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Hate the Windows 11 Start menu? Stardock's Start11 lets you customize it.

Modern style Start menu on Windows 11
Modern style Start menu on Windows 11 (Image credit: Stardock)

What you need to know

  • Start11 launched in beta this week, allowing people to customize the Start menu on Windows 11.
  • The program includes options for either Windows 7-style or modern Start menus.
  • The makers of Start11 are working on adding pages, tabs, and other features to the Start menu.

Stardock announced Start11 this week, a program designed to customize the Start menu of Windows 11 and Windows 10. The program is still in beta and focuses on restoring functionality to the Start menu. You can pick up the beta version of Start11 from Stardock's website for $5.

"This first beta is designed to regain some of the lost functionality in the current Windows 11 Start menu," said Brad Wardell, Stardock CEO. "We have a lot of exciting new features planned to make the Start menu not just more accessible, but also more useful to companies and power users."

The new Start menu in Windows 11 has drawn a mixed reaction from enthusiasts. In our poll regarding the Windows 10 Start menu on Windows 11, over 53% of participants said that people should have an option as to which Start menu to use. When Windows 11 briefly allowed people to switch to the Windows 10 Start menu, many were eager to return to the previous version.

Start11 doesn't exactly replicate the Windows 10 Start menu on Windows 11, at least at the moment. It does have options for different styles, including Windows 7 and Modern. The Modern style looks more like the Start menu of Windows 10, though it doesn't have Live Tiles. Stardock also plans to add new functionality, like pages, tabs, and features built for enterprise in the future.

"The new UI has been designed to support future Start menu designs," said Wardell. "Start8 and Start10 focused on restoring previous versions of the Start menu. Start11 will be extending this to support a host of new Start menu ideas such as the concept of pages, tabs, minimalism, and features for our enterprise customers."

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

26 Comments
  • Installed this last night. In the Modern Style, you can adjust the size of the start menu by adjusting the number of icons shown and the number of rows in the settings. Also, if you hover over an app, it replaces the menu on the right with your recent files for that app and if you hover over a folder, it displays the folder's contents which are clickable. You can also arrange the pinned apps and folders to your liking. Start 11 is not bad for the first beta version. As they add more themes, it will become even more interesting. In addition, Start 11 allows you to make a few changes to the taskbar.
  • I bought it too. Since I had bought Start 8 back in the day, I was able to upgrade for 3.99 (saved a buck). Even in its early beta state, it's a major improvement over the default Start in Win 11.
  • Can you make your own start menu folders in the "all programs" section like you could in 7 so you can arrange things how you want? That is the one thing I have hated in the 10 start menu and it seems that 11 will be no different.
  • Not sure, I'll have to check when I get off work. Bought and installed it late last night, so didn't get a chance to really dig into all the options yet.