The Windows 11 Start menu sucks (2022)

The Windows 11 Start menu sucks (1)

One contention that rides around every single time Microsoft updates Windows is the Start menu. Windows 8 notoriously bombed in market share due to the radical system upheaval, with the Start menu as a focal point for criticism (among various other things).

The Windows 11 Start menu is notably less radical. It falls back on the tried and tested docked menu, which doesn't take up all of your screen. It doesn't flood your cognition with dancing widgets either, previously known as Live Tiles (RIP their gentle souls). It's simple and elegant, putting your most-wanted apps right at the top, with recommended files beneath. Sounds cool right? Well, maybe, at first glance.

(Video) Hate Windows 11? Try these fixes.

I recently purchased a second-hand Surface Pro X as a backup PC, specifically for running Windows Insider Builds and testing touch and Windows Ink features. And while I realize that I'm very late to the party here (so late, in fact, that Windows 11 literally launches next week), I already have some thoughts about the experience. And not all of them are good thoughts.

The Windows 11 Start menu sucks (2)

The Windows 11 Start menu is quite literally the starting point of any new PC, giving you quick access to the rest of your PC's functionality. Since the days of Windows XP, Microsoft has been needlessly and oft radically altering how it works, forcing users to re-learn every time its basic features and functionality. Windows 11 doesn't quite go that far. In fact, in a lot of ways, it's far easier to use than previous incarnations, particularly for new users. However, for those of us who have grown accustomed to using Windows in a certain way, the new Start menu feels like a leap backward.

I won't wade too heavily into the debate about Live Tiles. I know many Windows Central readers love them. I used to as well. Or at least, their potential. Microsoft and app developers both didn't really leverage them to a meaningful degree. These days, I only really use the Calendar Tile and the Mail Tile, for at-a-glance reminders of what my productivity day is going to entail. The new Widgets panel offsets some of the loss there, but by putting it in a separate section, it basically ensures that I won't use or see it as often as I could've done if I could just pin Widgets to the Start menu.

The Windows 11 Start menu sucks (3)

(Video) Why Windows 11 Sucks?

I do like the new Widgets panel, and I think the potential for features is quite good up there. But considering the vast amount of wasted space in the Start menu, I can't help but wonder why we don't have the option to simply put Widgets in there instead.

It's sort of my biggest complaint about the Start menu, ultimately. This new one is so lacking in customization features to the point of frustration. You can't resize it in any way, shape, or form. You can't remove the Recommended Files list. You can turn it off, but it leaves a nasty gap with an annoying reminder telling you that you've turned off Recommended Files, like a vestigial limb you can't remove. The Recommended Files list, if you leave it on, for me just surfaces years-old documents and other random crap from my file storage that I don't really want to see surfaced right there in my Start menu. Managing those files is a chore, too, forcing me to right click and "dismiss" every time it surfaces a file I couldn't care less about.

The Windows 11 Start menu sucks (4)

It also doesn't really feel fit for purpose. What use is it, showing me a file that I've since removed or deleted? Why isn't the Recommended List intelligent enough to know if a file is still available? What if you surface a sensitive, personal document that I don't want guests who might be using my PC to see right there, front and center?

If you can't make it work for me, if you can't give me control over it, just let me bloody well turn it off, without punishing me with a passive-aggressive message and a pile of wasted Start menu space. It's straight-up bad design.

Furthermore, why is it centered? At least you can move it by trawling through the settings, but man, I can't for the life of me understand the logic here. Is it just because macOS has a centered dock? You're asking users to aim the mouse to click on it now, whereas before you could simply drag the mouse all the way into the corner without thinking about it, to open the Start menu. I generally use the Windows key and just search in the Start menu when I want to open things anyway, but the "change for the sake of change" aspect here simply irks me.

