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Windows 10 Start Menu Alternatives – the best free and paid Start Menu apps which you need

Windows 10 Start Menu Alternatives – the best free and paid Start Menu apps which you need

by AshwinAugust 1, 2015

If you just upgraded to Windows 10, and find that the Start Menu does not meet your expectation, you may not be alone.


A lot of people don’t like the live tiles that the Windows 10 Start Menu has on the right pane.

Of course, you can just unpin all the tiles, and end up with a huge blank space on the right pane. You can then resize the Start Menu. Even then it may not be up to the mark, as Windows 7’s Start Menu was, especially as the All Apps section is a bit awkward.

Classic Shell

If you want a Windows 7 like Start Menu, in Windows 10, look no further. Classic Menu is the best out there. It also packs in other cool features like Classic Explorer, and Classic IE 9, but you won’t need those.


The Start Menu is the part you want to replace, and you can even replace the Start Button too, but I’d recommend you use the one in Windows 10, because it looks way cooler.


Classic Shell is simple to use, looks good and is completely free, and my recommended free replacement for the Windows 10 Start Menu. You can download it from the developer’s website.

Start Menu 8 (Iobit)

Like with all Iobit apps, expect to see some bundled recommendations for the company’s other apps. (Hint: Pay attention to the setup process, it offers to install Iobit Malware Fighter at the end of the installation). That, and the fact that it puts some shortcuts (read ADs) at the top of the Start Menu, but you can right-click on them and unpin them from the Start Menu. These are the reasons why it is not my first choice Start Menu alternative.


On the plus side, Start Menu 8 offers a boatload of icons for the Start Button, which are gorgeous, and you can also choose from a flat color style/Windows 7 Style (Aero Glass) including the Transparency, and you can choose what folders and icons are displayed in the Start Menu.


Its very user friendly, so you can customize it to your heart’s content.


You can download Start Menu 8 from Majorgeeks.


Another product from Stardock, the company renown for its custom Windows skins called Windows Blinds. The company is no stranger to the Start Menu area, it launched Start8 for Windows 8, and the app was a huge sucess, thanks to Microsoft’s disatrous idea to skip the Start Menu.


Start10 is no less beautiful and handy as its predecessor. The new version offers a lot of custom Start Buttons, Translucency effect for the Start Menu, and a lot of other customizations, which make the Start Menu look exactly like Windows 7’s. And it also has a lot of Start Button icons.


Start10 costs $4.99, and its totally worth the money. You can download a free 30-day trial version of Start10 from Stardock’s website.

The only biggest drawback is that, even if you own Start8, you will need to buy Start10 again. Also, the setup process tries to install a trial version of Fences 2, another good app from Stardock, but you can safely skip it.

StartIsBack++ for Windows 10

StartIsBack is another popular custom Start Menu app from the days of Windows 8, and is quite a neat app which is available for Windows 10 in the form of StartIsBack++.


The UI is quite different from what the other three apps offer, and the icons are just gorgeous. You can pick a custom color for the Start Menu and the TaskBar, or even download custom Start Buttons from DeviantART.


There are a lot of other simple, yet powerful customization options in StartIsBack++, which makes it a great alternative for the default Windows 10 Start Menu.

A lifetime license for StartIsBack costs just $2.99 for 1 PC, which is very affordable. And unlike Start10, StartIsBack uses one license for all of its versions, including StartIsBack++. You can download a 30-day trial version of the software for free from the developer’s website.

It is really tough to say which one of these apps are the best. It really comes to personal choice, so I’d say download and try each of them and decide which one suits you.