What Start Menu replacement software do you use?


classic35mm

Member
Local time
10:42 AM
Posts
33
OS
Windows 11 23H2 22631.3527
What Start Menu replacement software do you use? Possible answers include:
For the Start Menu replacement software that you use:
  • What do you like about it?
  • What don't you like about it?
  • Does it noticeably reduce system performance?
  • Is it compatible with the apps that you use for work and play?
  • Has it been generally compatible with new versions/builds of Windows 11?
  • If you've tried other Start Menu replacement programs in the past, why did you settle on this one?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 23H2 22631.3527
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkStation P3
For the Start Menu replacement software that you use: StartAllBack
  • What do you like about it? = It resurrects all the familiarity and functionality of previous OS's.
  • What don't you like about it? = Nothing, really.
  • Does it noticeably reduce system performance? = No.
  • Is it compatible with the apps that you use for work and play? = Yes.
  • Has it been generally compatible with new versions/builds of Windows 11? = Yes.
  • If you've tried other Start Menu replacement programs in the past, why did you settle on this one? = Basic cleanliness.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS ROG Strix
  • Operating System
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS VivoBook
Or the most obvious answer that is probably by far the majority:

None.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro + others in VHDs
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS Vivobook 14
    CPU
    I7
    Motherboard
    Yep, Laptop has one.
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel Iris XE
    Sound Card
    Realtek built in
    Monitor(s) Displays
    N/A
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Optane NVME SSD, 1 TB NVME SSD
    PSU
    Yep, got one
    Case
    Yep, got one
    Cooling
    Stella Artois
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Bluetooth , wired
    Internet Speed
    72 Mb/s :-(
    Browser
    Edge mostly
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    TPM 2.0
Open shell in winpe

for example

eset-winpe.jpg
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5-8400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    2x8gb 3200mhz
    Monitor(s) Displays
    benq gw2480
    PSU
    bequiet pure power 11 400CM
    Cooling
    cryorig m9i
  • Operating System
    win7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    pentium g5400
    Motherboard
    gigabyte b365m ds3h
    Memory
    1x8gb 2400
    PSU
    xfx pro 450
What Start Menu replacement software do you use? Possible answers include:
For the Start Menu replacement software that you use: Explorer Patcher
  • What do you like about it? I use it for Start Menu, but even more important is that it lets me have a vertical task bar on the left.
  • What don't you like about it? Nothing, really. It usually requires an update with each new version of Win11, but it's quick and easy.
  • Does it noticeably reduce system performance? No. EP is a very light-weight program.
  • Is it compatible with the apps that you use for work and play? Yes.
  • Has it been generally compatible with new versions/builds of Windows 11? Usually need to update.
  • If you've tried other Start Menu replacement programs in the past, why did you settle on this one?
Some users have reported glitches and incompatibilities with EP, but it's worked very well for me.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    13th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-13600K 3.50 GHz
    Motherboard
    GIGABYTE B660M DS3H , DDR4, Dual M.2, PCIe 4.0,2.5GB LAN, USB 3.2, USB C
    Memory
    32GB DDR4
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce GT 1030 2GB
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    2 X 2TB Samsung 980 Pro
    PSU
    APEVIA Prestige Series 800W
    Case
    Fractal Design Focus G
    Cooling
    Air 3 x fans
    Keyboard
    WASD V2, Realforce 103U-UW
    Internet Speed
    950 Mbps down, 25 Mbps up
    Browser
    Edge, Firefox
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
the majority

837
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus TUF Gaming F16 (2024)
    CPU
    i7 13650HX
    Memory
    16GB DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce RTX 4060 Mobile
    Sound Card
    Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC Supreme; Emotiva UMC-200; Astell & Kern AK240
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia XR-55X90J
    Screen Resolution
    3840×2160
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD internal
    37TB external
    PSU
    Li-ion
    Cooling
    2× Arc Flow Fans, 4× exhaust vents, 5× heatpipes
    Keyboard
    Logitech K800
    Mouse
    Logitech G402
    Internet Speed
    20Mbit/s up, 250Mbit/s down
    Browser
    FF
  • Operating System
    11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Medion S15450
    CPU
    i5 1135G7
    Memory
    16GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC Supreme; Emotiva UMC-200; Astell & Kern AK240
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia XR-55X90J
    Screen Resolution
    3840×2160
    Hard Drives
    2TB SSD internal
    37TB external
    PSU
    Li-ion
    Mouse
    Logitech G402
    Keyboard
    Logitech K800
    Internet Speed
    20Mbit/s up, 250Mbit/s down
    Browser
    FF
I'm a simple men, and after using Start Menu after all these years, I find it to be too cluttered with stuff I don't want, so I've used Open-Shell and configured it in a way, it actually shows WinX menu with customized options instead. Yeah I know I'm a party pooper :p
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro (WinMac mod)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Probook G9 450
    CPU
    i7-1255U
    Memory
    32 GB (DDR4, 3200 MHz)
    Other Info
    I loved modding and customizing operating systems since very young age, gaining experience from all important systems, including Windows, Ubuntu, MacOS and Android, which led to creation of Windows 11 mod called WinMac. Seamlessly blending the elegance of macOS with the versatility of Windows, my customized interface elevates user experience through meticulously crafted modifications and UI enhancements.

