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Microsoft removes ability to put Windows 10 Start menu on Windows 11 in latest Insider build

Windows 11 Taskbar Icons Surfacepro
Windows 11 Taskbar Icons Surfacepro (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Windows 11 Windows 10 Start Menu

Source: Tom's Hardware (Image credit: Source: Tom's Hardware)

What you need to know

  • People have found a way to force the Windows 10 Start menu onto Windows 11.
  • The Windows 11 Start menu has received criticism compared to its predecessor.
  • As with all registry edits like this, we don't recommend trying it on your PC.

Updated July 9, 2021 at 6:39 AM ET: Microsoft removed the ability to enable the Windows 10 Start menu in Windows 11 in Windows 11 build 22000.65, which rolled out to Insiders on July 8, 2021. The original story follows.

Windows 11 brings several aesthetic changes to Windows, including a new Start menu. While the new Start menu follows many of Microsoft's modern design principles, it's received criticism. The Windows 11 Start menu ditches Live Tiles, places the all apps list behind a button, and removes some of the shortcuts available on Windows 10. For those that dislike these changes, there could be a workaround.

The folks over at Tom's Hardware managed to perform a registry edit to get the Windows 10 Start menu onto Windows 11. After the edit, the new operating system shows the exact Start menu from Windows 10.

Windows 11 Windows 10 Start Menu

Source: Tom's Hardware (Image credit: Source: Tom's Hardware)

While this trick shows that it is possible to get the Windows 10 Start menu onto Windows 11, that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Windows 11 is currently in beta, so you should expect some bugs and performance issues. Playing around with the registry to change the Start menu or move the taskbar to the top of your screen could cause other problems.

Additionally, the registry modification might not work in the future. Since Windows 11 is in preview, Microsoft could change something that affects the edit. It is worth noting that people performed the same edit on the leaked build of Windows 11.

We won't list the steps to perform the registry edit here, but if you absolutely must try it, Tom's Hardware breaks them down.

Your best bet to get the Windows 10 Start menu onto Windows 11 is probably to wait and see if a company like Stardock (opens in new tab) will release a program to do so. Stardock has Start10, which brings the Windows 7 Start menu to Windows 10. There's a chance that the company could do the same with Windows 11.

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).

