Windows 10 Start Menu StartIsBack++ 2.0 released

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 27, 2017
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Software, Windows 10

StartIsBack++ 2.0.1 is the latest version of the start menu replacement program for Windows 10 that works similarly as Classic Shell and Start10.

We reviewed the version of StartIsBack+ for Windows 8.1 back when it was released. If you have used that version before, you have a good understanding already what StartIsBack++ 2.0.1 for Windows 10 brings to the table.

The last version of the program dates back to October 2016, and it is version 1.3.4. I'm not sure what happened to version 2.0 though of the application.

StartIsBack++ 2.0.1 for Windows 10 is a commercial program. You can test it for 30 days, but if you want to continue using it, you will have to buy a license for the fair price of $2.99. This is even cheaper than the $4.99 that Stardock charges for its excellent Start10 program, especially since this is for a lifetime license.

StartIsBack++ 2.0

StartIsBack++ 2.0.1  exchanges the start menu that Windows 10 systems ship with a custom one, for instance one that resembles the Windows 7 start menu.

The software ships with three different start menu styles, and an option to select a custom start menu button as well from a list of available options.

If you have used the program before you will notice that new options have been added to the process.

This includes options to skin the taskbar completely. StartIsBack++ 2.0.1 ships with Windows 7 and Windows 8 taskbar styles included that you can enable with a click in the appearance menu.

This enables you to display the Windows 7 start menu with the Windows 10 taskbar, or the default Windows 10 start menu with the Windows 8 taskbar, and the Windows 7 start button.

You may customize the appearance furthermore in the settings. Options include selecting a custom start menu and taskbar color, or enabling a Windows XP-style flyout menu.

As far as other improvements are concerned: you can configure the program to expand the Settings application directly in the start menu. This displays all pages of the Settings application right there for selection.

This option is not enabled by default, and needs to be enabled in the options under "Start menu". Locate the Settings app under right side items on the page, and switch its state to menu there.

You find  the same option for the classic Control Panel there, and may enable the display of items that are not displayed by default there as well.

StartIsBack++ 2.0.1 ships with an improved Settings application search as well. Just type some characters and all Settings pages that match what you have typed are returned by the program for quick opening.

Another new feature is support for dragging and dropping files on Windows App icons in the start menu to open them.

Users who work on devices connected to high DPI screens may notice improved support for high DPI as well.

It is a good idea to go through the settings after installation to customize the program's functionality. You find plenty of options there to, for instance to hide all modern apps, or add custom folders to the start menu for quick access.

Closing Words

StartIsBack++ 2.0.1 replaces the original Windows 10 start menu with a custom version. You may use it to display a classic start menu on Windows 10 machines, and adjust plenty of other start menu or taskbar related options as well.

Now You: Do you use a start menu replacement on your computer?

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3 based on 10 votes
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Operating System
Windows 10
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USD 2.99
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  1. Rao Yousaf said on November 8, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Start menu help peoples who were previously using windows 7. Start Menu is shortcut to every thing to do for busy peoples who run multiple program on their computer.

  2. Shannana said on June 14, 2018 at 2:29 am

    I recommend Start Menu X to anyone looking for a free replacement to ClassicShell.

    As many, I was a very satisfied user of ClassicShell, but as it’s not supported anymore, I moved on to Start Menu X from OrdinarySoft.

    As for the pros and cons of Start Menu X, I have found no cons.

    The free version has some limitations, but I don’t know what those are, nor do I care. The free version does what I want with a classic menu in a black theme, much like the Windows 7 menu but with even more options. It does have options for other looks and such, but I haven’t fussed with those settings much. Mainly, I just hate Window’s 10 start menu and Start Menu X takes care of that, much like ClassicShell did.

    One cool thing about Start Menu X is you can position the size and location of the menu, just like a normal window. Also, the menu and any sub menus you click on stay open, unlike Windows where they close when you stop hovering over a selection. Also, whatever position you last set the menu, that’s where it will open next time. Personally, I like having my menu to open in the middle of the desktop. I love this option.

