How to bring classic Start menu back on Windows 11

You can still bring back the classic Start menu with Live Tiles on Windows 11, and here's how (with a third-party solution).

Windows 10 style menu on Windows 11
Windows 10 style menu on Windows 11

Windows 11 introduces a new Start menu that is similar to the one Microsoft was working on for Windows 10X with a more straightforward interface that floats above the taskbar with rounded corners and features traditional icons and recent documents and folders.

Although the menu has a new fresh design, it’s not something everyone wants since many users are comfortable with the classic Start menu that appears from the left side of the screen and features Live Tiles.

If you are among those users who prefer the classic menu, you can bring back the Start menu with tiles with a third-party application called “Start11.” The app has been designed by Stardock, and it aims to bring back some of the familiar elements that are no longer available on Windows 11.

For example, the app allows you to use Windows 10 style Start menu, or the Windows 7 style for an even more classic experience. Also, it brings back the Taskbar context menu, allows you to change the position of the Taskbar, the ability to ungroup apps in the Taskbar, and much more. 

In this guide, you will learn the steps to enable the classic Start menu with Live Tiles on Windows 11.

Enable Windows 10 style Start menu on Windows 11 with Start11

To bring back the classic Start menu, you first need to install Start11. This is a paid app, but it includes a 30-day trial. If you would like to purchase a license, pricing starts at $5.99.

Install Start11

To install Start11 on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to install Start11 on Windows 11 with winget and press Enter:

    winget install --id Start11.Start11

Once you complete the steps, the Windows Package Manager will download and install the latest version of Start11 on your computer.

Alternatively, you can always download the installer from Startdock, lunch the installation, and continue with the on-screen directions.

Enable classic Start menu

To bring back the Windows 10 Start menu on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start11.

  2. Click on Start Menu.

  3. Turn on the Use the Start11 Start Menu toggle switch.

  4. Select the Windows 10 style option.

    Start11 classic Start menu

  5. (Optional) Click the menu (gear) button to manage the classic Start menu settings.

On the page, you will be able to manage the shortcut list on the left pane of the menu, and customize the menu’s visual appearance like transparency, font size, and color. Also, you can decide whether to show more tiles, recently added apps, including the ability to enable the full-screen menu.

Start11 Start menu settings
Start11 Start menu settings

The app doesn’t remove the new Windows 11 menu. Instead, Start11 runs alongside the new menu and prioritizes the access so that using the Windows key or clicking the Start button will open the other menu.

Once you complete the steps, you can click the Start button to open the menu. 

Enable classic Start menu on Windows 11 (deprecated)

Warning: It’s crucial to note that modifying the Registry can cause serious problems if not used properly. It’s assumed you know what you’re doing and created a full backup of your system before proceeding.

In the past, you could edit the Registry with the instructions below, but because of new changes on Windows 11, it’s no longer possible to enable the original Start menu.

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Browse the following path:

  4. Right-click the Advanced key, select New, and click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    Registry Advanced key
    Registry Advanced key
  5. Name the key Start_ShowClassicMode and press Enter.

  6. Double-click the newly created DWORD and change its value from 0 to 1.

    Start_ShowClassicMode enable classic Start menu
    Start_ShowClassicMode enable classic Start menu
  7. Click the OK button.

  8. Restart the computer.

Once you complete the steps, the classic Start menu with Live Tiles will once again be available on Windows 11. (See also this YouTube video tutorial to complete this task.)

If you want to revert the changes, you can always follow the same instructions, but on step No. 4, right-click the Start_ShowClassicMode DWORD and select the Delete button.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].