Oversimplification

The Windows 11 Start menu sucks (5)

(Video) 5 Things I Hate About Windows 11

As much as I dislike the term "power users," there's naturally a delta between people who know and use Windows inside out and backward and more casual users, who don't spend too much time on their computer. Figuring out where to set design priorities can be tough in some instances, especially when it comes to removing features, but far too often it feels like companies go too far in the other direction when trying to strike balance.

In a past life, I was an IT guy for a chain of private high schools in the U.K., and know all too well that literally nobody customized their Windows 8 or Windows 10 Start menus. The default crapware Live Tiles that OEMs would install on their laptops remained for years, until I forced a specific basic Start menu layout via Group Policy (which was needlessly complex to do in its own right, compared to managed Chromebooks).

Microsoft clearly knows that nobody wants to configure, shape, and resize Live Tiles, while also researching which apps even provide a baseline level of functionality in that area. But removing ALL Start menu customization is not, and never the alternative. Even Windows 95's Start menu let you resize it at least.

The Start of a long journey

The Windows 11 Start menu sucks (6)

If you can't make it work for me, if you can't give me control over it, just let me bloody well turn it off.

Windows 10 was famously supposed to be the last version of Windows, but I think most of us realized that was never going to be the case. Technology moves forward. Style sensibilities evolve. Needs and wants trend and change with the times.

(Video) 11 Things I Hate About Windows 11

I do love Windows 11 for the most part. The more consistent UI is a massive step in the right direction — Windows 11 is gorgeous. The new features in system apps are welcome to see, too. Renewed investment and interest in Windows is also exciting, as Microsoft picks up companies like Clipchamp to start resolving weak parts of its OS. And hey, those new Surface devices look like they'll complement the OS nicely as well.

I thoroughly expect Microsoft will react to feedback about the Start menu's features — or lack thereof — in future system updates. I just feel like we've been here before, at the precipice of RTM, with underdeveloped features. And considering the Start menu is the first thing you see when you sit at your desk in the morning, it's more than a little annoying.

The Windows 11 Start menu sucks (7)

Jez Corden

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

(Video) Why Windows 11 kinda sucks (from a fanboy)

FAQs

How do I fix the Start menu in Windows 11? ›

OTHER WINDOWS 11 START MENU NOT WORKING FIXES
  1. Restart the Windows Explorer.
  2. Restart Windows background services.
  3. Update your graphics drivers.
  4. Re-register the Start menu Shell experience packages.
  5. Rebuild the Windows search index.
  6. Remove Start menu tweaks.
  7. Try one of these generic Windows fixes.
  8. Try a third-party Start menu.
May 25, 2022

Why is my PC not good enough for Windows 11? ›

If your PC isn't eligible for Windows 11, it's probably because you're using older or less powerful hardware. Some people will be able to upgrade their desktop PCs to meet the new requirements, but most other people will need to buy a new device.

How do I get the full context menu in Windows 11? ›

Enable classic right-click context menu on Windows 11

Right-click the CLSID key, select the New menu, and select the Key option. Name the key {86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2} and press Enter. Right-click the newly created key, select the New menu and select the Key option.

Is Windows 11 a faste? ›

Windows 11 is faster than Windows 10. Processing performance and RAM distribution are notably quicker with Windows 11. What is the big difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11? Speed and design are the two main changes between 10 and 11.

Can I go back to Windows 10? ›

Here's how to make the switch back to Windows 10: Start menu > Settings > Windows Update > Advanced options > Recovery > Previous version of Windows (you may see Go back instead). That's it!

Is Windows 10 better than Windows 11? ›

Windows 11 is worth it for most people. It comes with a wide range of new features, performance improvements, and design changes. As the latest Windows OS, it usually gets more attention than Windows 10, too. There's not too much risk in upgrading to Windows 11, either.

Is Windows 11 stable now? ›

Majority yes. There were minor issues in the beginning, which were patched within a month, and even drivers and apps have been adapted to Windows 11, thereby making it almost the same, if not even better than Windows 10 already. So, in that sense, yes, it is absolutely great for daily use.

