Latest Windows 10 Insider build features the redesigned Start menu

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 2, 2020
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft released a new preview build of Windows 10 to the Insider channel on July 1, 2020. The new build features the previously announced redesign of the Windows 10 Start menu.

The new Start menu is theme-aware according to Microsoft. Windows 10 testers may notice several changes after the device has been upgraded to the latest build.

One of the main changes is that Microsoft changed the solid-color background to a semi-transparent background in the new Start menu; this means that you won't see all sorts of tile background colors anymore in the Start menu but a single background color for all tiles that matches the background of the Start menu.

The new Insider build of Windows 10 ships with new icons for built-in applications such as Calculator, Mail and Calendar on top of that.

Microsoft created a before and after animated GIF that you find below.

windows 10 start new

You can also check out the following two screenshots of light and dark versions of the new Start menu. Please note that it is still possible that changes will be made to the Start menu before it is released in a future version of Windows 10.

new windows 10 start menu light new windows 10 start menu dark

The redesigned Start menu has been optimized for the default dark and light themes of the operating system according to Microsoft. The company notes that users may add "a splash of color" to the Start menu by enabling "show accent color on the following surfaces -- Start, taskbar, and action center" under Settings > Personalization > Color to apply the accent color to the Start menu and its tiles.

Tiles continue to support updates, called Live Tiles, in the new version. Live Tiles receive regular updates, e.g. to show the latest photos, weather information, or Calendar entries automatically.

It was rumored previously that Microsoft would remove Live Tiles support but nothing of substance has been revealed in that regard. For now, Live Tiles remain a feature of the operating system.

Closing Words

The new Start Menu looks a lot cleaner than the old one thanks to the switch from multi-colored tile backgrounds to single-colored backgrounds for all tiles.

Now You: do you like the new Start Menu?

Latest Windows 10 Insider build features the redesigned Start menu
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Latest Windows 10 Insider build features the redesigned Start menu
Microsoft released a new preview build of Windows 10 to the Insider channel on July 1, 2020. The new build features the previously announced redesign of the Windows 10 Start menu.
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  1. NO CARRIER said on July 6, 2020 at 8:58 am

    > Linux sadly falls shorts for most of our needs.

    Only for the shills paid to rail against it and the Windows “fixers” who make profit off of the misery of Windows 10 (and previous versions) users who have endless problems. Go look at any large Windows discussion forum on the net and you’ll see how people are begging for help every day, to scan their system for malware. To plug telemetry “holes” in their OS.

    Windows, not Linux, sadly falls short of many needs/wants. Study the history of hundreds, if not thousands of remote exploits fixed in patches throughout the versions of Windows. These cannot all be bugs, but probably intentional backdoors, only fixed when they are discovered. More and more are discovered all of the time. And yet your average Joe thinks that they can secure their Windows 10 Operating System. With such lack of oversight in quality control, any other product on the market with such issues would be made illegal.

    Look what happens when you have a Chinese company spying on you via whatever tech. The wolves are sent to them and the people just roll over and accept whatever USA says, without question. The same for Russian companies, look at Kaspersky anti-virus and how it has been treated by the USA. Granted, such treatment SHOULD be warranted as we cannot accept obvious spying from either company’s tech products.

    But when the USA has something like Windows 10, it is pushed by manufacturers and spyware concerns are dismissed. The poor users are left running 3rd party proprietary programs, (also possibly in cahoots with USA TLA’s) which promise to stop the spying of Windows 10, itself a proprietary Operating System. Plebs recommending proprietary software to scan your private files and send back information to the company. The list goes on and on. Clearly, these people have been suckered.

    Millions of people are suckered into buying or playing free (usually free-to-play) games which have anti-cheat software, many times being found to be rootkits in how they worm their way through your systems.

    The idea is to “get them by the balls” and you see it in education. K-12 schools with Windows. Colleges with Windows. A few lone Mac systems crying in the corner. Also, with a largely proprietary OS and applications.

    People are lured and trained to use Windows. You may as well call it NSA OS. Get them to use Windows and only Windows throughout their lifetime, throughout their schooling, throughout their work places and you’ve got them. And when a problem arises it is usually always, “Well that’s just Windows!” and the collective shrugs.

    > it is what it is

    Says those who surrender.

    > My girlfriend is a corrupt beast, but I don’t care

    Well, if you lay down with the dogs… I’m sorry you would allow someone that you love to be corrupt, and allow that corruption around you and others. Again, this is part of the problem.

