Windows 11 Start Menu revamp

Earlier today, preview builds of Windows 11 leaked online and we’re now taking a closer look at the new Start Menu found in the leaked update. This is a “near-final” version of the Start Menu, so it’s likely that the next generation of Windows will have a slightly improved interface by the time it launches in the production channel.

Way back in February 2020, we reported that Windows 10 will be getting a redesigned Start menu and Microsoft will be killing off live tiles for good. According to sources familiar with the development, live tiles usage has always been low, especially on desktops, and most users don’t customize their tiles on the Start menu.

Live Tiles made their way to Microsoft’s desktop operating systems with Windows 8 upgrade as the company wanted to optimize their desktop operating system for both PCs and touch-screen devices.

Windows 10 debuted in 2015 without Windows 8’s Metro interface, but Live Tiles managed to stick around on the desktop. According to the leaked preview build, Microsoft is now giving up on touch-friendly tiles with Windows 11 update, the company’s successor to Windows 10.

A closer look at the new Start Menu on Windows 11

Microsoft is replacing Live Tiles with static icons (grid layout) on Windows 11, which is due to land in the second half of this year for consumers. This means we could see the end of Live Tiles in a few months.

Start Menu experience on Windows 11 has been completely redesigned with a focus on your apps and productivity.

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Windows 11 Start Menu dark mode

Windows 11 Start Menu light mode

Start menu all apps

As you can see in the above screenshot, the default layout of the Start menu features app icons. Likewise, Microsoft has updated all app icons with colourful icons and it matches the look and feel of Windows 11.

Start Menu comes with two sections: pinned and recommended activities (Windows Timeline replacement). The pinned section includes your favourites or most-used apps and recommended section lets you access the recently viewed or edited documents/files.

By default, Start Menu will no longer be available with a button placed in the bottom left corner. However, you can open Windows Settings > Taskbar and go back to the left bottom alignment.

Start Menu power options

The power options have been moved to the lower right corner and they include the general options, such as shutdown, restart, or update and restart/shutdown.

Start Menu dark mode

In dark mode, Start Menu also appears to be using a new gradient colour, which is based on the classic blue colour.