All these years later, there are still many people who prefer a classic Start Menu a la the Windows 7 era. Open Shell does the trick nicely, and is still a free download for all.

But with Windows 11, the Open Shell Start button is not visible at first. You’ll just have the new-fangled Windows 11 Start button, positioned towards the middle of the Taskbar. Don’t panic. If you’ve installed Open Shell, the classic Start Button & Menu is there and will work. You just have to coax it out:

  • Click the new Start button and then click All Apps.
  • Scroll down and click Open-Shell, then click Open-Shell Menu Settings.
  • Check the box labeled “Replace Start button” and click OK.

Now you’ll have both Start buttons, the classic one to the left and the modern one to the middle. Use either one, depending on your preference. Or, you can move the new start button to the left and it will hide underneath the Open Shell Start button.