The comeback of the Start Menu was one of the major changes in Windows 10. It got the modern styling from Windows 8 while keeping the same functionality as before. But Microsoft didn’t gave us many options for customizing it to our liking.
Also the modern-design may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for users who switched over from Windows 7. Today we are going to see a much better alternative to the inbuilt Start Menu which offers plenty of customization options, both visually and functionality-wise.
Cool Tip: Do you just want the old Windows 7 Start Menu style and nothing more? Get the classic Windows 7 menu by following our guide.
The Alternative: Start10
Start10 is made by the same folks who made a custom Start Menu for Windows 8. It offers three major styles, which includes the classic Windows 7 style. You can even have both, the modern and the classic Start Menu. Let’s see how to install and configure it.
You can try it out for 30 days before making the decision to buy it or not. Download it from here and install it. Upon opening it for the first time, it will ask you for your email address to start the trial.
After registering and verification open the settings menu by right clicking on the start button and clicking on Configure Start10. The main settings window is divided into three sections on the left side, Style, Control and Desktop. We will see what each section has in detail.
As you may have guessed, here you get all the settings related to changing the looks. As I said before, you get three main styles to choose from, the default Windows 10 style,Windows 7 and the Modern style. The Modern style is a mix of the other two. The customization trickles down to the Start Menu button too. One can change the icon to one of the in-built fancy ones or use a custom image.
In the Appearance sub-section, the background textures for tiles and the whole Start Menu can be changed. Here too you can choose from the in-built options or go for your own custom image.
In Style > Configure, you can choose what appears on the start menu and what the power button does.
One good feature here is that you can change the right hand shortcuts on the start menu to expandable lists. So instead of going to the Control Panel, you can have a list of the items that are in Control Panel. Same can be done for My Computer, Devices & Printers and many others. You can even add your custom location shortcuts by clicking on Advanced > Add.
How the Start Menu behaves and what the start button, the physical one on your keyboard, does, can be configured from here. The settings are self explanatory. One nice feature is that you can assign two different styles of Start Menus to the on-screen and physical button. I have assigned the Modern Style to the on-screen button and the default Windows 10 style when I press the physical one. Apart from this, what the Start Menu does when in a universal app can be tweaked too.
In this section you can change the look and feel of the taskbar. You can opt for either solid color or texture, with always an option to pick an image of your choice. The start button can also be hidden by unchecking the Show a start button on the main taskbar. There are also a bunch of other options to tweak which can be accessed by clicking on the Advanced button in the lower right corner.
That’s it Folks!
Alternative Start Menus for Windows are almost non existent. Start10 is one of the first one and is a step in the right direction, improving on the original Start Menu by adding different styles and plenty of customization options. If you have any questions or thought please visit our discussion forums.