Things and stuff and things.
Published on March 18, 2021 By Tatiora In Stardock Blog

I normally don’t mind change. Change means progress, new and exciting experiences, interesting people, and so on. Change is good!

Unless it’s your Start menu.

Look, I spent a lot of time on Windows 7. I skipped Windows 8 entirely. So when Windows 10 came around and handed me a brand new Start menu (not to mention a bunch of other new stuff that I wasn’t used to), I wasn’t a huge fan. Like it or not, though, I’m a Windows user and I’m pretty much bound to whatever Microsoft hands me in their latest version.

At least, I was - until I discovered Stardock’s customization software.

Maybe “discovered” isn’t so much the right word - I didn’t start using it and exploring it until I was hired here. But honestly, even if I were employed elsewhere, there are several programs I would happily pay to continue to use because I’ve found them indispensable. Start10 is absolutely one of them.

For starters (hah, pun!), the big draw for me is that it returns the Start menu to what it looked like in Windows 7. It also has a cool “modern” option that is sort of a hybrid of Windows 10 and Windows 7. I really like being able to go back to what’s familiar, tried, and true - but I can add a splash of “change” in there at the same time! Let’s take a look at some other things we can customize in Start10.

The first thing I did was customize my Start button. I’m a Green Lantern nut, so I was excited to find a custom Green Lantern symbol button on WinCustomize. I found an image I liked and added it to the Start menu background. Now that the aesthetics were out of the way, I could look to more practical things.

A feature I haven’t used too much until recently is filtering my searches. In order to do this, you want to first make sure to go into the Start10 configuration and set the “Show search filtering icons” is on.

Once you have that option selected, pop into your Start10 menu (I have the Modern option enabled here) and type something into the search bar. A search will pop up, showing icons at the top that allow you to filter what you’re looking for.

Now, select one of the icons at the top. It will remove all other file types from the search, leaving you with a narrowed down view of whatever it is you’re looking for. This has been game changing for me.

I’ve taken great pains to attempt to organize my desktop (Fences is the greatest thing ever), but still, I am who I am and I have a bunch of stuff scattered pretty much everywhere. Being able to search and then sort what I’m looking for (settings, files and folders, documents, etc.) makes the task of hunting down an elusive object so much easier.

Another way to make things easy on yourself when looking for things within your Start menu is customizing how programs, folders, and files appear within the menu itself. If you go back to the Start10 options and select “configure,” you’ll find that there’s quite a lot more you can do still. 

You can select which shortcuts you want to show up within your Start menu, as well as the order in which they’re displayed. You can also customize how many large icons you want to leave room for, set it to open sub menus with a mouseover, and also determine what the power button to your PC does.

Now, all of this adjusts depending on which style of menu you’ve selected - everything I’m showing you is related to the Modern style, which is my personal preference. If you choose to utilize the Windows 10 style menu, some of these options won’t be available.

Start10 is a fantastic little tool. Regardless of what your preference is with the menu’s aesthetic, you can find plenty of other customizations within this software (which can show your Fences right in the Start menu if you use that program!) that make it worthwhile to use.

Which Start menu style do you prefer? Share with me!

on Mar 26, 2021

My suggestion is not uniquely Start10, but makes a lot of sense when applied with Start10.
Every piece of software I use has the menu at the top of the app window - Word, Excel, my browser, etc ...
Why not Windows itself?
Some time ago I decide to move my taskbar (and Start10) to the top edge of my screen. And that's where it has stayed ever since. It just seems so natural and consistent with all the other software.
Whenever I go back to another PC with the bottom taskbar and menu now, it catches me unawares and I have to concentrate that for everything else I go to the screen top, but for Windows I go to the screen bottom.
Start10 works really well in this scenario and is essential to me now. 

on Mar 27, 2021

Yo 'kenmuir'........Thanks for that......i'ts 6am.......i moved my taskbar to the top....& simply said wow, that makes so much sense.  I've used windows since DOS, and never ever moved the taskbar.  Fences is my absolute favorite, since whenever it was introduced.  



on Mar 27, 2021

Your post, linked in the latest Stardock email, led me to reload Start10 as I haven't used it in quite a while. You know what, it's really good! Much more professional looking and functional. I guess I just needed a reminder of how good it was and you provided it! 

Oh, and bless you for including product keys in 'my account' section of your web site. That should be--but isn't--standard practice. 

My best to @draginol    

on Mar 27, 2021

Never understood why, when Microsoft realized it had a gigantic flop on its hands with Windows 8, that they did not license Start8 from Stardock and integrate it into Windows 8 or 8.1. I started (pardon the pun) using Start8 within days (?hours--as soon as I found out about it) of getting Windows 8, and it brought back the Windows 7 "look and feel," with Windows 8 running "under the hood." And for $4.99! And if for some crazy reason I wanted to experience Windows 8, all I had to do was hit the Windows key on the lower left of my keyboard. And all I had to do to get back to the sanity of the Windows 7 look and feel was hit the Windows key again. Needless to say, I am a happy Start10 user on ALL of my computers (well, except for the Chromebook that I use for travelling--duh). Windows 10 running under the hood and the look and feel of Windows 7; who could ask for anything more? And if I want the Windows 10 look and experience, I just hit the Windows key....

on Mar 27, 2021


Never understood why, when Microsoft realized it had a gigantic flop on its hands with Windows 8, that they did not license Start8 from Stardock and integrate it into Windows 8 or 8.1.

Probably 2 reasons...

1.  They themselves didn't think of 8 as a flop. [bit myopic]

2.  Couldn't bear to concede that a third party Co and/or App could be better than anything they did.