Windows 11's best Start menu alternative gets support for nine languages alongside quality-of-life improvements and fixes

Start11 v2 updated icons
(Image credit: Stardock)

What you need to know

  • Stardock recently shipped a new update to its Start11 alternative to the stock Windows 11 Start menu.
  • The update adds no new features but ships with improvements and fixes.
  • Additional support for nine languages, including German, Spanish, French, and more, is included in the v2.03 update.

At the beginning of this month, Stardock shipped a significant update to Start11, which added rounded corners to Windows 11's taskbar, making the operating system look like the 'next version of Windows.' And now, the company has shipped another update to the platform yet again, bumping Start 11 to version 2.03 at Github. Compared to the previous update, version 2.03 doesn't ship with any new features, but it adds support for nine languages alongside many fixes and improvements. The long list of supported languages includes:

  • English (en)
  • German (de)
  • Spanish (sp)
  • French (fr)
  • Korean (ko)

  • Russian (ru)
  • Portuguese - Brazil (pt-br)
  • Chinese (Simplified) (zh-cn)
  • Chinese (Traditional) (zh-tw)

According to the release notes:

"There are other languages that have been included that have been submitted and maintained by the community. While they will be included in future releases, they will not be 'officially supported."

Windows 11 has been available for over two years now, but its adoption rate isn't where it's supposed to be, especially since its predecessor, Windows 10, is set to hit its end-of-support date in October 2025

This can be attributed to a long list of reasons, including the strict minimum system requirements for running Windows 11, the shift in the PC market, tough economic times, and more.

But what stands out (at least for many people) is the aesthetic appeal of the OS. Windows 11's Start menu seems to be a major issue and is considered a flawed design. Luckily, Start11 is here to help them personalize it based on their preferences. 

Start11 | $6.99 at Stardock

Start11 | $6.99 at Stardock

Start11 is a piece of customization software that lets you pick how the Start menu looks on Windows 11 or Windows 10. Its most recent update adds three new styles and several other improvements. 


  • Initial language localization pass included. Please click here for more details.
  • Resolved a possible crash when combining two groups as a tab group if no other tab groups exist
  • Resolved issue 2.02 beta introduced with a crash when the icon cache changed on Win10
  • Resolved issue where a Fence as a group would not save the number of rows it should show correctly
  • Resolved an issue with an icon cache flush causing wrong icons to show in the UI sometimes
  • Added registry key "S11_PutUniversalAppsInFolderByDefault" which when given a value of "1" will put universal apps in a Universal apps folder in the Win10/11/Pro/Launcher/App menus. Create in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Stardock\Start8\Start8.ini\Start8
  • Added registry key "S11_NoMenuAnimations" which when given a value of "1" which will turn off right click menu animations. Create in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Stardock\Start8\Start8.ini\Start8
  • Some tweaks to enhanced taskbar to prevent apps from sending too many messages to the taskbar causing it to slow down
  • Recently installed now correctly shows Universal apps installed from the store
  • Recently installed apps (Win10/11/Pro/App/Launcher) menus now only show items as 'recent' within 1.5 days of install
  • Recent items popup menus now filter out some additional items
  • Resolved issue with global font scaling in Start11 being deactivated briefly when opening right-click menus
  • Added detection for Fences 5 installs when Fences 4 had not been installed before
  • Resolved issue with Fences 5 show desktop button on the taskbar not working with Enhanced taskbar enabled
  • Resolved taskbar icon changes not always being picked up correctly by Start11 with Enhanced taskbar enabled
  • Resolved missing icons on the Start10 style search
  • Added everything support to Start10 style search mode
  • Resolved issue with shutdown and signout menus in Win10 style sometimes losing focus to what is under them
  • Resolved the issue of having too many items in a folder resulting in being unable to see all of the items. It will now scroll them instead.
  • Resolved autohide taskbar showing up on secondary when start menu open on the primary
  • Resolved an issue with the taskbar opening from autohide too early if the taskbar was offset from the bottom of the screen in some situations
  • Resolved issue with multiple column menus showing at the top of the screen sometimes
  • Resolved issue with right-clicking on recent documents link and picking open causing an error prompt about a missing user account
  • Menus with multiple columns now show A-Z per column rather than spreading A-Z over each column
  • Added registry key "S11_DelayAutoHide" which when given a value of "1" will delay autohide show/hide. Create in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Stardock\Start8\Start8.ini\Start8
  • Resolved a crash issue with Win7 style on login in rare circumstances
  • Resolved an issue with enhanced taskbar autohide when the primary monitor is to the right of the secondary monitor with desktop icon placement
  • Resolved issue with clicking on pinned taskbar buttons set to only show on certain monitors not showing a right-click menu
  • Resolved issue with mixed dpi setups where right-click menus may not detect dpi changes consistently
  • Resolve the issue with offset taskbar mode with autohide on a secondary.
  • Limited recent docs popup menu to 15 items (or OS setting if defined)
  • Reduced a flicker when minimizing/restoring a window from the taskbar using the mouse
  • Adjusted some init code to prevent threads from being allocated earlier than needed
  • Tweak to extra control panel item showing
  • Resolved issue with rounded taskbar causing clipped taskbars on primary monitor when using a touch-capable device with Win11 22H2 or later
  • Resolved issue with taskbar offsets on secondary monitor without enhanced taskbar enabled not working correctly
  • Tweaked shutdown menu to stop list under it taking focus sometimes
  • Added registry key S11_AlwaysScrollMenus which when set to 1 will stop Start11 making menus multi column and instead use a scrolling list. Create in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Stardock\Start8\Start8.ini\Start8
  • Resolved issue with Win7/Modern style jumplists sometimes showing each item too small after switching menu modes
  • Added a new registry key to control the right-click menu style on Windows 11. It is called "S11_MenuMode" and it has 3 options. 0 = translucent menus, 1 = solid menus, 2 = colour tinted translucent menus
  • Resolved all apps/steam apps list not working from a pinned taskbar folder if you are using the Win7/Modern menu styles
  • Resolved issue with sub menus showing far left of the screen when they would not fit next to the open menu on multi-column menus
  • Resolved issue with new Start11 autohide taskbar mode triggering too far from the bottom of the screen vs the primary
  • Resolved issue with Win 7/modern menu with Win10 style all apps tree not having Show Recently installed and suggested apps not refreshing the list instantly
  • Resolved issue with right-hand list on start menu flickering over search results during animation to switch to search mode sometimes with Win 7/modern menu styles
  • Resolved issue with leftover tooltip after launching an app from the menu if the tooltip was visible at the time
  • Altered config UI to grey out the settings for rounded taskbars unless the rounded taskbar is enabled as this may be causing confusion
  • Resolved menus sometimes being the wrong background color depending on OS color settings
  • Resolved sub-menus showing on popup folder menus being shifted too far right on Win11 setups
  • Resolved Win Launcher menu style when hiding search and username causing shutdown to overlap contents of the list

Are you a fan of Windows 11's Start menu, or do you use Start11 to add a bit of flavour to it? Let us know in the comments.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. 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. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.