My Main Issue With The Start Menu in Windows 11


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[all of the following is said, fully knowing that this is beta software and subject to change. I'm saying this considering the apparent release is impending, Microsoft has very little time to make big changes, if they plan on providing a final release at the end of the year. I'll be very impressed if this is fixed prior to final release, but still acknowledge it could happen, but they appear (and rightly so at this point in development if they plan to release in a few months) to be primarily bug fixing right now, not implementing features]

 

OK, so I understand the new Start Menu is quite polarising, if it works for you, absolutely fantastic. Can I live with it in it's current incarnation? In a literal sense, obviously, yes I can. That doesn't mean I can't also recognise it's deficiencies.

 

Windows 11's pitch is "being the centre of your digital life", I find one design choice to be extremely glaringly bad and I'd even go as far as saying extremely lazy -

image.thumb.png.d9100a6a628d12ae0ac244dafff2671e.png

 

It's most obvious of all when removing move everything from the start menu; it isn't dynamic at all. Remove recommended, that section stays there, removed pinned apps, yes, that section also stays there. The new start menu has been designed to be a static size, not resizable manually, and customisation does not alter it's size.

 

In fact, changing resolution scaling and resolution, to the most part maintains the same size, drop resolution and the start menu is simply larger. 

 

Granted I totally understand that it's fair to cut features to streamline things sometimes (I'm all for minimalism).

 

Previously, you've been able to hide tiles (the analogue would be the pinned items on Win 11), hide all apps, only show one or the other, change the height and width of the start menu, all manually and tailor everything to your own personal preference as much as you liked. Consider the Windows 95 start menu - Even this was more dynamic than the start menu shipping with Windows 11.

 

When something like this is designed and programmed, from the start, the dynamic scaling would be designed first, a framework would be built so the layout can follow a certain logic based on the size of the application, but right from the start, it appears that Microsoft have designed the Windows 11 start menu to be a static, non dynamic graphic to hold it's contents. 

 

IMO this is the main reason that Windows 11 is going to ship with the worst start menu Microsoft has designed.

 

Edit - mods, if this is soapy enough to be in The Soapbox section, my apologies for not posting it there lol

 

 

Edited by cacoe
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I honestly think they should have left the start menu the way it was back in Windows 98: Simple. I hate this mess they have now.

 

At least give the user the option to choose which Start Menu they want instead of shoving in our faces what THEY think is best for us.

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On 14/08/2021 at 12:47, spacelordmaster said:

I honestly think they should have left the start menu the way it was back in Windows 98: Simple. I hate this mess they have now.

 

At least give the user the option to choose which Start Menu they want instead of shoving in our faces what THEY think is best for us.

I don't have a problem with change, I've said it before and I'll say it again, the start screen on Windows 8 was widely hated, but I didn't mind it, I adapted to it, it allowed for customisation (although you can't really compare it to any other version with it being full screen) - It was actually functional though and did allow app groups with 8.1

 

In terms of what they should provide us, I feel regression is the wrong way to do it, adding too many options is a problem as well. It's a hard balance to achieve, but I feel that we've been given something objectively worse than we've had before.

 

The fact the Windows 11 start menu doesn't scale, is just the tip of the iceberg, it feels to me like a freeware start menu replacement (which might be an insult to them which are more functional that what we're being provided with), not something that should ship with Windows, it's just that limited.

Edited by cacoe
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I actually like most of the ui changes, but I do have some annoyances, like that Recommended apps section that cannot be removed, or the missing start task manager option in the taskbar right click menu. I guess there's still time for these things to be fine-tuned or changed if enough people ask for them, we'll see. What my ocd would like most is some sort of generic icons or some wrappers for the icons in the taskbar and start menu, so that all of them are the same shape - like in Android for example, with all square icons, or round icons. One can dream, right? :D

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First thing i did was align the start menu left.

 

Im not even oposed to what theyre trying to do, but please just give a ticky box for "open to all apps by default" as im sure 90% of users will be pressing it anyway or typing into the start menu to search the app theyre looking for

 

Also the right click on the taskbar for task manager is missed

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The Windows 11 Start Menu is the biggest piece of ######. I really cannot put to words just how much a *HATE* this thing. Poor design, absolutely no ability to customize the layout, or ability to go fullscreen like I can in Windows 10.

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On 14/08/2021 at 13:34, Midge said:

First thing i did was align the start menu left.

 

Im not even oposed to what theyre trying to do, but please just give a ticky box for "open to all apps by default" as im sure 90% of users will be pressing it anyway or typing into the start menu to search the app theyre looking for

 

Also the right click on the taskbar for task manager is missed

Opening all apps by default as an option would be welcome.

 

Here's a redesign for the people who only use search -

image.png.42e19398ccab8b015b043490259769ed.png

 

I guess this is good enough for most people and everything else is just window dressing 🤷‍♂️

 

If Windows shipped like this, there really would be an uproar lol.

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Btw if those unhappy with the stock menu want to try Open Shell (a continuation of Classic Shell), here's what they need to do to properly set it up: 

http://www.classicshell.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=8580. It works best with the Classic Taskbar, although it *does work* with the new taskbar as well.

 

With the new Taskbar, it works better if you use a square Start button without transparent pixels in the Start button PNG image. With the classic Taskbar, no such issues.

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On 14/08/2021 at 11:54, cacoe said:

It's most obvious of all when removing move everything from the start menu; it isn't dynamic at all. Remove recommended, that section stays there, removed pinned apps, yes, that section also stays there.

