News How to Replace the Start Menu in Windows 11

HyperMatrix

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For the past few years I’ve been launching most of my apps either by their desktop or taskbar icon, or by hitting the windows key and typing part of its name and hitting enter. It’s by far the fastest method. There’s nothing particularly useful about the windows 10 start menu unless you happened to like the live tiles for the apps that supported it. Overall not a significant change and nostalgia and fear of change would be the only reason I can see for people wanting to stick to the old look.
 

Aaron44126

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I for one will miss the Windows 10 Start menu. Not because of Live Tiles, that was a nifty feature but I never saw it used in a way that was "useful" other than maybe the weather app tile. Since Windows 8, I've adopted an approach of pinning basically everything that I could need to the start menu. It's laid out in a way that makes sense to me and I know where everything is. So, opening an app is just Windows key + click, even faster than typing in the search bar. The most common stuff I have pinned to the taskbar, but the Start menu has easily 80+ apps available at a glance.

On Windows 11, I think you can only pin 18 items before having to scroll through them. They can't be freely placed, either, they are arranged in rows sort of like iOS. So, blah. Just throwing icons on the desktop is not really my thing, because then I have to deal with minimizing all open windows to access it. The closest thing that I've found to replicate the Windows 10 Start menu (as a one-click app launcher) is WinLaunch, but that one doesn't have as much layout flexibility as the Win8.1/10 Start menu did.
 

Math Geek

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i could not get open shell working on it, did not realize i had to set the task bar to the left first.

much more bearable interface when i can make it look like win 7 :) and of course once you enable the win 7 start menu, you can now make folders and organize your stuff like many like/want to do.

otherwise i really don't see much different than win 10 in how it works.
 
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Pollopesca

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I've been using RocketDock with stacks for frequent apps (aligned to the left) since the XP days. Sure it hasn't changed since 2008, but still serves its purpose well. The Win 10 start menu was the only one that really came close to the same level of customization/organization with small tiles. Being 1-2 clicks from any major app without cluttering my desktop or scrolling through a list.

I feel like customization is key to a good start menu.
 

helfer.pesche

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I for one will miss the Windows 10 Start menu. Not because of Live Tiles, that was a nifty feature but I never saw it used in a way that was "useful" other than maybe the weather app tile. Since Windows 8, I've adopted an approach of pinning basically everything that I could need to the start menu. It's laid out in a way that makes sense to me and I know where everything is. So, opening an app is just Windows key + click, even faster than typing in the search bar. The most common stuff I have pinned to the taskbar, but the Start menu has easily 80+ apps available at a glance.

On Windows 11, I think you can only pin 18 items before having to scroll through them. They can't be freely placed, either, they are arranged in rows sort of like iOS. So, blah. Just throwing icons on the desktop is not really my thing, because then I have to deal with minimizing all open windows to access it. The closest thing that I've found to replicate the Windows 10 Start menu (as a one-click app launcher) is WinLaunch, but that one doesn't have as much layout flexibility as the Win8.1/10 Start menu did.
Me too! I feel exactly the same way. Everything I need is neetly organized in the Start Menu - even hierarchically. Everything I need frequently is linked on the taskbar. But that's only a fraction of what I have in the Start Menu, and the taskbar is already full. I seriously hope there will be some kind of workaround or third party app to get the Win 10 Start Menu back. It's not about nostalgics, I switched from Win 7 to Win 10 easily. It's about the Win 10 Start Menu being way more flexible than the dumbed down Win 11 Start Menu.
 

Kamen Rider Blade

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I feel like customization is key to a good start menu.
I think that philosophy should be the core to a good start menu that can be customized to the end users whims.

I have a alternate Start Menu Design that is a hybrid of all the existing Start menu's that I want to try to implement, but it'll take time for me to figure out how to make it.
 
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USAFRet

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Amazing.

How to jump through multiple hoops to upgrade to the new version, that does nothing the previous one didn't, and then jump through more hoops to make the new one look just like the old one.

What am I missing?
 
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StartAllBack supports the TaskBar on top as well as the Ribbon in File Explorer. Maybe you have to switch back to the Windows 10 style taskbar to move it around, but once you do you can put it on any side of the screen just like in Windows 10.

