How to change which folders appear in the Windows 10 Start Menu

The Start Menu coming back with Windows 10 is a big deal for a lot of people. There are a few things you can do to customize your experience, one of which is adding or removing which folders are displayed in there. By default you'll get "File Explorer" and "Settings," but there's more than that on offer.

You just have to know where to find them. Here's what you need to know.

  1. Click on the Start Menu and open up "Settings."
  2. Then click on "Personalization."
  3. In the left hand pane you now want the option for "Start."
  4. At the bottom you'll see some text which says "Choose which folders appear on Start." Click on the text.
  5. You'll now see the list of folders that can be displayed. Set the relevant toggles to on or off depending on what you want to see.

Alternatively you can type "Start settings" into the Cortana search box to get to step 4 directly from the desktop. But it's always good to know where things live.

With these easy steps you can remove Settings or File Explorer if you don't want to see them or add things like Music and Pictures for quick access to your media.

For more Windows 10 tips be sure to drop by our dedicated page here

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at

  • Is there a way to get a "most recently used apps" list or a "recently installed apps" list on the left side of the Start Menu? Currently there is a "most used apps" list on the upper left, but that is completely redundant with the shortcuts I already have pinned to my taskbar (why they didn't foresee this is beyond me). It would be much more useful to have a list of recently used apps there that are not redendantly pinned elsewhere already.
  • That's interesting. I've not used Win10 yet (downloaded the ISO, but haven't had a chance to install), but what you describe is exactly how it works in Windows 7 and earlier -- if the item is pinned to the Start Menu it doesn't also appear in the recent/popular list below. Almost sounds like a regression bug in Windows 10. Does anyone else have any insight as to why this standard feature is not in Win10?
  • Exactly. I'd like to put software there that supports a 'recently used files' jump list. Maybe someone knows a way to trick Windows into believing certain apps are 'Most used'? Like a way to fake the usage counters?
  • Looking for it too... I want to pin items to start menu. Windows 10 just let me pin to the taskbar or a tile.
  • Weird i have a "recently added" list which appears directly beneath the most used apps, as well as on top of the all apps section when i open that up .Though im not sure if this is just limited to microsoft  store apps(though the desktop onedrive app appears in this list as well so i think it may be universal). *there is section under personalization, start, which has the option of toggling most recently added apps and most used apps on or off
  • I always have ALL folders turned off.  I'm TRYING to configure the Start to be as close to Windows 8 as possible...which really ISN'T possible, but....
  • Unfortunately you don't have any say in what order you want them to appear in, same with the system tray. Which would've been nice and added a little polish.