Replace the Windows 10 Start Menu with a classic Start Menu

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 16, 2014
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft plans to launch the Windows 10 operating system in 2015. One of the changes that the company introduces in it is a new start menu that mixes the classic Windows 7 start menu with app-specific features such as tiles.

While that is a step forward for users who disliked the removal of the start menu in Windows 8, it may not be enough for some.

Microsoft added customization options to the Windows 10 start menu that users of the operating system can make use of to remove all app tiles if they so desire.

Customization options are limited in the Technical Preview of Windows 10 that is currently available and there is a chance that the company will introduce additional options in January when the company reveals consumer features of the operating system.

The makers of Classic Shell, one of the programs to add a start menu back to Windows 8, have released a beta of the next version of the program that supports Windows 10.

replace windows 10 start menu

The beta version is available for download on the project website and runs fine on the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

It allows you to replace the Windows 10 start menu with the start menu provided by Classic Shell. If you have used the program before you know that it supports three different start menus that you can enable.

There is the classic style start menu that features one column, the classic start menu with two columns, and the Windows 7 style start menu.

Classic Shell replaces the start menu of Windows 10 automatically when installed on the system but keeps the original icon by default.

Options are provided however to replace it with a custom icon if you so desire.

The preferences leave little to be desired as well. It is highly suggested to enable the "show all settings" box first as it will reveal additional customization options.

It would take too long to go through all of them, here are a couple of important ones:

  • Show or hide Metro apps.
  • Define exactly which system tools are displayed in the start menu and which are not.
  • Display or hide the search box, and define which results it displays (for instance no Metro apps).
  • Modify the look of the start menu, for instance by using small icons or large fonts, or disabling user pictures.

You find many more settings in the Classic Shell preferences. There is also a new Windows 10 Settings tab available but there does not seem to be options available there yet that were not already included in the Windows 8 version of Classic Shell.

Closing Words

It is good to know that Classic Shell -- and thus other start menu programs as well -- will work fine under Windows 10. This gives users of the operating system options to use the default start menu that ships with Windows 10 or a third-party menu  if they prefer a classic menu instead.

Replace the Windows 10 Start Menu with a classic Start Menu
Article Name
Replace the Windows 10 Start Menu with a classic Start Menu
The article reviews the third-party program Classic Shell which enables you to replace the Windows 10 start menu with a classic menu.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. lynette said on December 19, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    windows 10 is the worst windows ever. can’t figure it out at all hates it with a passion. whoever come up with it had to much time to think about dumb things. all other windows is great to work with

  2. curtis said on October 13, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    All I want is able to right click icon and get menu

  3. jimmyjamesjimmy said on December 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Ahh that’s much better. People will switch to something else if it “IS” better. Win10 is starting to look like a Frankenstein of win7 & 8 but still not as vanilla as 7.

  4. kalmly said on December 16, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    WHAT? MS is finally figuring out the things that pissed people off? Realizing we will really switch to another OS or refuse to move forward if we don’t like what they have to offer? Myself, I seldom use the Start Menu, but I know most people depended on it. I can’t figure why MS thought it would be a good idea to take it away. For me, it was the limitations that MS started imposing, beginning with WIN7, that turned me away.

    Now if someone (I know MS won’t go that far) will just come out with an application that will allow me to set Windows color scheme to my own specifications like WinXP did, I might give 10 a fair trial. MIGHT. I shall keep reading about their progress.

  5. Claude LaFreniere said on December 16, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Windows 10 will be very wonderful at these conditions:

    1- Exactly like Windows 7
    2- W7 bug and annoyances fixed!

    (Secret dream since years: NO Internet Explorer anymore!)


    1. Pierre said on December 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      I don’t agree : IE, 11 and 12, is a very good and fast browser. You have the right to prefer another one.
      Its ergonomy is not excellent, however

      Classic Shell is a good program but maybe it would be a pity not trying the W9 start menu first

      1. Pierre said on August 2, 2015 at 7:46 pm

        W10, I mean.

  6. Womble said on December 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    it wasn’t until I saw the image above that I realized just just how much better that menu is than the one in Windows 10.

    Progress. …

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.