    > most of us are not out to change the tech world with hopeful idealism

    Idealism is only a part of it. We need to stop M$ from taking over people’s minds from womb to tomb. And it is happening faster than one may realize. All over people are switching. If marketing was better and people informed, there would be no Windows 10 as we know it, it would be banned for the security and privacy threat that it is. Were Windows 10 developed and sold under another name by Kaspersky or Huawei, well it wouldn’t last long now would it.

    It’s the lack of hopeful idealism, and philosophies that matter, which allow such apathy to exist. “We’re just X,Y,Z” is not an acceptable answer or solution. The world is in the state that it is because we’ve allowed people to LIE and to FUCK us and PAY them it.

    The next time you install Windows 10, or even update it with the mysterious executables that one places their trust in blind faith to do what they say they do, (or worse yet, provide no changelogs) please stand up and salute your monitor for being a good little pleb. Never question authority, never investigate anything, just consume and switch off the mind. But do salute your Zersetzung OS.

    1. it is what it is said on July 9, 2020 at 3:24 am


      I’ve been thinking about this more and what you said, and thus here’s another idea.

      How about “a clear separation from commercialization and state”.

      The idea is to prevent companies from corrupting government institutions with their big money and products, regardless if they offer such stuff for “free”, as that’s not enough to address what I propose, which is nothing new BTW.

      For example, with public education, those schools would be restricted in only using free, open source, non-commercial software, as with Linux and BSD.

      If a for-profit company wants to be a part of that, then they must donate to a non-profit company, with “a clear separation from commercialization and state”, involving strict rules that extend to a company’s commercial ventures in various ways, as required.

      I could go on, but in short, I think the first step would be to make and/or join/empower a well-written site that details such proposals, involving a community that helps direct such ideas.

      I know there are sites and foundations that already do as such, yet perhaps a different approach needs to be considered, with some sort of consolidation of ideas, as with a goal to push for a new governmental agency, empowered by some new laws, as with what I have proposed (at least in the USA). In other words, a better marketing plan that reaches out to all, with an empathetic understanding of who “we” all are.

      That way, instead of simply blaming others and complaining, you could simply tell folks to visit such a site that clearly explains it all.

      That all said, due to social subterfuge (AKA lies), I always question what people claim and their motives, as with any so-called authority. As such, as far as I know, you may actually work for MS, on a mission of deception, to help make the anti-MS camp look all crazy mad.

      IDK, but I’m just saying, as such “social subterfuge” is HUGE on the web. Thus many of us are unplugging from conversing with pseudonymous complainers, as we simply can’t trust them, and we don’t care to be brainwashed with such tactics.

    2. it is what it is said on July 7, 2020 at 3:59 am


      I agree with the premise of what you say, but I find some of it unpracticable as is, as with what I meant with “hopeful idealism”.

      From what I gather, your solution is that we boycott MS, and likewise have laws that would ban such tech that threatens our security and privacy.

      That sounds good, yet I reckon there’s much more to it all.

      With good support, I think new laws can happen rather fast, but I think getting enough users to boycott Microsoft is going to take much more effort, where simply complaining with insults is of little help IMO.

      Many Windows users would have to make some big sacrifices to move to Linux right now, while waiting for most everyone else to switch. Then after that, then perhaps more software makers would likely move to Linux or even BSD, yet perhaps not. Perhaps they move to Chrome OS or Apple, or perhaps some new Chinese OS based on Linux that’s even worse that Windows.

      Regardless, I think the best way to do as you say with boycotting MS, is to build and provide an opportunity for users to move to Linux, all at the same time, in solidarity. This could be promoted as a critical mass movement, where users promise to move to Linux on a given date, after the membership reaches critical mass. In the meantime, the Linux community would help these committed users get prepared for the switch, as well as pressure software companies to make the big move.

      Yet I imagine you would agree that such a critical mass boycott is not enough to address all the concerns you speak of, as with privacy and security. For example, there’s still arguments involving so-called “good” Linux distros vs “bad” Linux distros, “good” services vs “bad” services, “bad” software vs “good” software, “good” policies vs “bad” policies, “good” laws vs “bad” laws, “good” hardware vs “bad” hardware, “good” companies vs “bad” companies, “good” users vs “bad” users, “good” hackers vs “bad” hackers, “good” idealism vs “bad” idealism, “real” news vs “fake” news, “free” software vs “FREE” software; and so it goes, involving much opinions and politics.

      That all said, I think my original comment still remains true, and that is what you are likely up against, where most people don’t care enough right now, as they often have worse things to deal with. In other words, you talk of better marketing to spread your message, but I think you don’t understand the customer here. I do think you understand their shortcomings, but I think you perhaps expect too much from them.

