Software

The Start menu gets streamlined in Windows 10 build 14942

The latest version of the Windows 10 Start menu lets you hide the app list. Here's a look at how it works.

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Image: iStockphoto.com/terry6970


In recent articles, I've explored the changes to the Start menu that were introduced in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and shown how you can use them to your advantage. In How to customize the Windows 10 Anniversary Update Start menu using the "Pare It Down" technique, I explained that because the All Apps list now appears on the left side of the Start menu by default, you can create a more efficient application launcher by removing all the tiles and resizing the menu. And in How to customize the Windows 10 Start menu with numbered shortcuts, I showed you how to improve the efficiency of the pared-down Start menu by numbering the shortcuts.

To build upon the work it did on the Start menu in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft is continuing to improve the Start menu. In build 14942, available on the Windows Insider Fast Track, Microsoft has introduced the ability to hide the app list on the Start menu.

SEE: Windows 10: Microsoft reveals new features to guard against crashes and give firms more control

The release announcement

In Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14942 for PC, Donna Sarkar, a software engineer in the Windows and Devices Group, introduced this new feature:

"We are releasing a new feature that enables you to collapse the app list in the Start menu. This has been a top feedback request from Windows Insiders."

So while many of us have been happily trudging along with the existing Start menu, exploring customization techniques, or turning to third-party solutions, the elite cadre of Windows Insiders has been pounding Microsoft with requests to improve the menu. And now this new Hide App List In Start Menu feature is making its appearance. There's no indication of when the feature will be available to the general public or whether there will be additional enhancements to the Start menu, so we'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, let's take a closer look at the feature in Windows 10 build 14942.

The Hide App List In Start Menu feature

To begin, you can immediately see that the Start menu in build 14942 looks like the current version, as shown in Figure A. The All Apps list appears on the left and the tiles appear in two columns on the right.

Figure A

Figure A
The Start menu in build 14942 looks the same as in the current version.

To enable the Hide App List In Start menu feature, you right-click on the Taskbar and select Settings, as shown in Figure B. When the Settings > Taskbar screen appears, select the Start tab.

Figure B

Figure B
You can easily access the Settings > Taskbar screen by right-clicking on the Taskbar.

In the Settings > Start screen, turn on the Hide App List In Start menu toggle, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Figure C
On the Settings > Start screen, turn on the Hide App List In Start menu toggle.

When you then access the Start menu, you'll see that it now displays just the tiles, as shown in Figure D. In the upper left, you'll see two new buttons that allow you to switch between the Pinned Tiles view, which is the default, and the All Apps view.

Figure D

Figure D
On the far left of the Start menu, which displays just the tiles by default, you'll see two new buttons that allow you to switch between the Pinned Tiles and All Apps views.

When you click the All Apps button, the Start menu displays the All Apps list, as shown in Figure E.

Figure E

Figure E
When you click the All Apps button, the Start menu displays only the All Apps list.

Click the hamburger icon at the top right of the Start menu, and you'll see a menu displaying the new button titles, as shown in Figure F.

Figure F

Figure F
The menu displays the new button titles.

More Windows how-to's

What's your take?

What do you think of the Hide App List In Start menu feature? Does this make the Windows 10 Start menu more appealing to you? Share your thoughts with fellow TechRepublic members.

About Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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