How To Get the Classic Start Menu in Windows 11
The sleek Windows 11 menu bar is intended to provide a more efficient user experience. However, its layout is a stark contrast to its Windows 10 counterpart. Not only is the menu located at the center of the desktop, but it also displays some software you may not use frequently. Since getting used to the Windows 11 upgrades can take some time, you need a familiar and easy-to-navigate menu. By tweaking your PC’s settings, you can enable the classic Start menu and access the programs you use the most.
This guide will discuss switching to the classic Start menu on a Windows 11 PC. We’ll also cover how to customize the menu so that your most frequently used apps show up first.
There are noticeable visual differences between the Windows 11 Start menu and the familiar Windows 10 Start menu. Your pinned programs are located at the upper part of the menu, while you can access other programs by pressing the “All Apps” icon. The menu houses your recently used programs and recommended apps in its lower end. Older Windows versions allow users to power off, restart and put their device to sleep by tapping three separate buttons. However, these options are now accessible through a single power button.
The Windows 11 Start menu boasts a high-tech, polished feel and look. It was designed to improve your PC’s functionality by allowing you to access your software more efficiently. However, this new interface is also a steep learning curve. Windows users used to the Classic Start menu’s layout will need some time to get used to the new features. However, because they can enable the older menu, they can discover the benefits of the Windows 11 operating system using a familiar menu interface.
To change your PC’s settings and switch to the classic menu, you’ll need to use the Registry Editor.
The Windows Registry acts as a warehouse that stores the fundamental settings your PC operates on. Your software relies on these resources, and you can slightly tweak the data to change how some programs work. To enable the classic Start menu with the Windows Registry Editor:
- Tap the “Start” button and enter “
regedit” into the text field.
- When it shows up in the search results, choose the “Registry Editor” option.
- Windows will ask you whether you want the Registry Editor to modify your PC. Tap the “Yes” button at the bottom of the pop-up dialog window.
- Paste the following into the address box and hit enter:
- The Registry Editor will now take you to the Advanced Folder, displaying a list of saved Windows values. Scroll to the bottom of the interface, hover the cursor over “Start_ShowClassicMode,” and double-click.
- When you see the Start_ShowClassicMode window, type “1” in the “Value Data” box and select “OK” in the bottom right of the window to save the changes.
- Exit the Registry Editor.
- To launch the classic menu, restart your PC.
Some users have reported that instead of restarting their PC, they enabled the menu by logging off and on again. Using the Task Manager and relaunching the Windows Explorer processes has also helped users switch back to the older menu. Try these methods to determine which works best on your PC.
If you don’t have time to access the Registry Editor and change your device manually, there’s another option for restoring the classic Start menu. Here’s how it works:
- Download the Classic Start menu Windows Registry Editor file.
- Move the file to your PC’s desktop.
- Double-tap the file.
- Once the pop-up window appears, press “Run.”
- Another window will ask you whether you want to add more data. Tap “Yes” to confirm.
Your Windows 11 Start menu will now resemble its processor, although it will offer a few additional options.
How To Move the Start Menu
The Windows 11 interface displays the starts menu at the center of the screen. Some users may find this arrangement convenient, but most are used to seeing the menu bar in the bottom-left part of the desktop. Moving the Start menu to its previous position will combine the look of Windows 10 with the functionality of Windows 11. To do so:
- Use the “Windows + R” command to launch the “Run” dialog field.
- Enter “
ms-settings:” into the text box and tap “Enter.”
- In the “Settings” window, type or paste “taskbar” into the search field and choose “Taskbar Settings” from the available options.
- Select “Taskbar behaviors” to view the pop-down menu.
- Navigate to the “Taskbar alignment” section and press the “Left” option.
When you restart the PC, the Start menu will show up on the left side of the desktop.
Customizing the Start Menu
When you enable the classic menu, it will not look like the version you’re used to. The interface will contain the same functions, but some apps might be hidden. Luckily, you can customize the menu’s appearance and access important programs more quickly. To do so:
- Go to the Windows 11 “Settings.”
- Press the “Personalization” tab and choose the “Start” option.
- You can view recently downloaded apps, frequently used programs, and hidden software from the new window. Choose among these three options to determine which apps will appear in the Start menu.
You can also arrange how the selected programs are presented. You can drag-and-drop programs to the desired position and create a layout that serves you best.
Switching Back to the Windows 11 Start Menu
When you understand the ins and outs of the different Windows 11 features, you might feel ready to use its built-in menu. To revert to the Windows 11 Start menu:
- Press the “Start” button and type “regedit.”
- Select “Registry Editor” from the search results.
- Tap “Yes” to allow the Registry Editor to modify your PC.
- Paste the following in the address box and hit enter:
- Navigate to “Start_ShowClassicMode” and double-tap.
- In the “Value Data” box, type “
- Go to “Start_ShowClassicMode” and right-click.
- Tap “Delete” and reboot the PC to implement the changes.
This action triggers the Start menu’s default settings. When you power on the PC, the Start menu will be at the center of the screen.
A Menu That Meets Your Needs
Windows is constantly evolving and upgrading its technology to meet the market’s growing needs. While this makes for a better user experience, it’s also necessary to have a menu that will help you navigate a range of software. Enabling the classic Start menu on a Windows 11 device will allow you to make the most out of your PC. You won’t waste time learning how to operate the built-in menu bar. The Registry Editor will restore the Windows 11 menu when you’re ready for a change.
Do you use the Windows 11 Start menu? Is it located at the center of the desktop or on your left-hand side? Let us know in the comment section below.