Classic Start is a continuation of the Classic Shell project for Windows; Classic Shell was a popular program for Windows that introduced options to change the Start Menu, Explorer, and other interface elements to classic versions.
A user running Windows 10 could enable the classic Windows 7 Start Menu on the system among other things. Classic Shell rose to popularity when Microsoft released Windows 8 and its Start Screen interface which changed how users work with the system significantly.
The lead developer of Classic Shell announced in December 2017 that active development has ended and that there won't be any new versions of Classic Shell anymore; this was a shock to users who relied on the application.
Classic Start is available as a preview release at the time of writing. The author published the first development release last week and pushed out a fix for Insider Preview versions of Windows 10 this week.
Note: Windows Defender may throw a SmartScreen prompt -- Windows protected your PC -- when you run the program. Classic Start is not a malicious application but it is new and therefore considered suspicious automatically. Three lesser known antivirus engines flag it as malicious on Virustotal while all major engines return it as clean.
Classic Start is a fork of Classic Shell that is compatible with all recent versions of Windows 10 and previous versions of Windows. Windows users who have worked with Classic Shell before will notice the same set of setup options right away.
You can still install the Classic Explorer, Classic Start Menu, Classic IE, and Classic Start Update, components individually.
If you install Classic Start Menu, you get the same selection screen that Classic Shell offered that allows you to pick one of three different start menu styles (classic, classic with two columns, Windows 7 style).
All options, as far as I can tell, are still available and that should not be a surprise considering that Classic Start is a fork of Classic Shell. You can still replace the start button with a custom one, and modify a ton of appearance and functionality options.
Here is a just a short selection of what is provided:
There is a lot more to it than that but the main appeal that Classic Start has is the same that Classic Shell had: it adds a classic start menu to newer versions of Windows which some users may be more familiar with or may prefer over newer versions.
The forking of Classic Shell means that development will continue. While it is too early to say whether that means mostly bug fix releases to keep the program compatible with newer versions of Windows 10 or new feature additions is not clear at this point in time.
Classic Shell users may want to bookmark the homepage of the Classic Start project so that they can switch to it when they run into compatibility issues with Classic Shell.
Now You: Do you use a start menu replacement program like Classic Start?
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