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Windows Start menus with Classic Shell for Windows 10

You can get a very close facsimile of earlier Windows Start menus with Classic Shell. The program is free, but the website encourages donations—a nice gesture if you appreciate the product.

Classic Shell, made by former Microsoft employees so this program isn't really a 3d party program.

Classic Shell™ is free software that improves your productivity, enhances the usability of Windows and empowers you to use the computer the way you like it.

The main features are:
  • Highly customizable start menu with multiple styles and skins
  • Quick access to recent, frequently-used, or pinned programs
  • Find programs, settings, files and documents
  • Start button for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
  • Toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer
  • Caption and status bar for Internet Explorer
  • Classic Shell has been in active development for 6 years and has tens of millions of downloads.
The first time you click the Start button after installing Classic Shell, you don’t get any menu. Instead, you’ll get the program’s Settings dialog box. If you close that dialog box and click Start again, you’ll get Classic Shell’s Windows 7-like default Start menu.

If you want to get back to that dialog box, right-click the Start button and select Settings.

Here you’ll be able to select your choice of three menu designs: “Classic style” looks pre-XP, except with a search field (not really needed since Windows 10 has one in the taskbar). “Classic with two columns” looks sort of like XP, but even more like Vista. “Windows 7 style,” the default, looks almost exactly like Windows 7.

Below the styles, you’ll find options for changing how the Start button looks. The program offers only two options, but you can create and add your own.

It’s worth checking out the other three tabs on the Settings dialog box. For instance, you can have the menu automatically revert to the Windows 10 interface when you switch to tablet mode (called Metro here).

I personally like the Windows 10 Start menu, because you have easy access with admin tools just right click on.

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