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You can now try out Windows 10’s new Start menu – here's how

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If you can’t wait to try out the new Windows 10 Start menu, then there’s good news, as Microsoft has released an optional update that, with a slight tweak, can bring the new Start menu to PCs running Windows 10 May 2020 Update.

As Windows Latest reports (opens in new tab), Microsoft is planning to release Windows 10 20H2, a followup to the May 2020 Update (which was previously known as Windows 10 20H1) towards the end of 2020, and while it’s likely to be a rather minor update, it seems Microsoft is planning to include the new-look Start menu.

Windows 10 20H2 will likely be a very small update to download and install, and to prepare, Microsoft has released the optional Windows 10 KB4568831 (Build 19041.423) update, which appears to include the new Start menu.

While the new Start menu is hidden in this update, you can turn it on by editing the registry, which is a powerful tool in Windows 10.

How to get the new Start menu in Windows 10

If you’d like to give the new Start menu a try, we’ll explain the steps below. However, we need to remind you that editing the registry can be potentially dangerous, as any mistakes can prevent your PC from working correctly. 

So, we recommend that only users who have used the registry before follow these steps, and to backup the registry before you start. For anyone who’s not comfortable with editing the registry, we recommend holding on until the Windows 10 20H2 update gets officially released.

If you do want to try out the new Start menu, follow these steps:

1. Install the update

First, you’ll need to make sure your PC has the new update installed. To do this, open Windows Update, then click 'Check for updates'. Click ‘view optional updates’ and look for Build 19041.423. Click it to install.

If you can’t find the update, you can download it from Microsoft’s website (opens in new tab) – just make sure you pick the right version.

2. Edit the registry

Now you need to edit the registry. You can actually do this via the Notepad app. Open Notepad, then paste the following into the blank document:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FeatureManagement\Overrides\0\2093230218]
"EnabledState"=dword:00000002
"EnabledStateOptions"=dword:00000000

Now, save the file with the name 20H2.reg. It can be any name you like, as long as it has the .reg extension at the end. Double click the file you’ve create to run it and apply the registry changes.

Finally, restart your system.

Using the new Start menu

Once your PC restarts you should see the new Start menu. You should notice a new, more cleaner look, with Live Tiles in particular being less garish than before, as well as matching the theme you’ve set in Windows 10.

While it’s not the biggest overhaul in the world, we like the changes Microsoft has made so far, and it seems the company will be bringing more drastic changes to the Windows 10 Start menu later.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Computing and Entertainment

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Computing and Entertainment, looking after two of the best, and most exciting, channels on the site. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made. He's also a huge film and TV fan and Marvel geek, and his favorite recent film is Dune.