list of programs from the Windows start menu, then we must go directly to the registry.
We must open a Regedit window in Windows 10 (with Administrator permissions) and we will move to the following directory:
In case the “Explorer” registry key does not exist, we must create it by right-clicking> New> Key.
Once we are inside the «Explorer» key, the next thing will be to create a new 32-bit DWORD value. Again, we right-click on a blank space and choose this option. We will give this new value the name “NoStartMenuMorePrograms”, and we will assign it the value “1”.
We restart the computer, for the changes to take effect, and that’s it. Now, when we open the Windows start menu we can see how it has changed, we only have the Live Tiles and we cannot access the list of programs in other ways.
We will have total freedom to configure and customize Windows Live Tiles. We can even delete them all to leave the start menu empty, although it is the same to go overboard, since the truth is that it does not do much.
We can change the value of “NoStartMenuMorePrograms” (the registry entry) to the values ”2″ and “3” to achieve a different effect when hiding the items in this menu.
How to remove unnecessary items
If deactivating the list of programs seems too drastic a solution and we do not want to reach it, we have an intermediate and 100% manual option: eliminate the unwanted elements ourselves. These cannot be removed by right-clicking as you could before, but we must do it from their own directory.
To do this, what we must do is open a Windows File Explorer window and go to the following directory:
We will also find other elements (those shared with other users) in the following directory:
And from here we can remove all the elements that we do not want to appear in the start menu. The ideal is to remove all the shortcuts to the programs from their respective folders and paste them in the root, deleting all the other files and these folders. And then delete any shortcuts that are unnecessary or no longer installed on the PC.
This process may take some time. But when we’re done, the list of programs on the start menu gets a totally different look. Only the icons of the programs that we have installed will appear, nothing more.
Of course, we must bear in mind that when we install a new program, it may create a new folder in this menu. And, therefore, we will have to carry out this task again.