Should I upgrade Windows 11 2022? ›

As we mentioned at the top, our general recommendation is that yes, you should install Windows 11 version 22H2 once it's officially available. It comes with a lot of new features and it extends the support for security updates into the future, too.

How do I bypass Windows 11 system requirements? ›

How to Bypass Windows 11 Installation Requirements? Install Windows 11 on Any Computer
  1. Bypass the TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot Requirements.
  2. Perform an In-Place Upgrade.
  3. Use the WinPass11 Guided Installer.
  4. Use a Registry Edit hack.
  5. Use PowerISO to Convert the WIM to ESD.
Jun 28, 2022

What happened to open with in Windows 11? ›

Open with dialog UI in Windows 11

This is not the case with open with dialog or App Picker that lets you choose other apps to open a file. It has been existing with outdated design from Windows 8 metro, Micorsoft has now updated with inline Windows 11 design in build 22567.

Is Win 11 heavier than win 10? ›

Is windows 11 lighter than Windows 10 or not? I'd say, heavier, because on paper, Windows 11 requires more performance from your PC. The specs read as if Windows 11 requires more performance than Windows 10, but still easy enough to meet.

Is Windows 7 faster than 11? ›

One of the main differences in Windows 7 and Windows 11, is in how the OS prioritizes application windows. While both systems are optimized for performance, Windows 11 makes use of the foreground process to load applications more quickly. Microsoft tested the Excel application with a 90% CPU load and it opened quickly.

What are the disadvantages of Windows 11? ›

With that said, below is our selection of the top complaints users have about Windows 11.
  • Windows 11's Hardware Requirements Are Too Stringent. ...
  • Changing Default Apps in Windows 11 Is Too Hard. ...
  • You Have to Sign in to a Microsoft Account to Use Windows 11. ...
  • Windows 11's Start Menu Is Less Usable Than Windows 10's.

Can I uninstall Windows 11? ›

You can only uninstall Windows 11 within 10 days of installation without losing your files. After that, you'll need to do what is known as a "clean install" of Windows 10 or your previous operating system.

Can I go back to Windows 10 from Windows 11 after 10 days? ›

If you've upgraded your PC from Windows 10 to Windows 11 at some point in the past 10 days, you have a simplified option for downgrading back to the older version of the operating system. Microsoft has added a recovery option in Windows 11 that enables users to downgrade recently updated machines back to Windows 10.

How long does it take to downgrade from Windows 11 to 10? ›

You can only downgrade to Windows 10 within the 10 days of your upgrade. For example, if you upgraded to Windows 11 on 1 Sept, 2021, then you can downgrade within 10 days. If you want to downgrade on 25 Sept, 2021, you can't.

Is Win 11 slower than win 10? ›

It has been reported and verified that those users with AMD CPUs have reduced performance due to changes in the scheduler Microsoft made in Windows to better work with newer Intel CPUs. In other words, it's quite possible that windows 11 will run slower than windows 10 even on brand new machines.

Should I update to Windows 11 now? ›

But if you're still hesitant, there's really no reason why you should upgrade to Windows 11 right away. As long as you're on Windows 10, you'll have access to many of Windows 11's key features (like Auto HDR and virtual desktops) as well as critical updates and security patches through 2025.

What is the point of Windows 11? ›

You'll find it easier to create and toggle between different virtual desktops in Windows 11 than in Windows 10. Windows 11 lets you set up virtual desktops in a way that's similar to on a Mac. It allows you to toggle between multiple desktops at once for personal, work, school or gaming.

Are there any bugs in Windows 11? ›

Intel and Microsoft have found incompatibility issues with certain versions of drivers for Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) and Windows 11. Windows 11 devices with the affected Intel SST driver might receive an error with a blue screen.

