The Classic Start menu was part of many versions of the Windows operating system, including Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows XP, and Vista. However, Microsoft dropped the same from Windows 7 and later versions.
Now, the all-new Start menu in Windows 10 is better than the Classic Start menu in most ways. It’s faster, looks way better, includes superior search functionality, and offers much more than the classic Start menu. However, some users still like the classic Start menu and want to enable the same in Windows 10 as well.
Like everything else, it is possible to get the classic Start menu in Windows 10 as well. There are multiple programs out there to enable the classic Start menu in Windows 10. In fact, there is a workaround to make the built-in Windows 10 Start menu look remarkably similar to the classic Start menu.
Method 1 of 2
Remove and resize the Start menu to make it look Classic Start menu
Step 1: Open the current Start menu by either pressing the Windows logo key or clicking on the Start button.
Step 2: App tiles show up on the right side of the Start menu. We can make the Start menu look more like the Classic Start by removing the tiles and resizing the Start menu. Doing so will make the Windows 10 Start menu look more like the classic one.
To remove a tile, right-click on it and then click Unpin from Start option. Repeat this for all tiles on the Start to unpin all tiles.
Step 3: Once all tiles are removed, the Start menu should automatically make itself smaller. If not, once the right side of the Start menu is empty, hover the mouse cursor at the edge of the Start menu (to see the double-headed arrow), click & hold, and then move it to the left to make the Start menu smaller.
Step 4: The Start menu should now look like the Classic Start menu.
The best part of this Start menu is that you are not using third-party software. Additionally, you can continue using the built-in search, which is far more superior when compared to the original Classic Start menu offered by the Classic Shell program.
And if you are not happy and want the original Classic Start menu, please continue reading.
Method 2 of 2
Use Classic Shell to enable the Classic Start menu in Windows 10
As said before, there are a bunch of programs out there to enable the Classic Start menu in Windows 10. One of them is the very popular Classic Shell. It’s free and brings the original Classic Start menu to Windows 10.
The only downside to this program is that it has not been updated in over three years and will not receive any updates in the future as well. The development of the program has been stopped way back in 2017. That said, it continues to work great on the current version of Windows 10, which is 2004 (May 2020 Update). Here is how to use the Classic Shell to get the Classic Start menu in Windows 10.
Step 1: Get the Classic Shell from this official page. Run the setup file to begin installing it.
Step 2: Classic Shell installs other classic features such as Explorer, Internet Explorer along with the Start menu. If you don’t want them and are interested only in the Start menu, when you get the following screen, click on the drive icon next to Classic Explorer and Classic IE entries and then select Entire feature will be unavailable option.
Click the Next button, click Install, and then complete the installation.
Step 3: Once the program is installed, you will see the following window. Select the Classic Style option and click the OK button. As you can see in the picture below, if you are interested, the Classic Shell also offers the Windows 7-style Start menu.
That is it! You will now get the Classic Start menu whenever you hit the Windows logo key or click the Start button.
To uninstall Classic Shell from Windows 10
Step 1: Open the Programs and Features window by typing appwiz.cpl in the Start/taskbar search box and pressing Enter key.
Step 2: Look for the Classic Shell entry. Right-click on the entry and click the Uninstall option.
“Now, the all-new Start menu in Windows 10 is better than the Classic Start menu in most ways.”
This is simply false. Windows 10 has completely destroyed the start menu rendering it useless. They have also tried to make it impossible to change.
I am glad that I had the patience to read past this ridiculous claim. I have now installed Classic Shell. It clearly has the flexibility to customize the start menu to make if fully functional again.
Thanks for the details, guys. Will update the article.
Classic shell has continued the development and updates under the name Open Shell as mentioned at the home page of Classic shell.
Peter Alexander London says
I use classic shell for many years now; from my first laptop in 2013, win8 and on my new laptop 2019, win 10 2004.
Despite not being update; which in not completely true, it is now managed by GitHub.
The original CS is working flawlessly with latest win 10. I could not do without it. No tiles and other useless crap, you can set it to your own wishes limitlessly.
Peter Alexander London