With Windows 11 on the horizon, developers are starting to come up with tools to replace the new Start menu. StartIsBack, a popular Start menu replacement in previous versions of Windows, today announced a new preview version meant for Windows 11. This comes shortly after Stardock introduced its own tool, Start11, with a similar purpose.
The initial StartIsBack preview for Windows 11 is free to try, and it already includes a handful of major features. These include the classic taskbar design, with options to make it look like Windows 10 or Windows 7. This also brings back the system tray layout from previous versions of Windows, compared to the more streamlined design of Windows 11. There are also some tweaks for File Explorer, allowing you to replace the new Windows 11 interface with the Windows 10 ribbon or the Windows 7-style menu.
Of course, the focus is on the Start menu itself. With StartIsBack, you get a classic Start menu that works similarly to how it did in Windows 7. However, you get a handful of customization options for how it looks. You can make it have rounded corners like Windows 11, sharp corners like Windows 10, or use a full Windows 7-style design. You can also customize the color of the Start menu independently from your system theme, among other things.
On top of all of that, the app has been rebuilt from the ground up for Windows 11, and it will only work on that version. It even promises to use fewer system resources than the built-in Start menu and taskbar in Windows 11, so it could actually improve your PC’s performance.
StartISBack is usually a paid tool, but anyone can try the new Windows 11 beta for free. However, this will expire in November, and you’ll eventually have to buy a license. The developer also warns that this isn’t meant for users in the Dev channel of the Insider program, since it’s targeting the first official release of Windows 11.
If you’re interested, you can download the initial preview build for Windows 11 from the StartIsBack website.
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