That screenshot you posted... that's been reported as a problem already, even if it ended up being bundled with a bunch of others as a suggestion: https://aka.ms/AAd8p49

 

I wonder if that's a conscious choice they made, I mean, has nobody tried to do just that? Did the one(s) in charge of the vision or design for Windows 11's Start even see it? But what you mention about inadaptability also happens in other places, for example, uninstalling Windows Terminal makes their entries still appear in Win+X (only they do nothing): https://aka.ms/AAd8hie

 

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it's the same lack of attention to detail we've seen over the years.

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On 14/08/2021 at 04:47, spacelordmaster said:

I honestly think they should have left the start menu the way it was back in Windows 98: Simple. I hate this mess they have now.

 

At least give the user the option to choose which Start Menu they want instead of shoving in our faces what THEY think is best for us.

Yeah, I know - it's like they are turning into Apple, albeit not that bad yet.  Not being able to resize the start menu is pretty messed up. You can do it in Windows 10 easily.

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On 14/08/2021 at 05:34, Midge said:

First thing i did was align the start menu left.

 

Im not even oposed to what theyre trying to do, but please just give a ticky box for "open to all apps by default" as im sure 90% of users will be pressing it anyway or typing into the start menu to search the app theyre looking for

 

Also the right click on the taskbar for task manager is missed

Why remove the task manager link from the taskbar right-click menu?  Can you get to it from the right-click menu on the start button?  I would posit that most people don't know about Ctrl + Alt + ESC for bringing up the task manager.

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On 14/08/2021 at 07:05, Dot Matrix said:

The Windows 11 Start Menu is the biggest piece of ######. I really cannot put to words just how much a *HATE* this thing. Poor design, absolutely no ability to customize the layout, or ability to go fullscreen like I can in Windows 10.

Good thing you can stick with Windows 10 until 2025. 

On 14/08/2021 at 07:26, cacoe said:

Opening all apps by default as an option would be welcome.

 

Here's a redesign for the people who only use search -

image.png.42e19398ccab8b015b043490259769ed.png

 

I guess this is good enough for most people and everything else is just window dressing 🤷‍♂️

 

If Windows shipped like this, there really would be an uproar lol.

I’d love that LOL. Pop! OS does this by default. 

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I need groups and get rid of recommended or let us turn it off and let pinned apps use the whole page recommended is just a waste of space for heavy users ... Gawd I have at least 20 dev apps I use daily that fill up what is there alone ... at least in win 10 you could organize stuff and find it semi easily with tile organization...

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On 14/08/2021 at 18:52, devHead said:

Why remove the task manager link from the taskbar right-click menu?  Can you get to it from the right-click menu on the start button?  I would posit that most people don't know about Ctrl + Alt + ESC for bringing up the task manager.

 

This is the taskbar menu:

image.png.0ce02418f00eac42591ee60c704a6c49.png

 

Right click start:

 

image.png.a34b37e291296167212bf73ba78452d5.png

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Something I have done for a few years now is remove everything pinned to the Windows 10 start menu so its essentially just a list of all installed apps:

 

image.png.658639a7465e7b04ad48ef821ed2e5a6.png

 

This was back when you ended up with a rainbow of different icon backgrounds for pinned apps, which just looked terrible. I liked how I ended up a nice compact menu that could be scrolled if required.

 

I don't really seam to use the start menu anymore beyond searching now, since Windows 8 butchered the start menu I actually just got used to searching for the program I wished to launch, although historically from Windows 98 to 7 my start menu would be OCD organised with different folders for Apps, Games, Media and so on.

 

The right click start button menu is incredibly useful, I always right click > shutdown / sign out > sleep when finished on the PC, as that was the quickest way to do so on Windows 8. Likewise for device manager, so its nice to see that's relatively the same on Windows 11.

 

Right click on the task bar > task manager not been an option is going to be annoying though, that always seemed the most efficient way to access task manager, after CTRL + ALT + DEL no longer did. I could probably get used to accessing it from right clicking on the start button, that does however seem like an unnecessary change, especially how its essentially muscle memory how I access it from right clicking on the task bar.

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On 16/08/2021 at 15:28, InsaneNutter said:

Something I have done for a few years now is remove everything pinned to the Windows 10 start menu so its essentially just a list of all installed apps:

 

image.png.658639a7465e7b04ad48ef821ed2e5a6.png

 

This was back when you ended up with a rainbow of different icon backgrounds for pinned apps, which just looked terrible. I liked how I ended up a nice compact menu that could be scrolled if required.

 

I don't really seam to use the start menu anymore beyond searching now, since Windows 8 butchered the start menu I actually just got used to searching for the program I wished to launch, although historically from Windows 98 to 7 my start menu would be OCD organised with different folders for Apps, Games, Media and so on.

 

The right click start button menu is incredibly useful, I always right click > shutdown / sign out > sleep when finished on the PC, as that was the quickest way to do so on Windows 8. Likewise for device manager, so its nice to see that's relatively the same on Windows 11.

 

Right click on the task bar > task manager not been an option is going to be annoying though, that always seemed the most efficient way to access task manager, after CTRL + ALT + DEL no longer did. I could probably get used to accessing it from right clicking on the start button, that does however seem like an unnecessary change, especially how its essentially muscle memory how I access it from right clicking on the task bar.

I honestly just put the most popular icons pinned on taskbar - the rest I can scroll or search 

 

It is really crappy that the put stuff like suggestions there - it is getting worse and worse 

 

I could teach my dad how to use Win 98 easily. Now, I have to spent hours customizing his new PC to acceptable usability level before he can use it.  And I don't blame him - having to do so much work to get your system to work decently - it is ridiculous. Latest buy for my Mom drove mad - it took 6 hours to get it to work the way she wants - and she would never be able to do it herself

 

I am sticking to 10 until it is no longer supported and then we will see if I move to Linux finally (I used Linux last time 20 years ago in university - I am sure it is better now LOL)

 

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