Changing the Windows Start Menu has always proven to be a controversial move, and no version has ever been universally accepted by users. From Windows XP dual-pane layout to Windows 8’s tablet-like Start Screen to Windows 10’s amalgamation of designs, users have always been split on whether the new Start Menu is better or worse than before. It seems that Windows 11 won’t be different, and, unfortunately, Microsoft has apparently removed the workaround that brings back the old Windows 10 style Start Menu for those who dislike the newest style.
Next to the desktop itself, the Start Menu is pretty much the gateway to Windows. Unless you’re a more seasoned user, the Start Menu will be where you start and open everything that is installed or saved on your PC. Of course, it has gained a lot more features over the years, like Web and local search results, but that also came with some significant changes to the design as well.
The new Windows 11 Start Menu is more than just a redesign, though. It is also a paradigm shift. While almost all Start Menus before it revolved around apps, the information density in the new menu makes search a necessity more than just a convenience. Microsoft is perhaps presuming that everyone these days is more familiar with searching for things rather than having an organizational structure and has adjusted the Start Menu to that use case.
Unsurprisingly, not everyone is a fan of the design or the concept, or both. Fortunately, there was a way to edit Windows’ infamous Registry to bring back the old Windows 10 Start Menu. Unfortunately, the latest Windows 11 Insider Build 22000.65 has apparently removed that hack, meaning Windows 11 testers will be stuck using the shiny new menu. The Taskbar can still be left-aligned, which could appease some critics, at least.
Of course, it’s too early to say never for Windows 11. The new Start Menu and Taskbar still need a lot of work and bugs to iron out. There might also be a slim chance that Microsoft provides an official toggle to switch between Windows 11 and “classic” Windows 10 Start Menus, but, given its past behavior, you shouldn’t hold your breath.