Windows 10 Start menu solutions pop up from Stardock and Classic Shell

It's hard to adjust to PC life without a Start Menu, but the folks at Stardock and the makers of Classic Shell would like to make it so nobody has to.


Change can be difficult to adjust to, especially when something has become routine for so many years. When Microsoft transitioned to Windows 8 years ago, users were outspoken about the removal of the traditional Windows Start menu. Windows 10 now, likewise, appears to not have any kind of Start menu and the folks at Stardock (the name behind games like Galactic Civilizations and Sorcerer King) have had just as much trouble adjusting. That's why they've done something about it by creating a tool called Start10.

Start10 brings back the key functions of the old Start menu, offering search, quick links, and the familiar layout of the classic Windows 7-style menu. Its a premium program, but Stardock is offering a free 30-day trial for anyone that wants to try it out first. The full Star10 program runs for $4.99.

For those looking for a free alternative, there's also the old Classic Shell that helped Windows 8 users through the original Start menu-less dystopia. The makers of this program have recently upgraded their program to version 4.2.4, officially adding Windows 10 support. There is no charge for Classic Shell, but the creators appreciate any and all donations.

Regardless, these look to be the most reliable options for PC gamers seeking to bring back their old Start menu. Any other suggestions? Join the conversation and let us know. Now back to your regularly-scheduled PC gaming.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 12, 2015 11:11 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Windows 10 Start menu solutions pop up from Stardock and Classic Shell

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      August 12, 2015 11:12 AM

      Weird, The Windows 10 start is perfect as far as I can tell.

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        August 12, 2015 11:29 AM

        I said the same thing, but Ozzie was all like 'NO CHANGE ME NO CHANGE'. (Yes that is actually how things went down in our staff chat.)

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        August 12, 2015 12:00 PM

        Yeah I had used Start8 for Windows 8 but I've uninstalled it now for Windows 10.

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        August 12, 2015 12:14 PM

        It's okay, but I dislike tiles on the right, prefer a list.

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        August 12, 2015 12:40 PM

        Yeah there's really barely anything to dislike about it. I came from win7 and I really have no issues. I don't get it.

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        August 12, 2015 2:29 PM

        Same, I'm overall very happy with Windows 10. The one thing I would change would to have the search bar back in the start menu, rather as a separate icon in the task bar.

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          August 12, 2015 3:52 PM

          When I was testing it in the beta I just removed it from the task bar. Then all you have to do is start typing when you hit the Windows key or Start button and it will default to a search input.

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          August 12, 2015 4:54 PM

          Right click the task bar, search, hide. Just start typing when you open start menu to search.

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        August 12, 2015 2:57 PM

        Is it weird? That people don't share your UI preferences?

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        August 12, 2015 3:23 PM

        Yeah, after some adjustment, I'm really loving it.

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        August 12, 2015 5:00 PM

        Eh, I have some minor tweaks I'd make, but it's pretty decent. That said, if someone prefers something else, hey, that's fine.

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        August 12, 2015 6:01 PM

        It's OK. I ended up keeping Classic Shell on one of my upgraded PCs. Might put it on the other.

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        August 13, 2015 4:58 AM

        Honestly, I thought I would like the new Start Menu but I installed Start10 a couple of days ago.

        It's just not as customisable as the Win7 start menu and the live tiles are useless to me so I don't need them or space for them there.

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      August 12, 2015 12:54 PM

      Is this the Windows 10 thread?

      Every time I plug in my WD USB drive, Windows asks what should happen when it detects the drive. Every time, I tell Windows I'd just love for it to open the drive. And every time, without fail, Windows asks WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN WHEN IT DETECTS THE DRIVE.

      Am I interpreting the prompt incorrectly? I took it to mean, "When you detect this specific device, I want you to just open it so I can view its contents."

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        August 12, 2015 2:22 PM

        I've had this happen with several devices on Windows 7 as well. I think it's something about them not having a unique serial number broadcast through the USB protocol, so Windows can't save your preference.

        Did it work under Win7/8 for you? There might be a global setting that got changed during the upgrade.

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        August 12, 2015 2:51 PM

        Isn't there an "Always do this" checkbox you have to check?

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        August 12, 2015 2:58 PM

        Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > AutoPlay