If you're not happy with Windows 11's new Start menu and Taskbar, then you're not alone. These are probably the two most contentious changes to the new operating system, and in this guide, we show you how to make Windows 11 look a little more like Windows 10.
There is only so far you can go, though. Windows 10's Live Tiles are no more, and you can't make Windows 11 look entirely like its predecessor. But you can get close if you're willing to spend a little time and maybe a little money. Note that we're focusing here on the easy steps you can take. There are registry and device hacks that can remove some Windows 11 look-and-feel features, but we've found that these can disappear with Windows updates, and they can cause more problems than they're worth.
The first and easiest change is to align the Start menu and Taskbar on the left-hand side of the screen.
Step 1: Open the Settings app and navigate to Personalization and then Taskbar.
Step 2: Open Taskbar Behaviors.
Step 3: Change the Taskbar Alignment to the left.
Step 4: Your Start menu will now open on the left-hand side, and your Taskbar will align on the left.
If you want your Start menu to look a lot more like Windows 10, then you'll need to go the third-party software route. The best option is Startdock's Start11, which costs $5.99 and does more than just change the Start menu. Start11 can do more than just make the Start menu look more like Windows 10's version, too. It can also allow you to customize your Start button, Taskbar, and Search. However, those aren't focused on making Windows 11 look like Windows 10, so we won't focus on them here.
Step 1: Download and install Start11. Go to Startdock's Start11 page to download a 30-day trial or purchase the software.
Step 2: Open Start11. You'll start at the Start menu section (no pun intended). Toggle the Use the Start 11 Start Menu setting to On and select Windows 10 Style.
Step 3: Now, your Start menu will include the line of command buttons along the left-hand side, the Windows 10 program list, and pinned apps on the right.
Step 4: You have several options you can configure by right-clicking in the Pinned Apps area. You can create new groups; pin new apps, files, and folders; and access the Start11 configuration settings.
If you prefer Windows 10's wallpapers, then it's easy enough to change. You just need to locate your preferred wallpaper.
Step 1: Download the wallpaper from a variety of sites. One good source is WallpaperCave.com, which has the default wallpapers easily accessible.
Step 2: Simply right-click on the wallpaper you want to use and select Save Image As to download it.
Step 3: Once you've downloaded your image, right-click on your screen and select Personalize.
Step 4: In the Personalization settings page, click on Background. Make sure Personalize Your Background is set on Picture.
Step 5: Select Browse Photos and locate your downloaded wallpaper.
Step 6: Your chosen Windows 10 wallpaper will now be active.
These are the easiest methods to make Windows 11 look like Windows 10. As mentioned above, we're not covering questionable or potentially damaging changes, but rather we've focused on the basics. Following just these few steps will give you a Windows 11 look that's a lot more familiar.
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