Disable or delete the Recommended section of the Start Menu in Windows 11

Windows 11 came and Microsoft brought with it a completely modern look to the most important user interface elements such as the Start menu, taskbar, File Explorer, options menus, App Store, etc. And if we highlight the Start menu, we notice that the new look divides the menu window into two parts: a section that displays shortcuts to installed applications, as in smartphones, and a section that displays newly opened files and folders. But the latter, which is called "Recommended" may seem useless for some Windows 11 users. Since it takes up an unnecessary amount of space, let's go through how to remove it or at least disable it.

The "Recommended" section of the Start menu contains a quick shortcut to any new application/program that is installed on the computer, as well as files and folders that the user frequents most. Although it is a useful feature, you may prefer to use the entire Start menu space to display only the shortcuts of installed applications.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has not added an option within the settings that fulfills this desire to permanently remove this section from the list, but the company is working on adding an option that re-layouts the list so that it expands or reduces the “Recommended” area.

Currently, the only option to control the "Recommended" section on the Windows 11 Start menu is to disable it so that it doesn't display any items at all while still retaining its place in the list.

To use this option, open Settings from the Start menu or press the Win keys and the letter I (E) together, then go to the Personalization section from the side menu and press "Start". Here you will disable the "Show recently opened items in Start" option to prevent displaying a shortcut to folders and files you open, as well as disable "Show recently added apps" to prevent new apps that are installed on the device from appearing.

Once done, the "Recommended" section will be completely clean and display no shortcuts. And if that's not satisfactory, in the next paragraph, here's how to completely remove it.

Delete the Recommended section from the Start Menu

Since Microsoft has not added a setting that deletes this section of the Start menu we will have to use a third-party tool like Explorer Patcher. This tool is completely free and allows Windows 11 users to make many changes to the system, the most important of which is to restore the functions that were present in Windows 10, including the taskbar and the Start menu, among others. In addition to minor tweaks like removing the entire Recommended section of the Start menu in Windows 11, here's how.

At first download the latest version of Explorer Patcher from GitHub and after downloading the “ep_setup” file to your computer right click on it and then select “Run as administrator”.

Note: Antivirus software might notify about ep_setup file but that doesn't necessarily mean that the tool has viruses or any security threats to your device, rather it is completely safe according to our own experience and testing, some security software suspects the Explorer Patcher code and blocks the tool Incorrectly. You can read this statement from the developer of the tool for clarity.

As soon as you launch the tool for the first time, you will notice that the desktop disappears for a few seconds before it appears again, this time with a different taskbar. As can be seen in the attached image, the tool instantly replaces the Windows 11 taskbar with the old one used in Windows 10. That's okay! You can easily return to the default look through the properties window of the Explorer Patcher tool, which you can view by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting "Properties".

In the Properties window, you can control the appearance of the Windows 11 desktop as you wish through clear and direct options. Basically, the first tweak you might want to make is to put the Windows 11 taskbar back on instead of Windows 10, that's not the purpose of using the Explorer Patcher tool. To do this, click on “Taskbar” from the side menu, then click on “Windows 10” in front of “Taskbar style” to choose from the “Windows 11 (default” drop-down list).

Now go to the "Start menu" page from the left side menu and put a check mark (✔) next to the "Disable the "Recommended" section as indicated in the image. Then press the "Restart File Explorer" button in the lower left corner to restart the desktop and apply the new changes.

Now the Windows 11 taskbar will be back, but when you open the Start menu you will immediately notice that the Recommended section is no longer in the list and only all the installed apps are listed. You can add more app shortcuts to the list and fill in the space to make use of the space the Recommended section used to take up.    


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