The next Windows 10 update will give the Start Menu a facelift - and you can get it now

Theme-Aware Start Menu
(Image credit: Microsoft)

After launching version 2004 of Windows 10 back in May, Microsoft is now preparing to release its next big update for the operating system called Windows 10 20H2 Update which will performance enhancements, bug fixes and a new theme-aware Start Menu.

The software giant first showed off its new theme-aware Start Menu earlier this year in a sneak peek posted on social media and senior program manager of the Windows Insider Program, Brandon LeBlanc provided further insight in a blog post, saying:

“We are freshening up the Start menu with a more streamlined design that removes the solid color backplates behind the logos in the apps list and applies a uniform, partially transparent background to the tiles. This design creates a beautiful stage for your apps, especially the Fluent Design icons for Office and Microsoft Edge, as well as the redesigned icons for built-in apps like Calculator, Mail, and Calendar that we started rolling out earlier this year.”

While the new theme-aware Start Menu can be used with both Windows 10's light and dark theme, users can also add a splash of color to their icons by turning on dark theme and toggling on the “Show accent color on the following surfaces” option under Settings > Personalization > Color.

Theme-aware Start Menu

Windows 10's 20H2 update will be available to all users in the fall but if you want to test out the new theme-aware Start Menu for yourself, you can do so now via Windows Update after joining the Windows Insider program.

To join the Windows Insider program, you will need to open Windows 10's Settings, go to the Update & Security section and navigate to the Windows Insider Program tab. From here, click Get Started, link your Microsoft account, select the Beta Channel Option, restart your system, then go back to the Update & Security section in settings and have Windows Update check for updates. The update for Windows 10 version 20H2 will be there and you can download and install it and then restart your system to finish the installation. Keep in mind that you may have to wait for 24 to 48 hours after joining the Windows Insider program before the update shows up.

Alternatively, if you have Build 19041.423 of Windows 10 installed on your system, you can unlock the new 20H2 features including the new Start Menu by tweaking your registry. However, this method is a bit more risky and users should make a backup of the registry before proceeding.

Via BleepingComputer

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.