48 Comments
  • If I can't have the windows 10 start menu then I'm not getting windows 11. Plane and simple for me.
  • Same with me. I'm still watching to see how it'll evolve though, I think the Windows 11 start menu still needs quite a bit of work and will get a lot of improvement with time.
    The good news is that Windows 10 is still supported for at least another 4 years, so no rush upgrading my main machines. I'll just put Windows 11 on some test devices to try it out.
  • ya we have till 2025 .and hopefully we will have windows 12 by then and windows core os cloud pc with surface AR glasses
  • Who cares. A bunch of freaking cry babies here. Too funny!
  • Yes how dare we not accept everything that is spoon fed to us . We should love everything they do and never criticize.
  • Or you could just grow up and stop being petty stubborn losers? It's a goddam OS. Just adapt and move on. You should be pinning your common used programs to taskbar and you can pin the others to start. Or hell, search? I don't get why morons like you make such a big deal out of it. Get a hobby. Or a girlfriend.
  • Are you an antivaxxer? I will not be told what to do. Okay mate.
  • Agreed. All my apps are grouped not sorted like a phone (win 11 style). I know where they all are, (muscle memory and all). Win 11, just because of this, became a big step backwards in usability for me.
  • If you're this against change why are you even looking at Windows 11? Just stick with your 6 year old operating system. Bye.
  • I thought the same until I downloaded the Dev build. I got over Live Tiles by the second hour.
  • Also, the folks at Winaero have also provided a registry hack to force Windows 11 to use the Windows 10 Context Menus by default. I have tried it and it works very well. For some reason, the first time I applied this hack, it didn't stick. I applied it again and all is well now. I'm hoping this means Microsoft will put switch in the settings for us power users.
  • Yes, that's one way Microsoft will keep the peace. Just keep all these options somewhere in the settings. I hope something similar is done for the start menu too, and all the little things that are subjectively superior in Windows 10.
  • Make Settings even more complicated for general users. Great idea.
  • Forcing Windows to work how it did in 2015 doesn't make you a power user, it makes you stubborn to change. Isn't the only different a bit of design difference? Why bother.
  • Not all change is good, look at Windows 8 for a start. I don't like the Windows 10 start menu, which is why I use a third party start menu to make it look more like Windows 7 type thing. I like Windows 11 start menu better than Windows 10, but it still needs work done on it. Allow the removal of the search box they have just stuck on it for a start, allow labels on the taskbar, get rid of the recommendation part when it is disabled, so the space can be used. At the bottom of the start menu in Windows 11 I have the word recommended and then under that, to view your recent files and new app turn them on in the start setting and then under that a massive space that could be used. I turned the recommendation off in the first place, so surly that mean's I do not want them. So that could be better, also the start menu could expand a little when it gets full instead of having scroll bars. So changes can be made ands may well be as time goes on, as I said I prefer the start menu on Windows 11 to Windows 10. but i am not sure if I will use it once start is back is updated to work on Windows 11, in fact it works now to a certain degree. People are used to what they use and Ms made the mistake before of changing to much.
  • WOW, for a tech site you over simplify "hacking" sorry haxoring for you millennials. Registry "editing" is not hacking "on" a piece from one OS to another OS when they are the same code base. That is obtuse and absurd.
    Not sure I can patron this site much longer with this much idiocy and baiting going on.
  • I'm sorry that you're having such a bad day.
  • Not a bad day, just tired or ignorant people, if you look we have a lot of them lately.
  • Newsflash. Language evolves. Always has / always will. It's why we don't speak in Old English. Life Hacking also doesn't involve altering your brain. Relax. It's not ignorance, it's just that life moves on.
  • You are definitely entitled to your opinion. One of the dictionary definitions of "hack" is "Something that does not fix a problem but offers an alternative method to avoid it: usually a temporary solution to a software bug." Perhaps you should frequent a site that offers professionals in the computer software field information relevant to their experience level. Windows Central, in my opinion, is more a site for enthusiasts rather than professionals.
  • What will we do without you?
  • Poor baby, doesn't get recognized as the brilliant hacker he obviously is, so he takes out his frustrations on young people by throwing "obtuse" at them. Why don't you "patron" somewhere else?
  • Sorry, but in web development, we define "hacking" in much the same way, where we are forcing something to work with code. Editing the registry on Windows is no different.
  • The sooner you're gone the better. Hacking is making something work in a way that it was not intended. What you're talking about is probably the most common use of the term these days but only because it was bastardised some time ago. Whining that people are actually using the term correctly makes you look a right tool. Your continued demands that people use the terminology that you approve of makes you look even worse. Please stop patroning [sic] ASAP. You'll be making the world a better place.
  • Actually prefer the Windows 11 menu... Simple and effective...
  • Is there any way to bring back tablet mode?
  • yeah install Windows 8 and be happy
  • Windows 10 start menu is awful, I hated the tiles, which is why I use a third party start menu for Windows 10. Windows 11 start menu is ok, need some changes, but I prefer it to Windows 10.
    wow, I like something Microsoft have done, the sea is going to boil :)
  • Lol I think this is the first positive comment I've seen from you.
  • Not sure if I would keep to the menu if I use Windows 11 as my main OS, if start is back is updated i may stick that on, it works to a certain extent now, but there are problem.
  • I used Stardock's Start 8 back in the Windows 8 days, and got a Windows 7 like experience. It worked well. I haven't tried Windows 11 yet, the new Start menu is the entre reason, I can't put that on my everyday PC. I've tested every new version of Windows on my everyday PC as soon as it's available for the public to test since Windows XP, and I still can't get myself to upgrade to this. (I keep important files backed up, and not worried if I have to wipe and reinstall, which I've surprisingly only had to do a couple times over all the years of testing on my main PC.) Has anyone tried using Start 10 on Windows 11? One of the Start menu options in Start 10 is a Windows 10 Start menu.
  • I'd just prefer it if MS allowed users to keep the old Start menu until the widgets thing pans out. Or perhaps existing Live Tile code can be used for widgets? That might square the circle for me.
  • This happens with every single new version of Windows (since XP), people wanting to find a way to get the previous version of the Start menu, nevermind that 5 minutes ago on the previous version, they wanted the one from the version before that (exception: the Win8 Start Screen). Third party companies will find a way to make a quick buck by releasing their own start menu apps, and the cycle will continue here. Or, strange concept, I know... embrace and learn the new?
  • I just posted much the same sentiment, without having read down this far first. To be fair, it's not always the same people and there can be legitimate reasons to prefer one thing over the other but, in my experience, resistance to change is still a big factor for many.
  • resistance to change is something I see daily working as a support engineer for the past decade, doesn't matter if the users have been begging for the change for ages... the second you change it "I liked it how it was, change it back now!"
  • This registry patch no longer works on Windows 11 Build 22000, released today
  • I doubt it will work in the long term. The original Windows 10 pre-release build had the Windows 8.1 Store app. That changed very quickly. I suspect that "legacy" Windows 10 features will be removed permanently before the full release.
  • There's always a group who want the Start Menu from the previous version of Windows. Imagine if they didn't get their dinner at the prescribed time. Ooh, there'd be hell to pay.
  • This same "tweak" was on early W10, where you could change start menu, to W8.1 Start screen
  • Same here. Also windows 11 is Frankenstein os
  • Anyone can say anything about anything - you should hear what I said about you - but if you're not going to back up your statement with anything at all then you're really just full of hot air. Full of something, anyway. Why exactly do you think that about Windows 11? Maybe your reasoning would be of interest to us but your baseless claims are really not.
  • Good, don't get idiots obsession with old crappy version of things like menus or even themes
  • Well that settles that. I have no intention of Ever Getting Windows 11 then
  • You should try it first, i was surprised how good it is, simple, and it works, none of the silly tiles, you can change it back to the left hand side if that is what you want.. If you want silly tiles then that silly Widget thing will do the job, the one problem is you have to be signed in to a MS account to use it, which seems a bit odd.
  • I bought Start10 from Stardock for 6 Euros and with it I can configure the start menu the way I want it. Microsoft can go and F* off.
  • I still say, despite the change for the current menu in Windows 11, I think it should be more like the Widget pain and easily switch between them with a flick of a thumb. That's seems more intuitive, than have to swipe up and then tap the Windows icon in the bar. I downloaded it on my Surface Pro 6. Windows 11 is nice, but the current Start menu definitely needs some work for tablet mode. This is what led me to think about the Start Menu being able to be swiped from the left side, when I was playing around with the Widget pane. I just kept think, why would they put the Start menu right in the middle of the screen, when it's so much easier to just double swipe from the left to switch between the Widgets pane and Start menu. Keep the center Start menu for those that like it. It's ok, but needs work.
  • Urgh. People still use the Windows 95 design language through a theme as late as Windows 7. They reckoned it made Windows quicker. Bollocks it just made it look dated.
  • This is a welcome development. Widows 11 should be clean and more modern. If you want Windows 10 start menu, then use Windows 10.