    With WinMac, every interaction with Windows 11 environment is imbued with a touch of sophistication, where the boundaries between the Windows and Mac universes blur, offering a sublime computing experience that transcends conventional limitations.

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Win 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3737
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self Built
    CPU
    Intel® Core™ i7-14700F
    Motherboard
    ASUS TUF GAMING Z690-PLUS WIFI
    Memory
    G.SKILL Ripjaws S5 Series 64GB (2 x 32GB) DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    RTX 4070 Super OC 12 GB
    Sound Card
    Sound Blaster AE-5 Plus
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS TUF Gaming 27" 2K HDR Gaming
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 990 Pro 1TB NVMe (Win 11)
    SK hynix P41 500GB NVMe (Win 10)
    SK hynix P41 2TB NVMe (x3)
    Crucial P3 Plus 4TB
    PSU
    Corsair RM850x Shift
    Case
    Antec Dark Phantom DP502 FLUX
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-U12A chromax.black + 7 Phantek T-30's
    Keyboard
    Logitech MK 320
    Mouse
    Razer Basilisk V3
    Internet Speed
    350Mbs
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Winows Security
    Other Info
    Windows 10 22H2 19045.4291
    On System One
  • Operating System
    Win 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3737
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self Built
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-11700F
    Motherboard
    Asus TUF Gaming Z590 Plus WiFi
    Memory
    64 GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3050 XC Black Gaming
    Sound Card
    SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung F27T350
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 980 Pro 1TB
    Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB
    Samsung 870 EVO 500GB SSD
    PSU
    Corsair HX750
    Case
    Cougar MX330-G Window
    Cooling
    Hyper 212 EVO
    Internet Speed
    350Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Windows Security
What Start Menu replacement software do you use?
For the Start Menu replacement software that you use:
  • What do you like about it? Everything. Other than too many choices/options.:-) It's bugless. It's reliable. It's not in my face.
  • What don't you like about it? I have no gripes.
  • Does it noticeably reduce system performance? No
  • Is it compatible with the apps that you use for work and play? Yes
  • Has it been generally compatible with new versions/builds of Windows 11? I'm Beta Channel. Build 22635.3430 ni_release
  • If you've tried other Start Menu replacement programs in the past, why did you settle on this one? I used to use Start 11but SAB seems more seamless. It is not in my face, it just makes Win 11 easier to use. I think I started with Win 3.1 in '91. That said, I own and like Stardock stuff.
I should add that I also use TrueLaunchBar as a Taskbar add-on. It is getting really long in the tooth and no longer supported. I dread the day it dies:

TrueLaunchBar
 
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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    11 64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo
    CPU
    i9
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell U3415W
    Screen Resolution
    3440 x 1440
    Internet Speed
    1 GB
Open Shell - free, simple and no issues.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self build
    CPU
    Core i7-13700K
    Motherboard
    Asus TUF Gaming Plus WiFi Z790
    Memory
    64 GB Kingston Fury Beast DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Super Gaming OC 8G
    Sound Card
    Realtek S1200A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viewsonic VP2770
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Kingston KC3000 2TB NVME SSD & SATA HDDs & SSD
    PSU
    EVGA SuperNova G2 850W
    Case
    Nanoxia Deep Silence 1
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D14
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Digital Media Pro
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless
    Internet Speed
    50 Mb / s
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender
Open Shell , together with SAB.............. :wink:
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus
    CPU
    i7
    Motherboard
    z97k
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Hard Drives
    3
    Cooling
    air
I also use TrueLaunchBar as a Taskbar add-on. It is getting really long in the tooth and no longer supported
It sets up Taskbar Toolbars that ExplorerPatcher & StartAllBack can both enable for you [but leaving you to set them up yourself].
In the meantime, with the support of ExplorerPatcher & StartAllBack, Taskbar Toolbars can be set up using the TenForums procedures
Taskbar Toolbars - Creating and naming, customising, moving [post #20] - TenForumsTutorials

But MS might well remove the relic components that allow these utilities to do their jobs.

