Choose which folders and buttons appear on the Start Menu, in Windows 10 (File Explorer, Downloads, Network, etc)

Did you know that you can set the Windows 10 Start Menu to show shortcuts to all kinds of folders like Documents, Downloads, HomeGroup or Network? By default, they are not displayed on the Start Menu but, with just a couple of clicks or taps, you can quickly add them. Read this tutorial to learn how it is done:

NOTE: The screenshots used in this article are from Windows 10 with Fall Creators Update. It is available for free, to all Windows 10 users, as of October 17th, 2017. If you do not know which version of Windows 10 you have installed, read this article: What version, edition, and type of Windows 10 do I have installed?.

Adding new shortcuts on the left side of the Windows 10 Start Menu: before and after!

By default, Windows 10 displays a small number of shortcuts on its left side column. See the screenshot below. On the left, you can see the Start Menu before going through this tutorial. We had the following buttons: Power, Settings, and User. On the right side of the screenshot, we enabled all the items that can be enabled in Windows 10: Power, Settings, User, File Explorer, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos, Homegroup, Network, and the Personal user account folder.

How to add new buttons to the Windows 10 Start Menu, for things like File Explorer, the Homegroup, the Network or the Downloads folder

If you want to add new buttons to the Start Menu, first open the Settings app. Click or tap Start and then Settings. In the Settings window, go to Personalization.

In the column on the left, choose Start. On the right side of the Settings window, you can see several switches and options for configuring the Start Menu. Go to the bottom and click or tap the link that says: "Choose which folders appear on Start."

You are shown a list with all the buttons that can be added or removed from the Start Menu: File Explorer, Settings, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, Videos, HomeGroup, Network, and the Personal folder (your default user account folder, found in C:\Users\Username).

For the folders that you want to be displayed, set their switch to the On position. For the folders that you want to hide, set their switch to the Off position.

When done enabling the buttons you want, close the Settings window.

Enjoy your personalized Start Menu!

You can now enjoy your new Start Menu. Click or tap Start and see how it looks. As an experiment, we enabled all the possible buttons. Until you get acquainted with each button, how it looks, and what it stands for, click or tap the Expand button highlighted in the screenshot below.

The Start Menu now displays the name of each button, so that you know what to click.

Which Start Menu buttons did you enable?

Now you know how to add or remove lots of standard buttons to and from the Start Menu. Before closing this tutorial, share with us which buttons you enabled. We are curious to know.

If you want more useful tutorials about the Start Menu and other features of Windows 10, read the articles recommended below.