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Bringing folders to the Windows 11 Style Start Menu

Article posted on 1/13/2022

This week, we released version 1.1 of Start11, and with it several new features and updates that make the app the best Start experience for users of Windows 10 and 11. But, bringing a feature like this to life requires a bit more thought and attention than you might expect.

On the surface, it seems easy: just add folders. But once you start digging through the UI complexity and various icon sizes, the experience requires more consideration than what meets the eye.

As an example, the logical process for creating a folder is to drag the icon on top of another and, voila - a folder is created. But that’s also how you rearrange icons on the Start menu, which can lead to accidentally making a folder when you didn't intend to. While we could have enacted a timer delay to create a folder, the latency this introduces into the process is not optimal.

The next logical step is to introduce a modifier key to the process, and for Start11 we chose to use the shift key. To create a folder, drag an icon while holding shift, and drop it onto another icon to create the folder inside the menu.

If you find yourself wanting to create many folders, you can right-click in a blank area of the Start menu and select the option to simulate that the Shift key is always held down. This process makes creating multiple folders faster, but the setting is not enabled by default.

Folders in the Windows 11 style menu was one of the top requests we received after the launch of Start11 last year. While we still have additional updates already being developed, with the introduction of folders it’s now even easier to keep your Start menu organized with pages and folders.