Removing Taskbar Toolbars would reduce my productivity significantly.


Denis
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home x64 Version 23H2 Build 22631.3447
What Start Menu replacement software do you use? Possible answers include:
For the Start Menu replacement software that you use:
  • What do you like about it?
  • What don't you like about it?
  • Does it noticeably reduce system performance?
  • Is it compatible with the apps that you use for work and play?
  • Has it been generally compatible with new versions/builds of Windows 11?
  • If you've tried other Start Menu replacement programs in the past, why did you settle on this one?

I run Open-Shell. It restores the old menus before Microsoft removed them with Windows 7.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 24H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP ZBook G2
    CPU
    Intel® Core i7 5500u
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Family Graphics AMD Firepro 4150M
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Audio
    Hard Drives
    1 TB SSD
    Mouse
    HP USB Mouse
    Antivirus
    Zone Alarm Free Antivirus/Zone Alarm Free Firewall NEXT GEN
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro 24H2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Zbook G4
    CPU
    Xeon 1535m v6
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Quadro Pro 4100
    Sound Card
    Bang and Olufson Audio
    Hard Drives
    1TB SSD
    Mouse
    HP USB Mouse
    Antivirus
    Zone Alarm Free Antivirus/Zone Alarm Free Firewall NEXT GEN

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self build
    CPU
    Core i7-13700K
    Motherboard
    Asus TUF Gaming Plus WiFi Z790
    Memory
    64 GB Kingston Fury Beast DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Super Gaming OC 8G
    Sound Card
    Realtek S1200A
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Viewsonic VP2770
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    Kingston KC3000 2TB NVME SSD & SATA HDDs & SSD
    PSU
    EVGA SuperNova G2 850W
    Case
    Nanoxia Deep Silence 1
    Cooling
    Noctua NH-D14
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Digital Media Pro
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless
    Internet Speed
    50 Mb / s
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Defender
" Open Shell , together with SAB.............."
Coz I like this combi , works ( and looks ) very well on my 11-rig ! :wink:
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus
    CPU
    i7
    Motherboard
    z97k
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Hard Drives
    3
    Cooling
    air
In my case I only use Open-Shell to replace Start Menu with WinX (Power menu), because I couldn't find anything else except AutoHotKey that could do that.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro (WinMac mod)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Probook G9 450
    CPU
    i7-1255U
    Memory
    32 GB (DDR4, 3200 MHz)
    Other Info
    I loved modding and customizing operating systems since very young age, gaining experience from all important systems, including Windows, Ubuntu, MacOS and Android, which led to creation of Windows 11 mod called WinMac. Seamlessly blending the elegance of macOS with the versatility of Windows, my customized interface elevates user experience through meticulously crafted modifications and UI enhancements.

    With WinMac, every interaction with Windows 11 environment is imbued with a touch of sophistication, where the boundaries between the Windows and Mac universes blur, offering a sublime computing experience that transcends conventional limitations.
StartMenuX is the best.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    LENOVO
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-1355U, 3700 MHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo ThinkPad T14 Gen 4
    Memory
    32 GB
    Hard Drives
    WD_BLACK SN850X 4000GB
    Internet Speed
    500 mb/s
    Browser
    Brave
    Antivirus
    Cyberlock
Open Shell: freeware, compatible with Windows 11, easy to use, and no MS Start Menu Ads!
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 (23H2) Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion 577B5AA#ABA
    CPU
    Core(TM) i5-12400T
    Motherboard
    HP 89E9
    Memory
    12.0 GB (11.7 GB usable)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel(R) UHD Graphics 730
    Sound Card
    DFX Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HO Generic PnP Monitor
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG MZVLQ10HBLB00BH1 SSD 1TB
    PSU
    HP Std. for this product
    Case
    All-in-One
    Cooling
    Fan
    Keyboard
    HP Wireless / Bluetooth
    Mouse
    HP Wireless / Bluetooth
    Internet Speed
    Link speed (Receive/Transmit): 1000/1000 (Mbps)
    Browser
    Google Chrome; Edge
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes Pro / Windows Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP 15tegooo [HP Pavilion Laptop Intel I-7]
    CPU
    Intel I-7-1165G7
    Memory
    8 GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP HD micro edge, Bright View, 250 nits
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x768
    Hard Drives
    256 GB DD4-3200 SDRAM
    PSU
    HP
    Case
    Std HP Laptop
    Cooling
    Fan
    Keyboard
    std
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Security
Open-Shell has many more options than I could wish for. It doesn't just bring the old menus back, but also lets me choose from all these extra options to add improvements each one of which can either be enabled or be left disabled/kept at its default. So, it puts the user in total control of how it behaves, diligently, but without any noticeable sacrifice in performance.