What Windows 10 features are not in Windows 11? ›

Major Windows 10 features still missing in Windows 11
  • Ability to move Taskbar, Taskbar menu & ability of not combining open apps:
  • Dragging & Dropping of files on apps icons in Taskbar to open them in the app:
  • Calendar Flyout missing events:
  • Start Menu has lost many features:

Does Windows 11 still have bugs? ›

Windows 11 is officially out, and early adopters have reported bugs and issues with the next generation of Windows.

Will installing Windows 11 delete everything? ›

The answer is No. As long as you select "Keep personal files and apps" during Windows Setup, you shouldn't lose anything.

How long will Windows 10 be supported? ›

Go here to learn more. Microsoft will continue to support at least one Windows 10 release until October 14, 2025.

How long does Windows 11 take to install? ›

If you're installing Windows 11 from scratch, using a USB installation drive, on a powerful computer equipped with a fast NVMe solid-state drive and a good internet connection, the whole process should take somewhere between 10 to 20 minutes at most.

How do I prevent Windows 11 from installing? ›

Solution 1. Turn off Windows Update Services in Windows 11
  1. Press "Window + R" to open the Run window.
  2. Open the "Services Window" by typing services.
  3. Locate and pick the "Windows Update" option from the "Services" list, then click the "Stop" button.

Do I want Windows 11? ›

A slick new interface, better security, updated apps, and info widgets are just some of the perks of upgrading to Windows 11. Here's why you should do it sooner than later. PC hardware is nice, but it's not much use without innovative software.

Can you right click on Windows 11? ›

They're Buried in the “Show More Options” Menu (Shift+F10) In Windows 11, Microsoft has created a new framework for the right-click context menu in File Explorer and on the Windows desktop. Application developers familiar with Windows 11 can add options to that menu just like the old one (once they upgrade their apps).

Is 4gb RAM enough for Windows 11? ›

Despite it being supported, Windows 11 with 4 GB of RAM is not the best experience in the world. It suffers from constant crashes and reloads because third-party programs have basically no RAM available to use. If you want to use Windows 11 on your computer, we recommend having at least 8 GB of RAM.

How many GB is Windows 11? ›

Storage: 64 GB* or greater available storage is required to install Windows 11.

Does Windows 11 affect battery life? ›

Windows 11 offers both light and dark themes. But the light theme consumes comparatively more power than the dark theme. So, it's recommended to use a dark theme on Windows 11 to reduce battery consumption.

Are there people still using Windows XP? ›

While it may not be a shock that many, many people are still operating on older Windows operating systems, it is unusual that one country still primarily uses Windows XP. That country is Armenia.

What is S Mode in Windows 11? ›

Windows 11 in S mode is a version of Windows 11 that's streamlined for security and performance, while providing a familiar Windows experience. To increase security, it allows only apps from Microsoft Store, and requires Microsoft Edge for safe browsing.

Is Windows 11 fixed for Ryzen? ›

The Ryzen TPM stuttering bug is finally fixed on Windows 11. A bugged implementation of firmware-based Trusted Platform Module (or TPM), something users normally need in order to use Windows 11, has been plaguing AMD Ryzen users for some time.

What happens if I decline Windows 11 update? ›

However, if you don't want to use Windows 11 right now, you can just click Decline upgrade on the interface. This does not affect your computer, nor does it affect your future free upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 later. Some users are forced to install Windows 11 updates.

What happened to the Start button in Windows 11? ›

Traditionally, the Windows Start menu has been in the lower-left corner of the screen, but when your new version of Windows appears, you'll find the Start icon among a group of icons in the center of your taskbar at the bottom of the screen. The Windows 11 Start menu is now a small icon in the center of the taskbar.

