Has anyone gotten the Win-X menu to work when enabling the "old" taskbar?


drfsupercenter

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I've been messing with Windows 11 in a virtual machine for a while. I'm not interested in upgrading my primary computer to it, because I absolutely hate the new user interface and clunkiness of it all.

But one thing that's been bothering me since it launched - WinAero discovered that you can actually get the old Windows 10 taskbar back by doing some stuff in the registry. If you aren't familiar, here is a post from WinAero about it. I can live with needing a third-party start menu, but the other big issue with this is that the Win+X menu breaks if you do it.

Are there any alternatives, or known fixes yet? Like some third-party program that makes a menu similar looking to the official one, that can bind itself to that hotkey? I know with Classic Start Menu, you can set a custom action for right-clicking the start menu. it would be even better if somebody figured out how to get the actual menu back... Also, it seems like some of the preview builds still contained the *actual Windows 10 start menu* as seen here... but I see no mention of this otherwise, so I assume Microsoft removed it. Is there any possible way of adding it back? Like, I know people put Windows Media Center from 8.1 in Windows 10, and it functions - so it should be possible to get the Windows 10 start menu back in 11, so you can use the classic taskbar too.
 

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The-Hive

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It works if you ExplorerPatcher to get the old taskbar back
 

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cereberus

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It works if you ExplorerPatcher to get the old taskbar back
Is it actually reinstating old taskbar, or emulating old taskbar?
 

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The-Hive

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Is it actually reinstating old taskbar, or emulating old taskbar?
I have no idea but it works. Every option from the old taskbar works, and its customisable again
Screenshot 2022-05-13 190218.jpg
 

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drfsupercenter

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Holy crap! It has a Windows 10 start menu too! That's amazing. I need to look into the source code to see how they're doing it.

It's not the same method as WinAero uses, I can tell that much.
 

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The-Hive

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Holy crap! It has a Windows 10 start menu too! That's amazing. I need to look into the source code to see how they're doing it.

It's not the same method as WinAero uses, I can tell that much.
The start menu is Openshell
 

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drfsupercenter

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The start menu is Openshell

But it looks just like Windows 10! Except, I notice when you try to pin stuff to start, it doesn't work. It pins them to the built in Windows start menu instead which is disabled
 

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The-Hive

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Not on mine, check your settings are how you want them
 

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drfsupercenter

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Not on mine, check your settings are how you want them
Oh, it's for stuff I search for (which uses the native Windows 11 search)

For example, I don't see Control Panel in the 10 start menu. So I search for it, and if I try to pin to start it just pins it to the 11 start.
 

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clam1952

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Use the Open-shell search, works just as well as the Win11 one and you can pin to the open-shell start.
 

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    Use hardware KVM to switch monitors on three PCs and software (input director) to use mouse and keyboard on all 4 PCs.

clam1952

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Click Open-Shell Start button, search box at bottom of Open Shell start menu assuming you haven't disabled it in Open-shell settings.

1652802586321.png

1652802635035.png
 

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    Use hardware KVM to switch monitors on three PCs and software (input director) to use mouse and keyboard on all 4 PCs.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 build 22161.105
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 3881 - modified with SFX PSU fitted internally
    CPU
    Intel i5 - 10400
    Motherboard
    Dell 032w55 version A00
    Memory
    16GB of HyperX Fury @ 2133 Mhz
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    EVGA 6GB GTX 1060.
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    Dell
    Internet Speed
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    Use hardware KVM to switch monitors on three PCs and software (input director) to use mouse and keyboard on all 4 PCs.

drfsupercenter

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clam1952

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Are you *sure* ExplorerPatcher uses OpenShell? I don't see a single reference to that anywhere, when I search or look through programs list.
I Don't use explorer patcher, just Open-Shell which according to a least one post is used with Explorer Patcher or may installed in addition to, which could be where the confusion is coming from.
 