      If you want to sell something new to someone, it really helps to understand their needs and offer practical choices.

  2. the "clicking" aliens must be destroyed said on July 5, 2020 at 8:07 am

    @ Rob.G:

    You lost me the moment you mentioned conspiracy theories. LOL.

    Quora is not a Linux support site. What’s next, Yahoo! News? Try again with something like Take your bullshit there.

    “and I’ve been in IT tech repairs for well over 10 years”

    Means nothing.

    The “shortcomings” you mentioned, the laptop heating issues, was already explained by the poster you’re quoting and you tipped your hat in your original post to the same issue.

    Yes, hardware and software should be tested against as many sources as possible, before release. Otherwise, you get corruption, greed, and very real conspiracies. People conspire, that’s what they do. We get shit like Intel ME and whatever else hides in there along with whatever AMD has which sounds similar.

    We need more chips, more testers, more competition. As it stands right now, Windows 10 along with Intel are corrupt beasts. One of them is a convicted monopoly.

    1. it is what it is said on July 5, 2020 at 1:37 pm

      My girlfriend is a corrupt beast, but I don’t care, as she still gets the job done.

      My point being, most of us are not out to change the tech world with hopeful idealism. We are just end users, using what works best now to get our work done ASAP, and Linux sadly falls shorts for most of our needs.

  3. Rob.G said on July 4, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    “It’s not Linux that is at fault here, it’s the manufacturers. It’s the people who design computers for a convicted monopoly’s (and mafia) proprietary OS”.

    No point in getting into conspiracy theories and blame someone else for Linux’s shortcomings. I already provided the link to numerous dedicated Linux sites showing that Linux doesn’t efficiently monitor fan and CPU speeds on a wide range of laptops. Its a well known issue which pro Linux fans fail to mention when spreading the gospel of Linux on Windows forums such as this one..

    It sounds like you’re suggesting that laptop manufacturers should design their laptops with Linux in mind as well as Windows and Mac OS. No mainstream laptop manufacturers ship Linux as their OS, apart from Dell who ship a very limited range.

    Linux is a freebie OS that you take your chances with. Yes it runs fine for many people (who run mainly tower PCs and servers), but for many laptop users (including myself) Linux simply wont run properly and tends to overcook laptops, or else requires a heck of a lot of tweaking and ongoing forum searches to achieve stability. I’ve tried several times to make Linux work for me over the years, but with no luck (and I’ve been in IT tech repairs for well over 10 years).

    Here’s another search result on this issue…..

    ‘Why do Laptops overheat when running linux?’

    Fan speeds and CPU speeds are normally controlled in a laptop by a software system. The idea is that the power usage can be dynamically scaled up and down based on workload. Slower fans = less power used.

    In many cases, this software is implemented as a daemon monitor running in userspace (i.e. not the OS or BIOS). This software is often Windows [and Mac] -only.

    So on Linux, this software isn’t running. The OS may try and do what it can, but generally it will just run the CPU and fans at max”.

  4. you think you're really free? said on July 4, 2020 at 10:59 am

    @ Rob.G:

    If a surgeon repeatedly asks for a scalpel and the nurse hands him a rock instead, how well will that surgery go?

    It’s not Linux that is at fault here, it’s the manufacturers. It’s the people who design computers for a convicted monopoly’s (and mafia) proprietary OS. The same One M$ Way which supposedly loves open source and Linux. Bull. Shit. The same people who develop for proprietary DirectX which leads many people to keep Windows *only for games.* The OEM situation hasn’t changed too much, as companies still bond with the beast and recommend, “COMPANY X RECOMMENDS WINDOWS!” Really? That’s all you’ve got? Well thanks for all of the options.

    System76, also the creators of Pop_OS! are one hardware option, though I haven’t tested their hardware personally. Some of my laptops get a little warm, but I generally install TLP and some other packages to help. Again, most of this hardware was developed FOR WINDOWS. Not for Linux, not for BSD, not for Haiku, not for Plan9, not for QNX, not for TempleOS, and so on. THE LAWLESSNESS OF THE ONE MAFIA WAY HAS NEVER STOPPED.

    We are plagued with cloak and dagger black box HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE which is BETRAYING us every day.

  5. Trey said on July 4, 2020 at 1:29 am

    Paul Thurrott:

    -It’s so minor, in fact, that it doesn’t even rise to the level of “lipstick on a pig.”

