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How To Get The Windows Start Button On A Mac

Sunday, March 12th, 2017 by | Filed Under: Desktop Enhancement, Mac OS

One of the biggest problems Windows users face when shifting over to the Mac OS is that of unfamiliarity with the new interface and very often, the most common question that’s asked is, ‘Where is the Start Button?’

Given the fact that most of us probably had a Windows based PC as our first computer, we have gotten accustomed to the ease of use of the Start Button and often when you switch to Mac OS, it can all seem a bit baffling at first. After all, where are you supposed to click to launch applications?

In a Mac OS based environment, everything is supposed to be done via Spotlight or via navigating through the Finder (Mac version of Windows Explorer) but if you are still attached to the good old Start Button, then fret not, there is a nifty way to recreate that functionality on a Mac.

It takes a few tweaks to get this done so I will write out step by step instructions.


First of all, we will create a Start Menu folder. You can create this anywhere you want but for the sake of simplicity, I have created it in the Documents folder.


Now we are going to start dragging  the things that we want to include in our Start Button menu into that folder. For instance, I want a list of all the applications to be in there. To do that, I will create an alias of the main Applications folder and drag it into our Start Menu folder. (An alias on the Mac OS is the same as a shortcut in Windows. Just different terminology.)

To list all the applications in our custom Start Menu, we will create an alias of the Applications folder into our Start Menu folder. The Applications folder exists at the root of your disk drive and if you do not know how to access that, then simply right click on the Applications folder in the Finder sidebar and click ‘Show in Enclosing Folder’. The root folder will open with the Applications folder listed at the top,

This will take you to the root of your Mac’s disk drive. From here, press command+option and then click & drag the Applications folder to our Start Menu folder. Do the same for any other folders that you want listed in your custom Start Button menu.

As you can see in the image above, I have dragged in the folders that I access most frequently. You can do the same by repeating what we did above with the Applications folder. Command+option then click and drag. Easy peasy!

Step 3:

Drag the Start Menu folder from the documents folder on to the dock at the bottom of your screen.


Once that is done, right click on the Start Menu Folder icon in the dock. You will be presented with a bunch of options. The only option you need to select is ‘List’ under ‘View content as.’


That’s it! We’ve done it!

Now when you click on the Start Menu folder in the dock, you will be presented with a Windows style menu that looks and functions just like a Start button. Hovering over any other folder aliases that you have added to the Start Menu folder will simply list the files in those folders. Very handy and an absolute time saver.

That’s all there is to it. So if you are still attached to the Windows Start button and want the same functionality in your Mac, then go ahead and try this right away.

~ Yogesh

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