Looking for some best start menu alternatives for Windows 10? Windows operating system has become synonymous with one of its most iconic characteristic, the Start button or the Start menu. First introduced in Windows 95, it progressed on the user interface front from XP to Windows 7.
After getting a backlash for discarding it in Windows 8, Microsoft has brought it back in Windows 10. In fact, the start menu in Windows 10 has best of both Windows 8 and Windows 10. You can even customize Windows 10 start menu to a certain extent.
That being said, there are many independent software providers who capitalized on the missing start button during the Windows 8 period and created some of the best start menu alternatives for Windows 10 and 8. The good thing about these start menu alternatives for Windows 10 is that they are pretty stylish and way functional than the native one.
So, no matter what the reason is, if you are looking for the best start menu alternatives for Windows 10 then here are a few of them.
Best Start Menu Alternatives for Windows 10
Note: the best start menu alternatives listed below are also compatible with Windows 8 along with Windows 10.
1. Start Menu Alternatives for Windows 10 – Classic Shell
Released in 2009, Classic shell is one of the most popular start menu alternatives for Windows 10 which is easy to install and simple to use. If you choose all the default options, you will get a Windows 7 style start menu. It has multiple styles and skins for you to choose from.
Moreover, Classic Shell also enables several of the classic Windows File Explorer options which are most familiar with Windows 7 and Vista users. You can select one of the three styles, the classic, classic with two columns, and Windows 7 style. In addition to this, it also provides the caption and toolbar for Internet Explorer.
2. Start Menu Alternatives for Windows 10 – Start Menu X
Start Menu X yet another start menu alternatives for Windows 10 that comes in both free and paid versions. The free version will have all the features which will satisfy a normal user like you and me. So, you can always go for the free one. Using the free version, you can add tabs and get access to any folder on your PC right from the start menu. Some of the features that are included in the free version are the ability to replace the start button, shutdown times, support for any scale DPI, virtual groups, etc.
Start Menu X also has fully equipped power buttons that even lets you set a delay timer. Simply put, you can actually schedule your system to shutdown. Moreover, this start menu alternative for Windows 10 supports any Windows version that is XP and above.
3. Start Menu Alternatives for Windows 10 – Power8
Power8 is one of the best start menu alternatives for Windows 10 that comes with loads of features. You will get all the power features like shutdown, sleep and hibernate built directly into the start menu. If you are a fan of old Windows 98 or XP style menu, it provides you with an exact replica. Additional features include but not limited to enabling auto checks for updates, shows about windows, exits applications, toggles auto-start, context menu over menu items, hot-key activation, support for jump lists, etc.
If you are looking for a simple, free and open source start menu alternative for Windows 10 or Windows 8 then do give Power8 a try.
4. Start Menu Alternatives for Windows 10 – Pokki Start Menu
Pokki Start Menu is one of the distinct looking and modern start menu alternative for Windows 10 and 8. It creates a custom start menu which works along with the default one. A rich user interface with dark and light themes is the main highlight of this software. It also features starring of items to quickly access them from the Favorites subsection. As you can see from the below image, you can customize the start menu both on the left and right sides. Just like the default start menu in Windows 10.
Even though the download page says it is for Windows 8, this start menu alternative works with Windows 10 too. So, if you are looking for a modern looking start menu then do give Pokki Start Menu a try.
5. Start Menu Alternatives for Windows 10 – StartW8
Again, even though StartW8 is designed for Windows 8, it works flawlessly with Windows 10. Moreover, StartW8 is one of the most basic start menu alternatives for Windows 10 listed in this article. If you are not the fancy type and prefer the simple and straightforward start menu then StartW8 is for you. With two column menu, it lists the recently used programs in the left pane and the shortcuts in the right pane. You can customize the default behavior of some components like shutdown button, menu items to be listed, transparency and color scheme.
As you can tell from the image below, StartW8 mimics Windows 7 style start menu for Windows 10 perfectly.
Hope that helps and do comment below sharing your thoughts and experience about using the above start menu alternatives for Windows 10. If you think I missed any of the best start menu alternatives for Windows 10 and 8 then do share them in the comments section.