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Get Classic Start Menu On Windows 10

For those that do NOT like the look of the Windows 10 Start Menu. Here is what you need to do to get the classic start menu on your Windows 10 machine.

I’ve installed Windows 10 on all my machines at home.  I don’t have any complaints about how Windows 10 operates. Like everything else in life, sometimes you have to adjust to new things. However, I know that isn’t however everyone else feels, especially about their computer equipment.  I’ve heard everything from “If it ain’t broken why fix it”, to “I want what I’m used to”.  So for those who have now installed Windows 10 but want to make it feel like what you were used to with Windows XP or Windows 7, here is what you need to do, for FREE I might add, to give your Windows 10 install that Classic feel.


Currently when you install Windows 10, you will find a completely redesigned Start Menu.  A mix of menu items and “live tiles”, basically a hybrid of Windows 7 and Windows 8 Start Menu’s.  So for those who would like to go completely back to the old Start Menu (the what you are used to menu) here is what you need to do.  Install the Classic Shell update. Classic Shell started as a small utility in 2008 by someone who did not like how the start menu in Windows Vista worked.  Classic Shell update is open source and free (if you like it, they would appreciate a donation to support the project).

Installing The Classic Shell Start Menu

Start by visiting the website for Classic Shell.  On the home page you will find 2 primary download links.  The one that says Download now is the main download for Classic Shell, this will download the latest stable version of the update.  For those looking to be on the cutting edge, Download Beta will let you download the latest version which is still being developed. In addition, on the main page you will also see links for translated versions of Classic Shell.


If you need a translated version, Classic Shell is available in Italian, French, German, Chinese, Russian, Polish, and Spanish (among other languages).


  • Once you have downloaded the installer and launched it, here is the order of install. First you will get the set up wizard page, just click next here


  • Next you will get the End User License Agreement. Here you put a check in the “I accept the terms” box and then hit next


  • Now you will see a custom set up window.  You don’t have to touch anything here.  Just hit next.


  • On the window that follows, the ready to install windows, hit the install button.


  • The screen that follows is the “Installing” window. This screen may sit there for a minute or 2 not doing anything before installing.  DONT PANIC


  • Once the installation screen is done you will get the install is complete screen. Uncheck the “View Readme file” box (unless you like to read such things) and click finish.


Configuring The Classic Shell Once Installed

Once its installed, the settings window for classic shell will open. If you are looking at keeping the basic old school start menu design, all you need to do is select which type you want

  • Classic Style
  • Classic Style with Two Columns
  • Windows 7 Style

and you can also select to replace the start menu button with one of the buttons listed at the button.


If you want to be Geeky, you can put a check in the box that says “Show All Settings” and you will get a multitude of customization options. There are to many options to mention all of them, you will just need to go through them and see, the good news is most of the custom choices are easy to understand. Just remember if you do make custom changes, make a note of each change, so that if it isn’t the desired effect you can change it back.


Either way once you have made your selection, you will have a new (classic looking) start menu.


And this is one of the ways you can make Windows 10 feel more like what you are used to. The advantage of Classic Shell is that in the Class Start menu they list the Apps area, so you still have easy access to your apps, and they also list Start Menu (Windows) on the top of the classic shell list that will open the original Windows 10 start menu should you find something missing from the Classic Shell menu.  Hope this helps those who are looking to get the benefits of Windows 10 while staying with what they are used to.  This post was for those on Windows 10, but the Classic Shell works with the following

Classic Shell works on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and their server counterparts (Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016). Both 32 and 64-bit versions are supported. The same installer works for all versions.


24 Yrs. of professional experience in Technology. Experience with technology implementation and systems management at numerous 5 Star Hotels, and Stadiums across North America. Head of Tech Geek and More since 2009


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