  6. Yuliya said on July 3, 2020 at 11:16 pm
    A list of programs and some basic functionality shortcuts (shutdown, restart, user profile folder..) is all Start Menu should be.

    1. Anonymous said on July 4, 2020 at 8:26 pm

      We are still left scrolling through the app list when they could have an option to make it compact like the Windows 7 start menu. Why do we need those letters above each program? I using my mouse not a touchscreen device. I could find my programs faster without it.

    2. dolt said on July 4, 2020 at 1:03 am

      Should be? Why?

      I don’t understand why anyone even needs a start menu.

      1. Yuliya said on July 4, 2020 at 11:55 am

        It’s convenient. I’ve got 100+ programs installed (not counting games). It is the fastest way to open them.

      2. Julian said on July 5, 2020 at 1:04 pm


        Start menus are not clearly “faster” as you claim.

        If you have shortcuts to all your software in one main folder and organized in subfolders (such as: browsers, games, media players, and so on), then you can set that main folder as a toolbar in the taskbar. As such, you never have to click ANYTHING except the software you want to open, and everything is organized exactly the way you want. You don’t have to click, as those folders open when you simply hover over them. It doesn’t get any better or faster than that.

        Also, being that those shortcuts are in normal folders, you can do more, such as having two or more shortcuts to the same program, in different subfolders, such as having foobar under “media players” and “audio tools”. Also, when i just went to see how many programs I have, with a simple right click of my main software folder I was able to see I have 163 programs, including games and portable software (e.g. all my software). You can’t do all that with the start menu.

        Other than that, I have no need to pin any software to the taskbar, as they are all under one icon in that toolbar I made, which gives me more room in the taskbar to see several open programs as need be. The only thing I have pinned is “This PC”, as it’s better there than on the desktop IMO. TIP: search “How To Pin This PC (Computer Icon) To Taskbar In Windows”.

        That all said, I find your “should be” claims rather extreme and silly, as we are not you.

  7. John C. said on July 3, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    The Windows 10 Start Menu is a complete abomination. I absolutely detest it. I use a freeware program to restore it back to the way it was in Windows 98, which in my opinion was the best Windows Start Menu version ever and they could have stopped “developing” it right at that point.

    As for Windows 10’s pitiful UI color choices, I’m waiting for somebody to come out with a program that restores the Windows 7 Color and Appearance module. I think that Windows 10’s UI is totally a step in the wrong direction and I know I’m not alone in this belief.

    1. whippersnapper said on July 4, 2020 at 12:53 am

      It’s time to move on gramps, as it’s 2020.

  8. Rob.G said on July 3, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    “With Linux, we can *all* tweak things ourselves, rather than waiting for M$ to make a move, or using some proprietary 3rd party crap”,

    Sorry but we cant ‘all’ use Linux. For many of us Linux simply wont run on our laptops in any stable way. Linux is famous for overheating laptops and causing high CPU even on idle. I know all this from experience having spent several weeks trying nearly every version of Linux and Ubuntu…and trying every suggested fix without success.

    The problem is that Linux isnt custom matched to specific laptops and desktops by computer manufacturers, unlike Windows. Instead its a free operating system that you can install on many PCs (but not all) with varying degrees of success.

    ‘Linux unstable for many laptops – high cpu – overheating”
    (Google search results)

  9. the future is linux said on July 3, 2020 at 11:48 am

    If you really want to see customization, you should check out:

    (the sub has NOTHING to do with porn)

    The subreddit features designs for both Linux Desktop Environments and Window Managers. Most of the time people share their designs so other people may use them, freely and without any cost or limitations.

    Even if you don’t use Linux, I challenge you to visit that sub and NOT feel robbed by M$ for so little choices in user power and design of their own Windows10 OS.

    With Linux, we can all tweak things ourselves, rather than waiting for M$ to make a move, or using some proprietary 3rd party crap, some of which they ask you to shell out money for. Come on, it’s 2020, it’s time to move on.

  10. Jams said on July 3, 2020 at 6:49 am

    Thanks for review , the new startmen feel not changed

  11. Anonymous said on July 2, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    How about they build a proper start menu and stop putting lipstick on a pig? Its still so basic compared to Open-Shell, Start10, and Startisback. Theres no way to adjust blur or transparent levels, addcompact density, no way to hide those ugly jump alphabets. There’s no way to hack this thing to skin it! I thought xaml was suppose to allow all this?

  12. Tom Dick and Harry said on July 2, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    > do you like the new Start Menu?

