Microsoft is considering a change to Windows 11 that would declutter one part of the interface in the Start menu.
The tweak has only been applied in testing right now, in the recent build 23575 deployed to the Dev channel, and it pertains to the Recommended panel in the Start menu.
What Microsoft has done, as Windows Latest reports, is to introduce a grouping system for the recently added apps that appear in this Recommended section.
As it is, these apps show up as single entries, but in the new interface, they are all shoved into a ‘Recently added’ folder in the section, thereby decreasing clutter.
It’s certainly a useful touch to streamline this part of the Start menu, although note that the rollout of this to testers is a phased one, meaning only some of those in the Dev channel will see it to begin with.
Elsewhere in build 23575, Microsoft has fixed a bunch of bugs including crashes with File Explorer, problems with some PC games, and an issue where Copilot disappeared from the taskbar (an AWOL AI, if you will).
Analysis: More customization options please, Microsoft
Hopefully, we’ll see this move progress from Dev to Beta channels, and then eventually the release version of Windows 11, because it’s certainly a useful addition to the Recommended section. Eventually, it’s possible Microsoft may organize other parts of this panel using grouping in folders.
However, there are broader concerns about the Recommended section. In its article, Windows Latest also pointed out a post on Microsoft’s Feedback Hub called: “I would like to be able to turn off the Recommended section in the Start menu and have the whole area disappear in Windows 11.”
The idea of being able to ditch the feature entirely from the Start menu has now been upvoted nearly 10,000 times on the hub. Most folks would appreciate the ability to customize all parts of the Windows 11 UI further, wherever possible, and we’d agree wholly with that sentiment.
If Microsoft feels this is complicating things, any customization options could be hidden away somewhere, so only advanced users would bother to hunt them out.
We have aired concerns about the Recommended section for some time, particularly around flagging up websites as suggestions for Windows 11 users to visit – and where the lines may be drawn in terms of nudging and advertising. These suggestions are something that appears to be coming through for release, even though it’s an area Microsoft has experimented with in the past and then abandoned.
All in all, the Recommended panel is one of the bits of Windows 11’s interface we feel could definitely use some work, although at least the potential change coming in with this new preview build does make things better.