How do I fix Start menu not working? ›

Ways To Fix Windows 10 Start Menu Not Working Error
  1. Method 1: Update Windows.
  2. Method 2: Update drivers.
  3. Method 3: Restart System.
  4. Method 4: Malware Scan.
  5. Method 5: Reset System.
  6. Method 6: Restart Explorer.
  7. Method 7: Using Powershell.
  8. Method 8: Run System Scan.
Jul 16, 2022

Why is the Windows Start button not working? ›

If you have an issue with the Start Menu, the first thing you can try to do is restart the “Windows Explorer” process in the Task Manager. To open the Task Manager, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, then click the “Task Manager” button.

How do I open the Start button in Windows 11? ›

You can either press the Windows key and the letter I at the same time, or click the Start button and click the Settings gear icon in the Pinned apps section. Another option is to open the Start menu and start typing "Settings." There are, of course, other ways to get there, but I think you get the point.

How do I change my Start menu back to normal? ›

Fortunately, by tweaking one simple setting you can manually switch between the Windows 10 Start Menu and the finger-friendly Start Screen. Here's how.
...
Here's how.
  1. Right click on the taskbar and select Properties.
  2. Select the Start Menu tab. ...
  3. Toggle "Use the Start menu instead of the Start screen" to on or off.
Oct 1, 2014

Can you make Windows 11 look like Windows 7? ›

Moving the Start button is one small win, but you'll still see the Windows 11 Start menu when you click it. By installing StartAllBack, however, you can very closely mimic the look and feel of Windows 7 – the full version of the app costs $4.99, but there is a free trial available as well.

How do I make Windows 11 look like Windows 10? ›

In Settings, navigate to Personalization, then Taskbar, and open Taskbar behaviors. You'll see a field labeled Taskbar alignment with a drop-down menu. Change the drop-dox menu from Center to Left. The change takes place immediately.

How do I open Settings without Start menu? ›

Press the Windows and I keys together simultaneously. Press the Windows and R keys together simultaneously to open a run box and type ms-settings: and press the OK button.

How do I unfreeze my Start menu? ›

Hold down the WINDOWS+R keys at the same time (the WINDOWS key is the one with the Microsoft Windows logo). This will open the Run window. Click on 'Modify' in the bottom left of the Indexing Options window, then click the 'Show all locations' button. Untick all of the currently ticked boxes and click OK.

Why Is Start menu and Cortana not working? ›

If you cannot use your computer's Start Menu or Cortana, and you have an antivirus installed, you should update it to the latest version, or one that is compatible with your PC's operating system. If Cortana and the Start Menu still don't work after updating your antivirus, you should uninstall it.

Can't click on Windows Start menu? ›

How to Fix Windows 10 Start Menu Not Opening
  • Sign Out of Your Microsoft Account. ...
  • Restart Windows Explorer. ...
  • Check for Windows Updates. ...
  • Scan for Corrupt System Files. ...
  • Clear Cortana Temporary Files. ...
  • Uninstall or Fix Dropbox.
Apr 22, 2022

Why can't I click on anything on my computer? ›

Check your mouse and third-party software

Try unplugging the mouse and connect a secondary mouse to your computer. Right-click on any app or the desktop and check if the secondary mouse is working. If the mouse works, you may need to replace the device with a new one.

What is the win key? ›

The Windows key has the Microsoft logo on it and is found between the left Ctrl and Alt keys on the keyboard. Pressing the Windows key by itself opens the Start menu that also displays the search box. Holding down the Windows key and pressing another key, to trigger a keyboard shortcut, can speed up common tasks.

Videos

1. No7 Savage Scientist Live: Windows 11 Start Menu Rant, Usability Computer Science Other Topics
(Savage Scientist Programming)
2. Windows 11 UX: The Good, The Bad and The Inconsistent
(vaexperience)
3. Windows 11 sucks, going back to windows 10 :D
(Quebber)
4. Start11 - Bringing Back The Old Start Menu to Windows 11! (Overview & Demo)
(Michael MJD)
5. Windows 11 - Is it nice?
(2kliksphilip)
6. Windows 11 SUCKS!
(T T)

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