    So, Start Menu X is free with no nags. There’s just a small text link in the menu (“Get Pro!”). Also, unlike ClassicShell, Start Menu X is supported and updated.

    As for trusting OrdinarySoft, that’s another thing. I guess they are in Russia? Regardless, I’m at least trusting Start Menu X on one of my boxes, and after 6 months I have no issues with much satisfaction. In fact, I like Start Menu X more than ClassicShell.

    This said, if this all sounds like a commercial, I guess it is in a way. See, I just hope more folks use Start Menu X so it stays around for longer than ClassicShell did. To help support Start Menu X I will eventually pay for the Pro version, but the free version is still good enough for me.

    That said, for those who want more options in organizing their stuff, you should consider not depending on the start menu so much. I think power user like me simply make our own folders with shortcuts. For example, just make a folder named “My Stuff” and put all your subfolders and shortcuts in there. Also, you can put links to any folder in the Windows 10 toolbar. As simple as effective as that method is, it’s funny how so many Windows users are clueless to the efficiency of using custom folders and shortcuts. Personally, I keep shortcuts to my system and all software in custom, organized folders. As such, it’s rare I ever click the start menu.

    1. George said on June 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      @Shannana perhaps it’s time to stop the advertising and spam.

    2. Ray Mann said on June 22, 2018 at 11:14 am

      I also like Start Menu X, but I’m using Start Menu 10 now (free version). Start Menu 10 is also made by OrdinarySoft, and I think it’s newer than X and much the same. I think the free version of Start Menu 10 is better than Classic Shell, at least for my needs.

      Also, OrdinarySoft is a Ukrainian based company. I guess StartIsBack++ is a Russian company?

      As for StartIsBack++ , some people may like it better than Start Menu 10/X, yet it’s not free but it is the cheapest.

      Last checked, Start Menu 10 (Pro) is $9.98 USD and Start Menu X (Pro) is $9.99 USD, and they offer trial and free versions with no time limit.. StartIsBack++ is just $2.99 USD but no free version, just that trial version as Matrin said, which is still a good option before buying.

      That said, from what I see Start Menu 10 (Pro) has the most options over anything I have seen yet.

  3. Dothracky said on September 4, 2017 at 4:21 am

    StarIsBackfor windows 10 Is great

  4. Jon said on March 31, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    I was disappointed that there’s no comparison whatsoever to Start10 from Stardock. I compared classic shell, startisback and Start10 when first updating Windows 10. Classic Shell appeared to offer the most detailed / fine grained controls, but looked to require more attention that I wanted to give it… Startisback looked OK back then, but a bit less polished than I wanted, and at the time, Start10 appeared to offer just a few options, but was very polished. I went with Start10, and have stuck with it since (although I HAVE paid for Startisback++ too — just haven’t used it in a while). So…I was curious to see if Startisback++ 2.x was comparable to Start10, which had more/better features, etc. Pity that an article like this doesn’t touch on the subject.

  5. Samson said on March 29, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Does anyone else smell anything fishy about these oddly glowing reviews of this product?

    1. Bobzer said on March 30, 2017 at 1:57 am

      Make Windows 10 great again! Let’s build a WALL!

    2. George said on March 29, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      No, because it’s a good product.

  6. jasray said on March 29, 2017 at 5:12 am

    I wonder what people do when they drive a different car and the dash has a different look to it or the controls are in different areas or the speedometer has a different font or some other aspect isn’t the same as the car they once drove. I only say this because I had to rent a car for a week to go out and watch my aunt die. This car was completely different from my truck; it even had automatic. But it wasn’t like I could replace the dash or the signal light flippers and the wiper controls were all whacky. You know, the car was actually quite nice once I figure out how all the new gadgets worked and where all the old gadgets were placed. Funny how stuck we cling to the-way-things-were and think there is only one right way to do something. Yeah, convergent thinking is a curse for the younger set, but one would figure it was the older generation who would complain who realize there’s more than one way to make a dashboard.