You might get lost due to having so many settings to try and experiment with, which, to some certain degree, can tend to become un-intuitive or intimidating at first, BUT... the settings and features are all well-organized and well-documented. Sure, it takes additional effort and time to figure it all out. BUT... it does pay off nicely in the end. And you can also conveniently export/import the settings so, there's no reason to panic.

In its main settings window, it has a Controls tab where you can customize the keyboard shortcuts and/or mouse actions that you want to use. As a result, it also lets me assign more than one action. For example, if you want the Win key to still continue opening the default Start menu of Windows 11 until you have gotten more familiar with the menu that you plan to soon use as a more permanent replacement for it, then it does allow you to do that. Because, it is designed by someone who CARES about what the user thinks.

As a real bonus, it streches far beyond a Start menu replacement. For that reason alone, it is worth getting. I find that, in a few certain ways, the Classic Explorer component of it is actually even more of an improvement than its ability to let me replace the Start menu. I should also note, I use the Classic Explorer component only in conjunction with ExplorerPatcher's option to, in the File Explorer part of the settings window that it has, select Control Interface: Windows 10 Ribbon. I also use ExplorerPatcher for various other things that I find extremely important, as that has a fairly direct impact on how I use the Start menu replacement of course. I'd say that, in a sense, ExplorerPatcher is specifically designed to be compatible with Open-Shell so they go hand in hand if you, like me, want them to go hand in hand. I haven't experienced any compatibility issues of any kind whatsoever, as instead these two different programs [Open-Shell and ExplorerPatcher] actually even help solve compatibility issues. Contrary to popular belief.

From its early inception in 2009 onwards, I had been using ClassicShell on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 until, at the start of 2018, I finally moved to Windows 10, which was when I began to use Open-Shell, the successor to ClassicShell. Yes, that's fourteen years and a half and still counting. It really does merit its status, as it is the godfather of Start menu replacements, plain and simple. It broke only one time on Windows 11. When this happened, it no longer responded to pressing the Win key because Windows Update grabbed a power saw and amputated its leg. I downloaded the latest beta version of Open-Shell soon after, installed it, and voilà, Windows walks smoothly again.

As for comparing Open-Shell to all the other Start menu replacements. There is no comparison. I do, however, also use SystemTrayMenu alongside it (just for the sake of completeness).
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus TUF Gaming F16 (2024)
    CPU
    i7 13650HX
    Memory
    16GB DDR5
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce RTX 4060 Mobile
    Sound Card
    Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC Supreme; Emotiva UMC-200; Astell & Kern AK240
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia XR-55X90J
    Screen Resolution
    3840×2160
    Hard Drives
    512GB SSD internal
    37TB external
    PSU
    Li-ion
    Cooling
    2× Arc Flow Fans, 4× exhaust vents, 5× heatpipes
    Keyboard
    Logitech K800
    Mouse
    Logitech G402
    Internet Speed
    20Mbit/s up, 250Mbit/s down
    Browser
    FF
  • Operating System
    11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Medion S15450
    CPU
    i5 1135G7
    Memory
    16GB DDR4
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Xe
    Sound Card
    Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC Supreme; Emotiva UMC-200; Astell & Kern AK240
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Sony Bravia XR-55X90J
    Screen Resolution
    3840×2160
    Hard Drives
    2TB SSD internal
    37TB external
    PSU
    Li-ion
    Mouse
    Logitech G402
    Keyboard
    Logitech K800
    Internet Speed
    20Mbit/s up, 250Mbit/s down
    Browser
    FF

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