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This app reverts controversial Windows 11 Start Menu back to classic form

Windows 11 caused an uproar with major changes made to the beloved Start Menu. But popular Windows utility developer, Stardock, has a beta version of an application that makes Windows 11 feel a bit more familiar.

Microsoft doesn’t currently let you revert back to the “classic” Start Menu in the beta versions of Windows 11 — to the dismay of some. But that’s where Start11 comes in, which allows you to do exactly that.

Start11 includes an old style of the Windows Start menu.
screenshot / Digital Trends

Once installed, Start11 gives you the ability to change the appearance of the Windows 11 Start Menu and revert back to its classic version. And when we say “classic,” we don’t mean Windows 10. The beta version of Start11 brings back the design of the old Windows 7 Start Menu.

Stardock has long provided many PC desktop enhancement utilities that are designed to enable you to control the way Windows looks, feels, and functions. The StartX family is one of the most popular customization tools for Windows that Stardock released, which offers the Windows 7 classic Start Menu for those on Windows 10.

Today, Stardock released a beta version of Start11 that gives you the option of making your Start Menu look like that of Windows 7, with a list of your apps on the left and some settings on the right. The app gives you the option to revert to the Windows 7 Start menu or opt for a modern look. The latter has more or less the same features but is built with elements of the newer Windows 11 design language, such as rounded corners.

The recent release consists of quite a few features for the Start menu. It includes options to customize colors, fonts, shortcuts, and icon sizes. The taskbar even supports tweaks such as custom textures, transparency settings, blur effects, and more.

For now, this is only a beta version, though. According to Stardock, it doesn’t host all the features it’s going to offer in the future. Stardock plans on adding updated pages or tabs, and new features for enterprise customers. Stardock CEO Brad Wardell says he plans on adding much more functionality to the app.

Start11 costs $5 with special upgrade pricing if you have a previous StartX license, and works with Windows 10 as well, so you can buy it even if you’re not planning on upgrading to Windows 11 anytime soon.

Windows 11 is set to release later this year, currently in beta through the Windows Insider program. It’s a full refresh of the operating system, though the changes to the Start Menu have certainly commanded the most attention from potential upgraders.

Dua Rashid
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Dua is a media studies graduate student at The New School. She has been hooked on technology since she was a kid and used to…
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