Same look, new visuals

Windows 10 new Start menu design arrives to Insiders

Microsoft ships new Start menu for Windows 10 with visual changes, including no background color and transparent titles for app icons.

Windows 10 Start menu new design (Source: Microsoft)

A new Start menu design with visual changes, which no longer focus on Live Tiles, arrives on Windows 10. Microsoft originally announced the changes in March 2020, and it’s now available for devices enrolled in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program.

The new menu follows the same design as the one you see today on Windows 10, but now, it incorporates a more streamlined design that shifts from a chaotic color to something more uniform. You’re still getting tiles, but the Start menu now reduces the color of blocks using transparency to match the menu color scheme and uses traditional icons designs that should help to make easier to scan and find an app quickly.

The new design works with the light and dark modes as well as when using a custom color from the Colors settings page.

When the company first introduced Windows 10, the Start menu was based on the familiarity of the Windows 7 menu with the Start screen Live Tiles available with Windows 8. Although Live Tiles were a new idea at the time, as they were meant to give you a quick glance in real-time of things happening within the app, the approach was never adopted by developers.

The new visuals are now available for a subset of testers, but since builds in the Dev Channel are not tied to any specific version of Windows 10, it’s not clear when it’ll be available to everyone. However, we can assume that it could release with version 21H1. If you’re running the latest preview, and you don’t see the new Start menu, you can enable the new design with these steps: