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New Windows 11 Build Removes Classic Start Menu Option

Windows 11 Classic Start Menu
(Image credit: Shutterstock (for prohibition symbol))

The latest Windows 11 update, build 22000.65, brings with it a few small improvements and bug fixes. However, it takes a way one really important customization option: the ability to restore the Windows 10 Start menu.

As we explained in our recent tutorial on how to get the Windows 10 Start menu in Windows 11, all you needed to do was create a DWORD (32-bit) registry value named Start_ShowClassicMode in the HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced key and set it to 1. However, as of the new update, this hack no longer works and you're stuck with Windows 11's Start menu.

Windows 11 Start Menu

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

If, like me, you dislike the Windows 11 Start menu, this update is a real downer. Microsoft has not officially said why it took this feature away or if it has some plan to bring it back. However, if past policy is any indication, the Redmond Software giant rarely allows users to bring back the Start menu from a previous Windows version.

However, there's a sizable cottage industry in software utilities that replace Windows 10's Start menu with custom UIs, and we would expect these utilities to do the same for Windows 11 at some point. Stardock's Start 10 is one of the leaders in this space, allowing Windows 10 users to get a Windows 7-style Start menu. However, I just tested Start10 in Windows 11 and it failed to work (it put a Start button in the lower left corner but when I clicked it, nothing happened).

On the bright side, several other Windows 11 hacks still work in build 22000.65. You can still move the Windows 11 taskbar to the top or get the Windows 10 file explorer in Windows 11.

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch is Tom's Hardware's editor-in-chief. When he's not playing with the latest gadgets at work or putting on VR helmets at trade shows, you'll find him rooting his phone, taking apart his PC or coding plugins. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram developed many real-world benchmarks, including our laptop battery test.
  • hotaru251
    maybe we should all @ their twitter acct with: "Dear Microsoft...stop changing the start menu we have liked for past 20yrs with touch screen style ones."

    I still hate the tiles on win10 one...but thats ignore-able. WIN11's is not ignore-able.
    Reply
  • PrinceThrakhath
    I am speechless...
    To be fair I have not used Windows 11, BUT judging from the pictures the new start menu is an AWFUL and despicable design decision.I had the unfortunate experience to use a Mac(intosh) Pro at work for the last 2 years and it now looks like Microsoft is going in the same direction.
    Let me clarify why the new star menu is awful: Because when we review options on a screen the main purpose is not to spread them evenly across the screen or to give us advise regarding what we want to do. The main purpose should be to give us a compact an easily viewable list with items in a predictable order. The predictability an d compactness is what makes a display of options efficient. Listing options horizontally is universally absolute <Mod Edit>Listing options horizontally is such a poor idea there should be capital punishment for this specifically.
    The ideal position for a menu on a screen, given the user has a mouse, is in the corner of the screen (as is the case for menus of individual application windows) and the ideal way to list the options is vertically.
    Recommendations and suggestion? new rule: Never ever tell a user what to do, whether you are apple or Microsoft. Never suggest anything, never use their data. You do not have the permission to know anything about anyone and we don't want your disgusting suggestions ever.
    Screw you Microsoft! Screw you royally!!!
    Reply
  • ClapTrapper
    Why do they do this? With Win 8 I understood their motivation-they wanted a unified OS that could run on their crappy tablets. And even though MS is one of the giants that sets the music to the dance,they are not immune to hype. They assumed tablets were the future and death of the pc.

    But looking at the UI,Win 11 is in the ballpark of Win 10-like Win 95 to Win 98 in terms of UI. Not an Earth shattering change. Not a Win XP to Win 8 transition.

    If there are hacks at this early stage of Win 11 to keep a beloved UI item at this very early stage, MS should take notice. People don't like it.
    Do not force feed it to them.

    Change is fine, but if your customer base is screaming no, you should reconsider what you are doing.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    That's just stupid. I'm sure we all work with people who had problems adjusting from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and now with this change it's going to be just as bad again...
    Reply
  • purple_dragon
    It's completely true that every other Windows OS sucks...All though I still like the way Vista looked. Just everything else about it sucked.
    Reply
  • ClapTrapper
    Alvar Miles Udell said:
    That's just stupid. I'm sure we all work with people who had problems adjusting from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and now with this change it's going to be just as bad again...
    Please see my Post. I am replying to 2 Commenters.
    Reply
  • ClapTrapper
    purple_dragon said:
    It's completely true that every other Windows OS sucks...All though I still like the way Vista looked. Just everything else about it sucked.
    Please see my Post. I am replying to 2 Commenters.
    Reply
  • ClapTrapper
    Think about it. What is an OS for these days? Getting on the Internet.

    MS only has a stranglehold on PCs because it is no brain OS if you play games.

    The vast majority of PC users cares nothing about Windows versions. They just want to know if they can "surf the web" and email their grandsons.

    Linux for the masses is coming. MS needs to be kind to the present customer base.

    Hell,even Linux users are finally getting some respect from Devs.
    Reply
  • jackhard
    They dont learn a single lesson...
    Time to move to linux guys!
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    ClapTrapper said:
    Linux for the masses is coming. MS needs to be kind to the present customer base.

    No, it isn't. I've been hearing this is the year of the Linux desktop since the late 90's and we're probably further away from it now than 10 or 15 years ago. The overwhelming majority of PC's are sold by OEM's and their desktops are almost all Windows based. The closest we're going to get to a Linux desktop for the masses is either iOS or Chromebooks which own the only part of the market that linux had a chance at.
    Reply