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Windows 10 Start menus: Start10 vs. Classic Shell

Woody Leonhard | Aug. 20, 2015
The best Windows 8 Start menu replacements bring their Win7-inspired magic to Windows 10. Which should you choose?

In many other respects, the two programs are quite similar. Searching for items in the Start10 “Search programs and files” box bypasses Cortana. Universal apps are a short click away in Start10, as is the traditional Windows 10 Start menu.

Where to Start

For experienced Windows 7 users who aren’t overly impressed with flittering tiles, both Start10 and Classic Shell offer a great deal of improvement and comfort. Both offer a Start experience that’s fairly similar to Windows 7, though both have shortcomings. Universal/tiled apps are always at hand, and Cortana is cut out of the mix -- permanently in Classic Shell, optionally in Start10.

Windows 10 Start menu
Figure 9. The Start10 All Programs list looks like Win7’s, but it doesn’t work the same way.

Start10 is clearly the more sophisticated Start substitute, with lots of settings and customizing capabilities. It’s sleek in the default configuration, expandable, and eminently usable. The $5 price tag will pay for itself in the first two minutes.

Nevertheless, I have to admit that the tinkerer in me prefers the full-on All Programs maneuverability built into Classic Shell. The ability to create my own folder hierarchies and easily move programs and folders among them, sorting in the way I prefer, puts Classic Shell ahead of Start10 in my book.

Give them both a try. Start10 has a 30-day free trial, if the $5 price tag presents a deterrent. Both uninstall very quickly and cleanly.

Or better -- why not buy Start10 and donate $5 to Classic Shell? We need more great add-on software, and both deserve our support.

 

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