Hate the Windows 11 Start menu? Stardock’s Start11 can fix it

Start11 on Windows 11
(Image credit: Stardock)

If you’ve been wishing for Microsoft to fix the Start menu in Windows 11, Stardock has come to the rescue with Start11, an application that can not only bring back a Windows 10-style Start menu, but a Windows 7 variant too.

The Start menu in Windows 11 has had its share of feedback – both positive and negative – since it was showcased in June. It’s now placed in the middle of the taskbar, and the layout of apps and recently-used documents are more confusing to manage for some users.

While we spoke in our Windows 11 review of the Start menu tweaks being mostly fine, it felt as though it was made more for users with touchscreens, rather than a mouse.

However, Start11 looks to solve some of these grievances for Windows 11’s Start menu, before Microsoft has taken the feedback on board in a future update.

But wait, there’s more features

Stardock’s app doesn’t just give you back control of the Start menu, it also gives you personalization options.

From deciding what the power button icon does, to whether all programs should show in a list, to just bringing back the style of Windows 10, the options are almost endless.

Stardock Start11 on Windows 11

(Image credit: Stardock)

The Start menu is something that users can be very protective of. If it changes in a major way, there’s going to be a discussion on whether it’s a justified update.

For now, the jury is out on Windows 11’s Start menu, as Microsoft will inevitably refine and improve it over the coming years. But if you want to make some changes now, Stardock’s Start11 is a great way of doing just that.

Start11 on Windows 11

(Image credit: Stardock)

The app is a free download for 30 days, after which you can buy a licence for $4.99 / £5.99 / AU$ 5.99 for your PC, with discounted pricing for when the next version arrives.

Analysis: Back to the Future

In our review of Windows 11, and trying out the upgrade since its announcement in June, we found the Start menu to be a fine update overall.

But with Microsoft’s focus on updating Windows in a series of seasonal updates, like they have for Windows 10, we didn’t think the Start menu was something to complain about too much.

Granted, not being able to clear your recently viewed items is a strange omission, and again, we still feel that the design is focused more for touchscreens instead of mouse users.

However, Windows 11 is a solid upgrade overall, and while Start11 will be able to alleviate some of the complaints that users have with the new Start menu, it’s only a matter of time before we see some updates from Microsoft on how it will be refined over time.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter, 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.