Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 interface

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Windows 8 start interface, which was new at the time, split people’s minds: Many users found it bad, only a minority found something positive about it. Under Windows 10, the on-board means is presented in a revised form – the properties of the tried and tested Windows 7 and more modern Windows 8 counterparts are combined with one another. List entries meet in the menu on the left and tiles on the right. As with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 (.1), it is advisable to adapt the start menu: This will make it clearer and increase its usefulness. In the following you will also find nostalgia tips.

Replace Windows Start Menu with Open Shell Menu

If you want the Windows 7 Start menu back, you need Open Shell Menu. As long as the tool is running, an alternative start menu appears when you click the Windows 10 start button in the taskbar – based on the Windows 7 start menu look. If you hold down the Shift key while clicking the Windows logo, the Windows 10 menu appears. Open Shell Menu is not necessarily based on the Windows 7 menu appearance, so alternatively choose a design in Windows XP style and customize the design further. Furthermore, you can easily expand the left start menu area of   the on-board tool replacement: Drag & drop (i.e. dragging with the mouse) a desktop file is sufficient. With the Windows 10 original menu, adding new items to the left software list is more difficult; it requires copying the desired items to a start menu folder .

Windows XP

Improve Windows Start Menu

The above tips have been tried and tested with the current Windows 10 2004 (May 2020 update). The gallery first introduces Open Shell Menu and then some other tools in the start menu context. This is followed by manual fine-tuningon the original Windows 10 start menu. The current 2004 OS retains an important adjustment option from the Fall Creators Update (1709): the start menu in the non-full-screen view can be enlarged or reduced diagonally. This is possible if you have not activated the full screen display of the control element. A central innovation of the 1809 update (October 2018 update) is also still available: Start menu search hits context menu options appear without a right-click. A highlight in Windows 1903, 1909 and 2004: To increase system stability, the start menu has its own system process called StartmenuExperienceHost.exe. Like Microsoft on the Windows blog writes, separating the start menu initially ran as an experiment and measurable improvements in reliability were found.

The recommended Open Shell Menu is, by the way, the successor to Classic Shell. The programmers responsible are no longer developing the latter program, but updates for the similar-sounding newer program will appear in the long term – which primarily take into account changes in the latest Windows 10 developments. On the developer platform GitHub, there is talk of “Reborn of Classic Shell”, that is, the rebirth of the classic. Like Classic Shell, Open Shell Menu gives Windows 8.1 / 10 the Start menu in a Windows 7 or XP style; Thanks to a search function, you can call up programs and files without looking, virtually blind.

Distracting controls

Those who prefer the simplicity of by gone XP days can turn to Spencer: The tool does not require installation and displays a software list in the start menu. Distracting controls are not there. For quick access to the tool, we recommend pinning it to the taskbar, which has been done using drag & drop in the bar since Windows 7. Ueli (Windows Launcher) helps you to open programs / files quickly: Alt-Spacebar shows a search field, with a stylish look you can search for the desired content. It loads into RAM by pressing the Enter key.

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