How to turn off Start menu recommended content in Windows 11

How to turn off Start menu recommended content in Windows 11

Windows 11 introduced many new things, some of which we like, and some that we don’t. Everyone will no doubt have different opinions about different parts of the operating systems, but one of the components you may not like is the new Start menu. Windows 11 has replaced live tiles with simple icons, but perhaps most importantly, there’s now a Recommended section taking up half the space on the Start menu.

This Recommended section consists mostly of two things: Recently created/downloaded files and recently installed apps. It’s meant to make relevant content more easily accessible, but it can also make sensitive information that much easier to find. Or maybe you just don’t need that kind of quick access to your latest files. So what can you do if you want to hide this recommended content from the Start menu in Windows 11? It is possible, though unfortunately, it won’t get you any extra space on the Start menu. Here’s what you need to know.


How to hide recommended content in the Start menu

If you don’t want your latest files and apps to show up directly on the Start menu, you can make it so that recommended content isn’t displayed. However, it’s a half solution, because while the content itself is removed, you’ll still have the Recommended section taking up space, it will just be empty. Still, if that’s what you want, here’s how to do it:

  • Open the Settings app, and choose Personalization from the left-side menu.
  • Click Start.
    Windows 11 Settings personalization with Start option highlighted
  • On this page, you’ll see three items, two of which are enabled by default. To remove all the Recommended content from the Start menu, ensure all three options are disabled.
    Windows 11 Settings Start menu personalization with all recommended content disabled

    • Note: Disabling the Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer means you also won’t be able to see recent files in the Quick Access page in File Explorer. This also applies to jump lists, which are displayed by some apps when you right-click them on the taskbar.

That’s a fairly straightforward process, though it does have some caveats. If instead of hiding all your content, you only want to hide a specific file or app from the Start menu, you can simply open the Start menu, right-click the item you want to hide, and then click Remove from this list.

Reducing the size of the Recommended section (Windows Insiders)

As we’ve mentioned, you can’t remove the Recommended section entirely to free up space for more pinned apps, but if you’re a Windows Insider, you can make the recommended section smaller so it wastes a little less space. This feature is eventually going to be available to everyone, so we’ll leave it below in case you want to know how to do it. If you’re interested in becoming a Windows Insider to do this right now, be sure to read our guide on how the Windows Insider Program works.

If you do have a Windows Insider PC (or if Windows 11 has been updated by the time you’re reading this), you can simply follow all the steps above, but the Start page in the Settings app will have an option at the top that lets you choose between the default layout, showing more pinned items, or showing more recommended content.

Windows 11 Settings Start menu personalization with More pins layout selected

If you choose the More pins option, you’ll have four rows for pinned items, and only one for recommended content. You Start menu will then look like this, which is a lot cleaner:

Windows 11 Start menu with More pins layout and recommended content disabled

Still, there’s no way to remove this section altogether, but this is a big improvement.

And that’s about all you need to know about removing the Recommended content section from the Start menu in Windows 11. If you’re looking to tweak other settings, check out how to change the default browser in Windows 11. If you’re looking for something a little less known, we also have a guide on how to enable God Mode in Windows 11.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.