Windows 11 App Organization


I loaded Windows 11 Dev on my Surface Pro X and so far, it has been a very snappy experience. I plan on doing a lot of testing, especially with this being the SQ2 ARM chip.


One thing I got accustomed to since Windows 8 was to group together my tiles into categories to keep them better organized. With Windows 11, you can pin and then drag them in any order you want but no way to group or divide them. Not really talking about folders because they worked pretty badly in Windows 10. I also have never cared for desktop shortcuts as they tend to get cluttered and messy.


That said, I do often like to use the search bar and just typing the name of the app is almost faster than scrolling to my groups.


I may be in the minority who actually used the tiles but was wondering if anyone else was missing this organization and if so, do you have any tips?

Comments (11)

11 responses to “Windows 11 App Organization”

  1. erichk

    If in fact those features are removed from the Windows 11 Start menu, I too will miss them, but I admit it's probably a bit of an advanced feature that most normals don't know about. I'm not running any of the Windows 11 builds at the moment so I couldn't say which is the best way to get around it. I feel like I may hold off on doing that until I get the upgrade, just so I can feel like everything is fresh and brand new when I run it for the first time.

  2. dftf

    I use the tiles to create groups also; works great, and rarely do I go into the "All Apps" list.

    The removal of the folders in the "All Apps" in Windows 11 also seems odd, and it's surely just going to make the list unnecessarily long, and in many cases, make it unclear which apps are part of the same product.

    For example, right now in Windows 10, I have a folder called "dBpoweramp" and inside it are five items: "Batch Converter", "CD Ripper", "dBpoweramp Help", "dBpoweramp Settings" and "Music Converter". So it's clear these individual apps all relate to one overall product.

    On Windows 11, they'll just all appear under the respective letter, alphabetically, so that context is lost.

    I can foresee some developers working-around this by renaming their shortcuts specifically on a Windows 11 system, so there you'll get pointless repetition like "dBpoweramp - Batch Converter", "dBpoweramp - CD Ripper", "dBpoweramp - Help" and so-on, just so within the "All Apps" menu they all get grouped together.

    Not sure that's better?

    • lezmaka

      I just installed windows 11 on my surface pro 4 and I still have folders in all apps.

  3. hrlngrv

    Tangent first: there's one BIG difference between a File Explorer shortcut (.LNK) on the desktop and File Explorer pinned to the taskbar or in the Start menu. Right click on each of them, and only the one on the desktop will show Run as Administrator. That's the only case I've found in which a desktop shortcut provides more functionality than shortcuts in other standard locations.

    There's a registry hack to use the Windows 10-like Start menu. How long it'll last is another matter.

    As long as Windows allows one to use replacement Start menus, NBD for me. OTOH, do I believe Stardock and others would try to bring back the Windows 10 Start menu? Nope, just as no one has bothered to bring a Windows 8-like Start screen replacement to Windows 10.

    FTHOI, I'd point out that 18 pinned app icons is rather limited. Medium pinned tiles in Windows 10 are equivalent (they show icon and name as text), and the Windows 10 Start menu can show more than 18 of them. The Windows 11 Start menu is a decided reduction in functionality.

  4. curtisspendlove

    I’ve adapted two practices:

    . Pin to Taskbar

    Most frequently used apps (dev tools, etc) are pinned to the taskbar. A single click and they are fired up.

    . Win key, then type

    Anything else is just a press of the Windows key and a few characters away. Seems to work even better and faster in Windows 11.

    • wolters

      I believe this is what I'll need to do. As an Android user, I really use Home Screens for widgets and organization and will miss some sort of grouping in Windows 11. But WIN Key and typing really is good...I do believe I use that more than anything.

  5. navarac

    After 4 or 5 days I'm not sure which way to jump. I quite like Windows 11 but miss my Quick Launch toolbar in the taskbar. This emasculated taskbar is the worst aspect of the whole OS to me, and shoving it in the centre by default is obviously the action of a designer enamoured of Mac or Chrome OS. Generally speaking, I currently find no advantage of Windows 11 over 10, and will probably revert at some stage. I'll give this a bit more time and another build - it may grow on me yet!

    • hrlngrv

      Semantic pickiness.

      | I quite like Windows 11


      | I currently find no advantage of Windows 11 over 10

      You like the new wallpapers? Snap preview?

      From my perspective, Windows 11 is an intentional reduction in desktop UI functionality, an actual dumbing down of Windows, Windows 10X crammed down our throats whether we want it or not. All with no more reason than perhaps to boost the appeal of Windows to school children who've gotten used to the Chrome OS shelf. Even then, the Windows 11 Start menu is a lobotomized shelf: no grouping, no way to move it to left/right/top.

  6. wolters

    The new Start Menu feels like the ChromeOS app drawer, albeit a little more customizable. I once tried to use ChromOS day to day but the messy app drawer was a huge turn off.

  7. tobyburnett41

    I have a Surface Pro X, and now a ThinkPad x11, after Paul's enthusiasm. At a desk I plug it into a monitor, sans keyboard--using a Logitech K 380 instead, centered under the screen. I like having the X11 on the side to make notes on and to monitor mail or phone.

    But I had been putting the toolbar on the left, to not be in the way for writing. Also, I liked swiping from the left to see desktops. I'm hoping for options to restore both of those!

    About the start menu, I rearrange the order for my grouping, with the taskbar for the most frequent apps. The only control over the "recommended" part seems to be to delete individual tiles. Who ordered that?

    Finally, I love the snap capability. Still trying to understand the concept of a "group". I had been using groupy, which uses tabs like the defunct "Sets".

  8. wolters

    And sorry this double posted...I had posted it and it said it didn't post so condensed it into another post which also said it didn't post and both posted.