Start Menu Replacement Open Menu+

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 14, 2008
Updated • Feb 17, 2013
Software, Windows, Windows software

The Windows XP or Windows Vista Start Menus provide only limited options to customize their appearance and change the links and the way they are displayed. Open Menu+ is an Open Source skinnable Windows Start Menu replacement that provides better access to Start Menu entries.

One interesting aspect of the software is the option to run the new Start Menu next to the old one for some time to find out if it better suits the needs. The new Start Menu makes use of a search tab at the top and five tabs at the bottom that provides access to various files and services with enough options to customize most of the display and entries.

The Start Menu is separated by the tabs Favorites, Recent, Computer, Programs and Leave.

  • Favorites contain links that are added by the user. Links can be added in various ways including from other tabs of the Start Menu or by editing the favorites.txt file that comes with the application.
  • The Recent tab displays programs and files that have been opened recently by the user.
  • The Computer tab contains links to profile folders like My Documents, Printers or the Run dialog.
  • The tab Programs contains links to all programs that are installed on the computer.
  • Leave provides links to options like shutting down, logging off or closing the Open Menu application.

The program's options contain various possibilities to change the look and feel of the application. It is possible to change the skin, remove items from the Start Menu or to change the default locations of system paths.

Open Menu+ uses roughly 20 Megabytes of computer memory when running in the open. The application itself is very responsive and easy to use.

Update: The program website of the start menu alternative is not available anymore. You can download the latest version of the Open Menu+ program from a download portal such as Softpedia.


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  1. Joshua said on November 14, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Reminds me a lot of a menu I saw when I first used OpenSUSE. Interesting, interesting.

  2. Tom said on November 14, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    … looks like Ubuntu :-O

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