    I hope that this becomes a feature in a final build of Windows 10, as it looks great!

    Thanks for this great article Martin!

  13. Ayy said on July 2, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    The windows default start menu is just garbage, and the search functionality it has is VERY bad compared to opensource alternatives like Open/Classic-Shell. it doesn’t even properly do partial matching searches, in 2020.

  14. Linux Fan Boy said on July 2, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    This is just another attempt by Microsoft to exploit users with their evil, crappy spyware.

  15. techboyg5 said on July 2, 2020 at 6:47 pm
  16. ULBoom said on July 2, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    “do you like the new Start Menu?”

    No, it’s gigantic and adopts one of the annoying and sometimes unreadable, depending on your desktop background, characteristics of a number of Linux Start Menus.

    We use Open Shell which replicates Start Menus that…worked!

    I rarely use the Start Menu anyway, all the programs used frequently are pinned to the taskbar or given shortcuts on the desktop. Can’t MS make all this tile junk optional? It’s OK for touchscreens.

  17. DaveyK said on July 2, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Still looks like crap IMO. It needs a lot more than a half-hearted graphical tweak to make it pleasant to use, I’ll be sticking with OpenShell on my W10 machines.

  18. allen said on July 2, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    You just wanted a reason to play with ScreenToGif, didn’t you…

  19. Lane said on July 2, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    Looks like the Ole Windows 8 which I was never a fan of. But each to their own.

  20. Sunny said on July 2, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Just StartIsBack for windows 10…

    1. Trey said on July 3, 2020 at 2:16 am

      Another vote for StartIsBack.

      As important as the Windows start menu is, you’d think they’d go all out allowing some greater level of customization for individual workflow.

  21. random said on July 2, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Windows 7. Best two words ever. :)

    1. Rob.G said on July 3, 2020 at 11:06 am

      “Windows 7. Best two words ever”.

      Agreed. Or even better: “Windows XP”. I kid you not: I still have a good few clients who’ve stuck with XP, and its a breath of fresh air working on these PCs. Everything is so fast and uncomplicated; and the start menu is a treat to use (apart from the lack of a W7-style search box of course). Its like driving a classic car and remembering how simple and enjoyable driving used to be before they introduced the complex stuff, and gave you a puncture repair kit instead of a proper spare tyre (tire)

    2. Anonymous said on July 2, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      Or Start10

  22. michlind said on July 2, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    Two words: Classic Shell

    1. The Equestrian said on July 2, 2020 at 8:16 pm

      The problem with these 3rd party start menus is that they tend to break once there is a new Windows update that changes something and it takes a while before they get updated. Even if you have to spend 24 hours without a functioning start menu sounds like a no-go for me. Imagine if there was a 3rd party cursor tool and when it broke due to Windows updates, you couldn’t use your mouse AT ALL until it got patched.

      1. Mothy said on July 3, 2020 at 12:36 am

        I’ve been using Classic Shell since 2014 primarily on Windows 8.1 then Windows 10 for a year (before going back to 8.1) and never had a problem with it after monthly patch updates or a couple feature updates on Win 10. When it was in active development they did put out some bug fix updates but even so the start menu was still functional. I can’t speak to its replacement Open Shell though as I haven’t used it (no need as Classic still works well for me).

    2. Herman Cost said on July 2, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      +1. Microsoft had the ability to give users what they actaully want in a start menu instead of a jumbled mess, but they chose to change the colors instead.

      1. Rob.G said on July 3, 2020 at 10:36 am

        “Microsoft had the ability to give users what they actually want in a start menu instead of a jumbled mess..”

        Agreed. I have clients who’ve been using W10 for years but are still unsure how to access even the basic things. It’s as if each time they use W10 is the very first time.
        ..Its as if Microsoft deliberately designed the most convoluted and complex start menu possible.
        Still. Its good to see Microsoft changed the colour scheme. That should help! ;-)

  23. 3rdrock said on July 2, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    Swapping the blue background for clear, totally newsworthy.

    1. know it all said on July 2, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      This is not so much a “redesigned Start menu” but rather a “new Start menu theme”.

      If the title of this article read “Latest Windows 10 Insider build has new Start menu theme”, then I reckon not as many folks would have clicked on it.

      Yup, not very news worthy IMO, yet perhaps better than nothing for some here.

    2. Addy T. said on July 2, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      I have to agree. Or can you finally set the number of most used and recently installed applications? And if not, why?

      This is a cosmetic improvement, and while I don’t think it’s bad, some people will like the colored tiles because they make it easier to find a certain program.

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