Posted by on November 24, 2017

How to get the easy-to-use Windows 7 Style Start Menu back!

One of the biggest complaints I hear about Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows 11  is how Microsoft updated and changed the Windows Start Menu.  People find themselves frustrated when trying to find their documents, pictures, printers, control panel, etc.  Even shutting down or restarting the PC is dramatically different from the way Windows 7 and XP operated.

Here’s great news:   You can download and install a free program from the GitHub: Open Shell website that will switch your Windows Start Menu back to the classic style used in Windows 7 and Windows XP.  The program is very easy to install.

Instructional Step-by-Step Walk Through Videos Below: 
(Click the square in the bottom right corner to view full-screen)

For Windows 11: 

For Windows 10: 

Installation Instructions:

  • Open an Internet browser and go to the following website address:
  • Click the version number next to “Latest” in the right column:
  • On the page that appears, click on the “OpenShellSetup_#_#_###.exe” link that appears under the “Assets” paragraph header.
  • The file should start downloading automatically.
  • Open or Run the file after it has finished downloading.
  • The installation is simple.  Click “Next”, agree to the license  agreement and click “Next” again.
  • OPTIONAL: On the screen that appears, I like to disable the “Classic Explorer” and “Classic IE” features.  To do this, click on the drop down menu next to each of the two items and set them to “Entire feature will be unavailable”.  After doing so, it will look like the following:
  • Click “Next” and then click “Install”.
  • The Windows User Account Control window may appear asking if you want to allow the app to make changes to your device.  Click Yes.
  • Wait a short while and then Click the “Finish” button.
  • The program is now installed.  The next time you click the Windows Start Button or tap the Windows Key on your keyboard, the OpenShell configuration/settings screen will appear.  It will look like the following:

  • Don’t change any of the settings on this page. Simply click the OK button to continue.  If you select any of the replacement start button icons, you will be stuck with an unusual looking start button that is difficult to remove later.
  • At this point you have successfully completed the installation.  Click on your Windows Start Button to view the new Windows 7 style start menu you just installed.  It will look similar to the following:
  • If you need to access the original Windows 8/8.1/10 style menu, simply click on the “Start Menu (Windows)” item in the top left corner.  If you want to quickly access the new Windows 10 Setting page, it can be found by clicking “Settings” in the right hand column.

Enjoy using your new classic style start menu and your new-found sanity!   🙂

Jason E. Bagnell, President
JB Computer Services, Inc.