What you need to know
- Stardock recently shipped a new update to its Start11 V2 app, bumping it to version 2.05.
- The update ships with bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements.
- It also includes a new enhancement that will let users pin websites on the Start menu.
Stardock just shipped a new update to its Start11 v2 app, bumping it to version 2.05. The build ships with the usual bug fixes coupled with quality-of-life improvements. But perhaps the most notable addition to this new update is the capability to pin websites to the Start menu.
This means you can pin some of your most visited or favorite websites on your Windows 11 or 10 Start menu alongside your pinned apps and folders. Stardock shared their experience with the new capability in Start11:
"The way we use this feature at Stardock, is that we create web-links to many of our key dashboards on Jira and PowerBI. It's a small enhancement but one that continues to make Start11 v2 the most advanced Start menu experience for Windows 10 and 11."
The Start menu seems like a flop for most users
Users are less than impressed with the stock Start menu on Windows 11 for many reasons. Even Microsoft's Windows lead, Parakhin Mikhail, thinks the Start menu is annoying in some aspects, especially when users are forced to click on the "All apps" options to scroll through the entire list of apps installed on the device via the Start menu. However, the Microsoft executive pointed out that he is pushing his team to work on a fix for this.
One of our readers, naddy69, also shared the following sentiments on the same post covering Parakhin pushing his Windows team to fix the Start menu's most annoying issue:
"I swear I don't understand the purpose of the start menu. Other than right-clicking it to shutdown/hibernate, I have not used it in 25 years. To me, it is a colossal waste of time to launch apps via Start."
RELATED: Windows Central Start11 review
Another reader, Kaymd, also commented on the same post and pointed out that the Start menu was much better on Windows 10:
"There's actually also the very annoying case of newly installed apps.
In Windows 10, any newly installed app (Win32 or UWP) automatically shows up at the top of the all apps list. Simple, fast, and elegant solution. Immediately visible and accessible on clicking the Start button. You don't even need to remember the exact name of the app you just installed because it's featured right at the top of the all apps list in Start staring at you."
"Now in Win 11, it's amazingly been removed. If your 'Recommended' section is also disabled, you are out of luck because the all apps list does not feature this at the top of the list. You have to remember the exact name of the newly installed app to find it and 'Pin to Start' for quick access."
"Windows 10 Start is unquestionably superior to Win 11. It's not even close. I deliberately keep a few machines permanently on Win 10 to remind me of when Start was great."
If you have the Start11 v2 app on your Windows PC, the update should roll out to you automatically. Alternatively, you can trigger it manually by clicking on your taskbar and selecting Configure Start11. Next, click About and select Check Now to search for the latest updates.
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Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.
I used Start 11 when Windows 11 first came out, because without the ability to create folders on Start, it was too painful to use. But it is (or at least was) very slow compared to the native Start and would crash sometimes. It also created some disjointed experiences. I do still love that it let you position icon tiles (not Live Tiles, which I do still miss) at different sizes and organized so you can get to every app with 1 click like in Windows 10, instead of needing to open the folder, then select the app. But once Windows 11 added folder support to Start, it wasn't worth the performance hit and occasional crashes to me to keep using Start 11.Reply
To naddy69's comment that the Start is a waste of time: his comment implies that he doesn't run a large number of apps on his PC and assumes everyone knows their icons enough to do everything through the Taskbar (which is rarely true for more casual users). I have a 4k monitor running at only 125% scale factor, and even my Taskbar is filled with icons. That's still only a small fraction of the nearly 100 apps I use with some regularity. So I NEED to access the Start menu to get to the others. For anyone either with a lot of apps (like me) or who is not super comfortable with Windows (a lot of other users), Start is essential. It's both easier to find icons, because they can be grouped in folders (even better in Windows 10 when they could be grouped as tiles), and for people who don't use Windows enough to recognize everything by its icon, Start also shows the text name of every app.
And for those who say, "just type the first few letters in search and launch them that way":
1. That only works when you know the name. There are many apps for audio and video functions that I don't know by name, just by their function. These are in the respective folders, so I can find them easily when just looking through 8-10 related apps, but would never find scrolling through all apps or trying to remember their name.
2. Typing several characters is slower than click on start, click on app (or now, w/11, click on Start, click on folder, click on app).
The biggest problem with Windows 11 Start for me, worse than missing the ability to organize and size app icons for easy access (bigger icons for more popular apps, smaller for less used) is that the Jump List menu is broken/missing for any pinned apps. Ironically, it works for the apps you don't access very often in the All Apps list -- so the fast access to documents only works for the apps that are not fast-accessible by pinning them to Start.