Microsoft scraps unpopular change to Windows 11 Start menu

Windows 11 2022 update
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 users will doubtless be glad to see Microsoft scrap an idea introduced in testing late last year, namely recommended websites popping up in the Start menu (and a second unpopular change has just been given the elbow, too).

The latest preview version of Windows 11 witnessed the abandonment of these changes, which is build 25272 that has just been introduced to the Dev channel (early testing).

The Start menu feature which has been cast aside first appeared in November 2022, in preview build 25247, and it allowed for common websites to be recommended at the bottom of the menu’s panel.

As Ghacks spotted, in the blog post detailing the changes for the latest preview of Windows 11, Microsoft further noted that a suggested action for searching copied text in the Edge browser has also been ditched. This meant that if you highlighted text to copy in, say, a document, an inline panel would pop up allowing you to click and search for that highlighted text in Edge.

Microsoft said: “Thanks to all the Insiders who gave us feedback on these two experiences. As a reminder, features and experiences we try out in the Dev Channel may get removed and never released beyond the Dev Channel as we incubate new ideas and get feedback from Insiders.”

Analysis: Backing away from the Edge

Build 25272 also applied a whole bunch of fixes, including the solution for an issue where the search box on the taskbar was being corrupted with visual glitches, and a whole raft of bugs have been resolved with the Task Manager.

There’s definitely some useful stuff going on here, even if there aren’t any new feature introductions. And it’s good to see the back of the two mentioned pieces of functionality, the first of which pretty much amounted to needless clutter of the Start menu, and prompted concerns about Microsoft pushing third-party websites – and, of course, its own Edge browser in both cases.

While Microsoft did note carefully when introducing the recommended websites feature last year that it could be switched off for those who didn’t want it, clearly user feedback has come through loud and clear regarding even attempting to bring this into the Start menu – the good news being that the company is listening to this feedback.

Still, the constant attempts to push the Edge browser in Windows are getting rather tiresome, it has to be said.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).