How to hide Recommended items in Windows 11's Start Menu

Microsoft's upcoming Windows 11 operating system changes the Start menu drastically in some areas, but keeps other features as they have been in previous versions of Windows.

If you take a look at the Windows 11 Start Menu, you see a list of apps and links displayed at the top. Some of these are pinned, others are added automatically by Windows 11.

Below that is the Recommended section. It displays recently added apps and recently opened files, but may also be used by Microsoft to display recommendations to the user.

In fact, on a brand new Windows 11 system, you may see the "Get Started" recommendation in the section.

We take a tour of what's new in Windows 11

Some Windows users may find these recommendations useful, others don't.  Just like on Windows 10, it is possible to disable the Recommended section on Windows 11 to hide the section in the Start Menu.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22000.100 - Search interface position left aligned

Microsoft kept the options in the Settings application under Personalization. On Windows 10, you find the options under Settings > Personalization > Start.

There you may disable the following content:

  • Show recently added apps.
  • Show the most used apps.
  • Show suggestions occasionally in Start.
  • Show recently opened items in Jump Lists on Start or the taskbar and in the File Explorer Quick Access.

Disable Recommended items in the Start Menu

windows 11 personalization

  1. Select Start > Settings > Personalization > Start.
  2. Look for Show recently added apps and turn it off.
  3. Look for Show most used apps and set it to off.
  4. Look for Show recently opened items in Start Jump List and File Explorer and turn it off.

Changes take effect immediately. Just open Start, while Settings remains open, to test the change. Note that Recommended is still displayed, but you should not see any content anymore under the section once you have made the change. Unfortunately, there is no option to hide the section entirely to use it for something else.

windows 11 recommended empty

You may disable some of the options only, e.g. if you are interested in getting a list of recently installed applications, then you may keep that option enabled while disabling the other options.

Just toggle the preferences again if you want to restore one or all of the listings in the Start Menu.

Closing Words

The Windows 11 start menu lacks customization options, even more so than the Windows 10 Start Menu. Some users may use the recommended section actively, others, who may not use it at all, are stuck with it nevertheless. While it is possible to hide the items of the section, it is not possible to hide it entirely to make room for more apps or links in the Start Menu.

Now You: do you use the recent files / apps section of the Start Menu?

Summary
How to hide Recommended items in Windows 11's Start Menu
Article Name
How to hide Recommended items in Windows 11's Start Menu
Description
Find out how to hide some or all of the items listed under the Recommended section in the Start Menu of Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system.
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Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Paul(us) said on August 16, 2021 at 11:48 am
    Reply

    I found it strange than when I look in this article, which is written by Martin Brinkman that I notice that the pictures from the start menu, are having the face of Ashwin and also Ashwin his name!
    Have you had some plastic surgery Martin? :-)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 16, 2021 at 11:58 am
      Reply

      Sorry for that :) I re-used Ashwin’s start menu screenshots.

  2. Jeff M.S. said on August 16, 2021 at 4:03 pm
    Reply

    Open Shell is how I “hide” the whole thing.

    1. dmacleo said on August 16, 2021 at 9:35 pm
      Reply

      openshell does not work on windows 11.
      works great on win10 except one pc here has issues with it and KB5005033 installed.
      course any trick, program, powershell command to block certain KB article no longer works.
      not really issue for me as I use WSUS for updates but if you accidentally hit check updates from microsoft it will apply iy.

      1. Jeff M.S. said on August 17, 2021 at 8:13 pm
        Reply

        Everything works on Windows 11 also. You just haven’t read how to set it up: http://www.classicshell.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8580

      2. dmacleo said on August 18, 2021 at 9:52 pm
        Reply

        tried that but nothing worked for me. same build number as in that post too.

  3. Anonymous said on August 16, 2021 at 9:43 pm
    Reply

    Windows 11 has nothing but dumb decisions. They really need to fire everyone working on Windows since 8 to now.

    1. Anonymous said on August 16, 2021 at 10:49 pm
      Reply

      First of the “I don’t like it therefore it should not exist” comments?

    2. Rainier said on August 19, 2021 at 11:52 am
      Reply

      You’re right. When the product manager group meeting starts, someone says “how about we find a way to annoy people by adding this feature?” and everybody laughs and nods. That’s how these features end up in products you use, from computers to phones. Lies and falsehoods about it being based on focus groups, workshops, telemetry, customer feedback are as I said, pure lies. We do it out of either dumbness or malice, all the time.

  4. Charlie Browns Teacher said on August 17, 2021 at 12:14 am
    Reply

    The new start menu might have merit, if it was on a cell phone. On a pc it makes no sense at all. I can hear the m$ fanboys, ‘but you don’t need a start menu’.

    1. eWaste11 said on August 19, 2021 at 12:41 am
      Reply

      It seems to aimed for the tablet/chromebook simplistic minded folk youngsters who’s attention span is as short as a Gnat. All down to the failed education sector using the cheapest hardware/software going.

  5. Robert said on August 17, 2021 at 5:43 am
    Reply

    Getting rid of “Recommended Items” was the first thing I searched for after upgrading to Windows 11 Pro. There are lots of articles explaining how to turn it off which tells me that its not that popular with testers. I just hope Microsoft changes their code so that the start menu no longer has wasted space when turned off.

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