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Windows 11’s Start Menu Will Soon Feature A Floating Sidebar With Information

Image Source: diy13 / Shutterstock

**Windows 11’s Start Menu to Include Floating Sidebar with Information**

Microsoft has introduced support for Start Menu Companions in a recent Windows 11 beta build. This new feature adds a sidebar to the Start Menu to show various information like widgets.

The latest Windows 11 Start menu redesign eliminated features such as live tiles and customization options from the Windows 10 menu. The new design highlights pinned apps at the top and recommendations at the bottom.

Initially, the Windows 11 Start menu was challenging to navigate when it was released in 2021. While improvements have been made since then, some criticisms persist.

**Introduction of Start Menu Companions in Windows 11**

A new feature called Start Menu Companions was discovered by Twitter user Albacore in Windows 11 Beta build 26212. A screenshot shared on Twitter showed weather and stock market information on the floating sidebar.

Users can set up this feature in the Settings > Personalization > Start menu. They can choose which companions to display on either side of the Windows 11 Start menu.

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It appears that users have the option to disable the feature completely, returning the Start Menu to its original appearance.

**Feature in Development**

The Start Companion feature is still being developed and may undergo changes before its official release or be removed entirely before reaching stable Windows 11 versions.

The adaptive cards available to testers are limited and resemble a condensed version of the Widgets panel. It’s possible that this feature could replace widgets entirely upon launch.

Support for third-party adaptive cards might enhance the feature’s usefulness and accessibility. Microsoft aimed for third-party widget support, but it remains restricted currently.

Users can opt to disable the Start Menu Companions feature, and most may do so unless compelling adaptive cards providing real value to users are introduced in the future.

It’s possible that features like recent downloads, running programs, or notifications could be displayed in this space.

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Microsoft may consider introducing ads to this feature in the future. Refer to instructions for disabling Start Menu ads in Windows 11 to learn how to turn them off.

**Image Source:** diy13 / Shutterstock

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