Best Free Start Menu Replacement


Don't let the name of this program put you off; it works on all the most popular versions of Windows.

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Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide


Start Menu 7 is the new name for the former Vista Start Menu and is an alternative to the plain Start Menu you find in XP and Vista. It loads instantly, and is highly customizable. The enhancements are most obvious on Vista.

Instead of presenting a search-based interface or All Programs, it effectively provides a hierarchical menu of  Program folders together with some other features. It's very customizable. It doesn't change any system settings, so it's perfectly safe to install, so try it for a few days, and then remove if you don't like it. On my test system, Vista's Search (Start button) failed to find all installed programs, but Start Menu 7 listed them all.

You can also keep your original Start Menu and use it along with Start Menu 7 until you get more comfortable with it. Please note that this version no longer supports Windows NT but support for Windows 7 has been added.

The picture and other graphics on the developer's website should help you to make your mind up as to whether or not to use it.

Start Menu 7

Related Products and Links

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Quick Selection Guide

Start Menu 7

Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
loads instantly, highly customizable.
may overwhelm with information, takes some time to get used to.
4.95 MB
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 2000/2003/XP/Vista/7

This software review is copy-edited by Glyn Burgess. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.


replace windows start menu, start search, search programs

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Some of the best features of this program are: 1) It can be set up to highlight recently installed programs. That way if any programs give you problems, you can quickly see which ones you just installed. I don't remember how long it highlights them, but I think it's for at least a week. 2) It's great for using without the mouse. Faster method than the built-in menu. A friend of mine that has this program only uses it mouse free. 3) Being able to make your own personal categories, other that just the All Programs, Quick Start and Autorun categories. 4)Can change the size of the font and the length and height of the program window. And more. It's a great program!

Frank Tracy

Just like to recommend what a few other people have mentioned - Classic Shell. Small download, installs with no hassles, and uses hardly any system resources. It has lots of settings to fiddle around with, and (you can choose to install this or not) it adds some additional functionality to Explorer.