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    2TB Seagate ST2000DM001-1ER164
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    Akasa AK98 5 Case Fans
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    Logitech K270 - wireless
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    Logitech - M185 wireless
    Internet Speed
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    Windows Defender
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    Use hardware KVM to switch monitors on three PCs and software (input director) to use mouse and keyboard on all 4 PCs.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2 build 22161.105
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 3881 - modified with SFX PSU fitted internally
    CPU
    Intel i5 - 10400
    Motherboard
    Dell 032w55 version A00
    Memory
    16GB of HyperX Fury @ 2133 Mhz
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA 6GB GTX 1060.
    Sound Card
    Builtin
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ACER KA241
    Screen Resolution
    1920x 1080 @60Hz
    Hard Drives
    256GB SK hynix NVMe
    1TB Western Digital WD10EZEX-75WN4A1
    PSU
    Modular 450 Watt Corsair SF450 Platinum ( Mod to replace the Dell 265 Watt PSU)
    Case
    Inspiron Small Desktop
    Cooling
    Dell stock cooler
    Mouse
    Dell
    Keyboard
    Dell
    Internet Speed
    BT Fibre 75 Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Use hardware KVM to switch monitors on three PCs and software (input director) to use mouse and keyboard on all 4 PCs.

valinet

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ExplorerPatcher enables the Win-X menu on supported OS builds. The way it does so is by patching now empty entry points into calling dormant functionality that's still in there in the system files. So it's the original Win-X menu from Windows 10.

Regarding the taskbar, it's the OC one that's still in there in explorer.exe. But EP is mostly a runtime patcher, so it does additional things to fix what's broken compared to Winaero tweaker which regarding this, only sets a registry key that causes Explorer to exhibit a lot of differences when it comes to the UI, including presenting the old taskbar, but breaking other things.

Some time ago I enabled a working Windows 10 menu in ExplorerPatcher. The menu is actually the Microsoft implemented Start menu from Windows 10. It still ships in Windows 11, it just needed to be called instead of the new one and some stuff to be patched so that it works reasonably well here as well. EP is not bundled with OpenShell (and doesn't really have to do anything with it), but the 2 should work together just fine.

The Windows 10 Start menu and search are actually 2 separate things. The backend for Start menu tiles has changed. If you search in Start (which then uses the Windows 11 search), pinning from there will pin to the Windows 11 Start menu indeed. For the time being, I already provide a workaround for this in EP: restart File Explorer, go to EP Properties - Start menu - Pin tiles to Windows 10 Start menu. A File Explorer window will launch. Use that window to locate whatever you want pinned, then follow the usual right click - Pin to Start (try a couple of times if it doesn't seem to work initially) and you will be able to pin stuff this way to the Windows 10 menu. I have explained this in a couple of places already, yet indeed, no consolidated place.

The software is entirely open source, consult the sources and maybe contribute as well, the thing is still lacking in several areas, like documentation, perhaps.
 

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Try3

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it just needed to be called instead of the new one

I had an unsuccessful nose around the Registry looking for whatever it was that called the Start menu [old or new]. Did you happen to find such a key in your investigations?
- If the Registry entry exists then I suppose OpenShell makes use of that to get itself called up.
- If the Registry entry exists then I wonder if we can try putting something else in there to get called.

Denis
 

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valinet

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I had an unsuccessful nose around the Registry looking for whatever it was that called the Start menu [old or new]. Did you happen to find such a key in your investigations?
- If the Registry entry exists then I suppose OpenShell makes use of that to get itself called up.
- If the Registry entry exists then I wonder if we can try putting something else in there to get called.

Denis
I don't really understand. Not every parameter is configurable via a registry entry, and not every thing is even a configurable parameter. When it comes to presenting the Windows 10 Start menu or the Windows 11 one, currently there's code is `StartMenuExperienceHost.exe` that uses the `GetProductInfo` function to query whether the OS is Windows PPI (Windows Team), and if it is, it uses the old Windows 10 Start menu. The reason for this is because even in Windows 11, the Team edition (the edition specifically designed for the Surface Hub) still looks like Windows 10 (probably because it is kind of unofficially deprecated, so they did not really bother remaking the UI). On initial Windows 11 builds (up to or around 22000.65 I think), `StartMenuExperienceHost.exe` was indeed querying the registry for `HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Start_ShowClassicMode`, yet that check has since been removed entirely from the code. If you replace the current `StartMenuExperienceHost.exe` with the one from that build and set that registry entry, you will indeed get the Windows 10 Start menu, albeit in a broken state, where there is a 1-2 sec delay when opening/closing it and right clicking crashes it entirely. These are things that aditionally had to be worked around and patched to get going, and this is part of what EP does regarding this, patching stuff around this at runtime in order to have the menu work properly again. For some stuff, especially things definitely not tested by the original programmer teams, one cannot simply get away with registry edits usually, instead, patching at runtime is almost always a necessity.
 

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