I'm giving the Windows 11 start menu a chance, but I couldn't deal with the Windows 11 taskbar. I need the options to include labels and not to group icons on the taskbar. So I'm using StartAllBack and am very satisfied with it. At the time I was looking for a way to go back to the old taskbar, it looked like Start11 didn't support that (nor did anything else except StartAllBack). I'm not sure if that's changed by now.
 

Heat_Fan89

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Amazing.

How to jump through multiple hoops to upgrade to the new version, that does nothing the previous one didn't, and then jump through more hoops to make the new one look just like the old one.

What am I missing?
My thoughts exactly. I actually like the look and UI changes brought to Windows 11. I haven’t moved up to Windows 11 on both my gaming rigs because I don’t want to take a performance hit. Besides that, I do like Windows 11.
 

dimar

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StartAllBack made Windows 11 bearable. I need to have Start Menu with Programs, Control Panel and other folders as a menu to open to the right, XP style.
I find it dumb that Microsoft is not providing this option.
They should fire the people who refuse to make the Start Menu and Taskbar highly customizable..
 

Math Geek

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They should fire the people who refuse to make the Start Menu and Taskbar highly customizable..
customizing is for something you own. MS owns your pc and will do with it what they please. they want everyone the same and they WILL make sure it happens. windows stopped being about the user a long time ago and is now simply a data collection tool you are allowed to pay for a put in your house. be happy they even allow that much. you notice it gets worse and worse as they do what they want with their pc that happens to be sitting on your desk.

quit pretending you have any choice is what windows is and how it looks/runs/feels/etc cause you don't and gosh dangit, most people are (for some reason) happy with that arrangement and you're the problem for questioning it!!!

note the obvious hate i have for the fact what i typed is true***
 

dimar

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customizing is for something you own. MS owns your pc and will do with it what they please. they want everyone the same and they WILL make sure it happens. windows stopped being about the user a long time ago and is now simply a data collection tool you are allowed to pay for a put in your house. be happy they even allow that much. you notice it gets worse and worse as they do what they want with their pc that happens to be sitting on your desk.

quit pretending you have any choice is what windows is and how it looks/runs/feels/etc cause you don't and gosh dangit, most people are (for some reason) happy with that arrangement and you're the problem for questioning it!!!

note the obvious hate i have for the fact what i typed is true***
I'll keep making feedback everywhere I can and keep complaining until one of us gives up :)
 
Amazing.

How to jump through multiple hoops to upgrade to the new version, that does nothing the previous one didn't, and then jump through more hoops to make the new one look just like the old one.

What am I missing?
This reply wins the day. Exactly. It does absolutely nothing better than the last operating system so why bother
 

eye4bear

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You can't revert to Windows 10's exact menu but third-party utilities will give you a more compact menu.

How to Replace the Start Menu in Windows 11 : Read more I find all this very funny. Linux KDE/Plasma comes with 3 built in choices for a start menu. It takes a simple right click and then choose with style you like. All FREE and no hacking the registry. Microsoft could do the same "if" it wanted to.
 
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My 2 cents: I've been using a GIT project called 'explorer patcher', since Q3 of 2021.
It is free, it lets me position the start menu to the side (like I used to have with win 10 menu), and let me pin apps to start. The only thing it's missing for now is the ability to group apps together.
I tried StartX, and someting thats called "reviver 2",
I also tried out using a regedit tweak where i instigated a DWORD value '1' for Start_ShowClassicMenu, in explorer of the local_user - didn't work at all.

and immediately went back to using 'ep'.

Recommend it for now until hopefully, MS starts to understand that shifting paradigm by pursueing only the younger generation, is statistically unsupported, since the average age for a user of the internet is getting older and the life expectancy as well, so by and large, there are more people who like to work using ordered menus, and ordered folders, with rigid structure, and not chasing some abstract notion of "freedom" of user experience which is inefficient for productivity.
 

wifiburger

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even windows 10 menu is garbage,
every windows I'm running at home for me it's always openshell + everything that I install first

hate windows menu, hate windows search, both worthless to me
 

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