    1. Ann said on April 3, 2017 at 11:12 am

      Well I have driven a Merc a couple of times , as replacement car or for prepurchace test drive.
      And indeed some of the controls I just could not get the hang of it.
      My Colleague who drives a Merc for long time still struggles and still tries to find the logic in those same controls.
      As result I never bought a Merc. I’ve reported that to Merc-Benz but still after 15 years no slightest sing of willing to rethink those stupid controls and hanging on on their different approch. Rest of the makes i’ve driven all use about the same (and for me more logical/natural) approach.
      Problem with Windows is that I cant choose an other OS, as several programs are Windows only and no alternative on other OS. Furthermore Windows was THE OS that had the best customization option in reach for everybody.
      linux has about the same, or even better options in that way, but definitely not in reach for such broad public.
      Now MS had decided to deliver a Mac like consumer approach.
      Problem is Apple says : “it’s the Mac-Way or the HighWay” and with windows i’ve driven on the highway for decades. Now MSFT is forcing me on the offroads.

      BTW, i’m sorry for your aunt

    2. Bobzer said on March 30, 2017 at 1:56 am

      But the main thing was that your aunt died. Glad you were stressed out fiddling with knobs and bolts though. Still, auntie dead: goal achieved.

  7. Darren said on March 28, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Really love StartIsBack. Nice thing is you can use this menu as an addon launcher of sorts while still using the built-in start menu as well if that’s your thang.

  8. Finnen said on March 28, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    I absolutely adore the look of this start menu. It has a classic feel with a modern touch, exactly how updated start menu should look like in Windows 8, 8.1 or 10. I like the very, very subtle animation when it shows up. The icons look great – it feels like a part of Windows 10, not like some reanimated feature from old Windows.

  9. Dieter Meyer said on March 28, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    I received notification yesterday that an update was available for StartIsBack++; I agreed to update. After it updated it totally messed up the Taskbar and essentially made the computer unusable. After various attempts to find the problem, I completely uninstalled StartIsBack++ with Revo Uninstaller Pro. After a restart, the computer is back to normal, minus StartIsBack++. Now I’m not sure if I want to reinstall it.

  10. Pete said on March 28, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Classic Shell is the best !
    More functions, looks better , updates, for free…………!

  11. Yoda San said on March 28, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Classic shell Menu works very well with “Everything search” ( I disabled search service as it is slow and crappy IMO ) , that’s why I prefer it to Startisback

  12. Jeff said on March 28, 2017 at 5:29 am

    Classic Shell FTW. It’s far superior IMHO. The skins are great too.

  13. Junaid Ahmed said on March 28, 2017 at 12:36 am

    You’re becoming an Windows Insider when you sign up for the Creator’s Update, beware people!

    1. Bobzer said on March 30, 2017 at 1:52 am


      1. Ann said on April 3, 2017 at 10:58 am

        He’s not a liar, if you want CU now you have to become a WI.

        But if you wait until MS decides it’s your turn to get the new version , then you join the main bulk of normal windows tester-consumers until they have a stable release. Which will be according to their own saying : never.

  14. George said on March 28, 2017 at 12:22 am

    I was a StartIsBack user when it first came out but ultimately, Classic Shell offers more for free (not saying that Sib is expensive or not worth the license of course).

    If I remember correctly, SiB is tied/connected with Microsoft code (from the Windows 7 Start Menu) while Classic Shell is a completely independent start menu alternative, thus offering far more options and customisation. SiB remains a good option.

  15. Bobby Phoenix said on March 28, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Been using this since Windows 10 came out. Love it.

  16. Bobzer said on March 27, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    This program rubs me the right way. EXCELLENT!

  17. RossN said on March 27, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Still using ClassicShell, as i like to group similar programs together in sub-folders on the menu.
    Will be interesting to see if Windows Creators Update (I signed up for it) breaks this, and other programs, next month.

    1. neal said on March 28, 2017 at 12:34 am

      I install Classicshell for colleagues who wants a more familiar start menu for Windows 10, however I use startisback for personal use and for my family members. Startisback is more polished product by a large margin. Also the developer keeps up with the latest Windows 10 updates including preview builds.

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