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Windows 11: Microsoft moved the start button. Here's how to put it back where it belongs

The Windows Start button belongs on the left side of the taskbar. We'll show you where to find the setting to move it back.

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Windows 11 update on a laptop

After updating to Windows 11, you'll need to change this setting if you want to Start menu back where it normally is. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

For as long as I can remember, the iconic Windows Start button has always been in the bottom left corner of my PC's screen. It's a predictable location for a button that's a critical piece of navigating your computer, but in the next version of Windows, Microsoft has redesigned the taskbar. 

With the release of Windows 11 later this year, all of your taskbar icons -- including the Start button -- will default to being centered on your computer's display. But fear not! The current Insider Preview that anyone with a compatible PC can install allows you to move the Start button, along with the rest of your taskbar, to its tried-and-true location. 

Not all PCs will be able to upgrade to Windows 11 when it's released. You can use this free tool to check if your PC meets all of the requirements. 

Windows 11 Settings Start menu

You'll need to jump into the Settings app in order to move the Start button.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

How to move the Start button back to the left

There are several different ways to get to the Settings app. You can either press the Windows key and the letter I at the same time, or click the Start button and click the Settings gear icon in the Pinned apps section. Another option is to open the Start menu and start typing "Settings." There are, of course, other ways to get there, but I think you get the point. 

Move Start Button to the Left

With just a few clicks, you can return the Start button back to where it belongs. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

With the Settings app open, click on Personalization in the list of options on the left side of the window. Scroll down until you see the Taskbar option and click on it. Once there, scroll to the bottom of the options where you'll find Taskbar behaviors and click the Taskbar Alignment dropdown that currently says Center; change it to Left

And just like that, the Start menu and the rest of your taskbar items are shifted all the way to the left side of your screen just like it's always been.

Remember, not every PC that runs Windows 10 will update to Windows 11 later this year. Here's how you can check if your PC will. There are plenty of new features coming to Windows 11, we walk you through some of the highlights.  

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