How to Get the Classic Start Menu Back in Windows 11

Customize your Windows Start menu

What to Know

  • Search for regedit to open Registry Editor.
  • Add the Start_ShowClassicMode value to a key within HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
  • Change the value data to 1 and then reboot.

This article explains how to get the Windows 11 classic Start menu so your desktop feels a bit more like Windows 10. A registry value will need to be added to the Windows Registry, but it's very straightforward and easy to accomplish.

This registry tweak has been confirmed to work only on a very specific Windows 11 build. Updating to build 22000.65 has been known to prevent the edit from working.

Windows 11 Start Menu: What's New

The Windows 11 Start menu looks quite a bit different from the menu in Windows 10. As you can see, pinned items are displayed at the top with all the others accessible through an All apps button. Recommended and recent items are on the bottom half. The power button is how you put your computer to sleep or shut down or restart.

Windows 11 Start menu

After the registry tweak described below, the classic Start menu will be restored. It works in nearly the exact same way as the Windows 10 Start menu, where recently added items are on the left and pinned apps are on the right. The power button is situated on the left in the classic menu and unlike Windows 10, there aren't links along the left panel for settings, documents, pictures, etc., unless you customize the settings (more on that below).

Classic start menu open in Windows 11

How to Change the Start Menu Back to 'Normal'

Windows 11 sets a new normal for the Start menu. It's not quite the same as the menu you're used to in Windows 10, but fortunately, a small registry tweak can get it looking more like the classic Start menu you might prefer.

  1. Select the search button from the taskbar and type regedit.

    regedit search results in Windows 11
  2. Select Open when Registry Editor appears.

  3. Navigate here by expanding the folders from the left pane:

  4. Right-click Advanced from the left pane and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

    New DWORD value menu in Windows 11 registry editor
  5. Enter this as the new value's name, and then press Enter to save it.

  6. Double-click the same value and change the data to be 1, and then select OK.

    Start_ShowClassicMode value in Windows 11 registry
  7. Restart your computer. The quickest way to reboot Windows 11 is to right-click the Start button and choose Shut down or sign out > Restart. Logging out and back in will also work.

Restoring the default Windows 11 Start menu is really easy by simply reversing the steps from above. You can either delete the value you made during step 5, or return to step 6 and change the data to 0. Reboot or log out to enable the changes.

How to Customize the Windows 11 Start Menu

The Windows 11 Settings is how you can customize what you see on the Start menu. Get there by searching for Settings and then navigating to Personalization > Start.

Start settings for Windows 11

It's there you can show or hide recently added apps, most used apps, and recently opened items. Selecting Choose which folders appear on Start lets you toggle the visibility of folders like File Explorer, Settings, Documents, Network, Downloads, and more.

Customized Windows 11 Start menu

Pinning and unpinning Start menu items, and rearranging them, is very straightforward. Both the default and classic Start menu have an Unpin from Start option when you right-click a pinned item. Click and drag to rearrange how things appear, or right-click on the default Start menu to find Move to top to quickly pin it as the first item in the list.

  • Where is the Start menu on Windows 11?

    By default, Windows 11 centers the Start menu on your screen over the taskbar. Use the above registry edits to mirror the Windows 10 start menu. To left-align the taskbar as well, go to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar alignment.

  • How do I turn on the Start menu in Windows 11?

    Similar to Windows 10, select the Windows start icon from the left side of the Start menu. To edit the apps and folders that appear and other behaviors, launch the Start menu and visit Settings > Personalization > Start.

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