How to Get a Windows 7 Start Menu in Windows 10


When Microsoft abandoned the Start Menu in Windows 8, there was a rush by software developers to create programs that would bring back something like the Windows 7 Start Menu. Our pick from the numerous free offerings was the well-known Classic Shell. Microsoft is bringing back the Start Menu in Windows 10 but, as described in a previous article, it is rather different from the Windows 7 version.  If you want to try Windows 10 but wish you could have the old Start Menu, your wish has been granted with the just-released version 4.2.2 of Classic Shell.

Older versions of Classic Shell are said to have various problems with Windows 10 so be sure to download the version at this link. Both Windows 10 and Classic Shell are still beta versions so bugs may remain. So far I have had no problems with Classic Shell while using Windows 10 build 10158 but your experience may vary. Check the Classic Shell forum  for the latest news of any problems.

The download is 7.5 MB and is 64-bit. On installation, you are offered options that include some additions to File Explorer and to Internet Explorer. I opted out of these and installed only the Start Menu. (Internet Explorer is in fact deprecated in Windows 10 and replaced by the new browser called “Edge”.) Several configurations of the Start Menu are available in the installation process as shown in the graphic below. These settings are also available any time after installation.

Classic shell installation in Windows 10

The installation on my Windows 10 system went smoothly and the image below shows the new Start Menu. If you want the Windows 10 Start Menu, tiles and all, it is available from a link at the top of the Classic Start Menu.

Classic Shell Menu in Windows 10

The contents of the Classic Start Menu can be configured using the interface shown below.

Settings for Classic Start Menu

All in all, the new Classic Start Menu seems to work quite well for a beta and may be just the thing that many people will find very useful.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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Does Classic Shell 'restore (if that is the correct term)' AeroGlas' (translucent effect that allowed you to 'peek' at open documents/programs instead of opening the program - great if you just needed to transcribe a bit of genealogy data instead on constantly opening and closing program)?

Windows 10 will bring back some features of AeroGlass built in.

Or a better alternative - update to Windows 10 in a month.

I'm still using the Windows 7 OS and would certainly make use of the Classic Shell Menu if I make the upgrade to Windows 10. It's nice to know there are developers out there who actually listen to concerns of computer users because Microsoft clearly has developed a sense of entitlement over the years thinking they know what's best for all of us.

You are quite right, crosseyedlemon.

That's one of the reasons I became a convinced critic of M$.

By the way, I already installed Classic Shell in so many computers to help people that I can't count anymore.

Thank you for remember us about Classic Shell, Vic! :-)