How to disable Start menu left pane auto expand mouse hover on Windows 10

If the Start menu auto-expand feature is getting in the way, use these steps to disable it.

Disable Start menu left pane auto expand feature
Disable Start menu left pane auto expand feature

On Windows 10, starting with the November 2019 Update, version 1909, when you open the Start menu and hover over the left pane will automatically expand to reveal the name of the items in the list.

Although Microsoft has found positive results adding this feature, it’s not something that everyone wants, because it can get in the middle when navigating the menus, and it can make it more difficult to access the power options.

If you don’t like this change, there’s a way to disable this behavior in your installation using a third-party tool called “mach2” from Rafael Rivera.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to disable the auto expand of the left pane in the Start menu on Windows 10.

How to disable mouse over auto expand menu on Start

To disable Start menu expanding the left pane automatically when hovering over with the mouse, use these steps:

Warning: This is a third-party application, and it’s offered without any warranty. Although it should work as advertised, you should use it only at your own risk. Also, there’s a chance that Windows Defender Antivirus may identify this app as malicious, but according to the author, it’s a false positive.
  1. Open this GitHub website.

  2. Download the latest mach2 zip folder.

  3. Double-click the zip folder.

    Quick tip: You’ll need to download the zip folder that correspond to your system architecture (x86 or x64), you can check the version of Windows 10 that you’re running on Settings > System > About.
  4. Click the Extract all button from the “Compressed Folder Tools” ribbon.

  5. Click the Extract button.

    Extract zip files on Windows 10
    Extract zip files on Windows 10
  6. Copy the path to the folder.

  7. Open Start.

  8. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  9. Type the following command to navigate to the mach2 folder and press Enter:

    cd C:\YOUR\FOLDER\PATH\Downloads\mach2_0.3.0.0_x64

    In the command remember to change the path to the folder with your path.

  10. Type the following command to disable the auto-expand feature and press Enter:

    mach2 disable 18715789

    Disable Start menu auto expand left pane on Windows 10
    Disable Start menu auto expand left pane on Windows 10
  11. Restart your device.

Once you complete the steps, when opening the Start menu the left pane will no longer automatically expand when hovering over the mouse.

If you want to revert the changes, you can use the same instructions, but on step No. 10, make sure to use this command: mach2 enable 18715789 and then restart your computer.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].