Start11 launches in beta so you can change the Windows 11 Start menu
When Windows 11 launches later this year, it’ll bring a bunch of improvements over Windows 10. There are many new features and, overall, many design elements look a lot better now. One of the biggest changes is in the Start menu, and while some of us prefer the new look, it’s not for everyone. To address that, Stardock recently announced the launch of Start11, the latest version of its Start configuration tool, now focused on Windows 11.
If you’re unfamiliar with Stardock, the company develops a series of customization tools for Windows. The StartX family has been one of the most popular ones. For example, it restored classic functionality of the Start menu in Windows 10, for users that preferred Windows 7. Start11 continues this work, and in the beta version launched today, it has a lot of the same features as previous versions. Right now, the app focuses on making the Start menu more similar to Windows 7’s, with a list of apps on the left and some settings shortcuts on the right. Users can choose between a Windows 7-style design, which replicates the same look-and-feel of that OS more closely, or a more modern look that has similar features but with a newer design language.
However, Stardock plans to add much more functionality to Start11 this time around. According to Stardock CEO Brad Wardell, the tool is going to expanding to support new concepts like pages and tabs, as well as features for enterprise customers. This is still the first beta, so not everything is here yet.
This initial release already includes plenty of configuration features for the Start menu itself and the taskbar. The Start menu includes customization options like colors, fonts, and icon sizes, as well as change the look of the Start icon itself. You can also customize what kind of shortcuts show up in Start. The taskbar supports things like custom textures, transparency settings, blur effects, and more. What the app doesn’t do, at least for now, is bring back the Windows 10-style Start menu. Bringing that back may be difficult since there’s always a chance Microsoft removes the APIs required to make Live Tiles work in the future.
Start11 works with both Windows 10 and Windows 11, so you can get it even if you’re not planning to upgrade to Windows 11 anytime soon. The app costs $4.99, with special upgrade pricing if you have a previous StartX license. You can buy the app here.