Best free app for hacking Windows 10's Start menu -- and giving one to Windows 8

classic shell
Credit: Classic Shell

Don't like the way Windows 10's Start menu looks and works? I've got help -- a great free app that lets you change it, and does more as well, including giving one to Windows 8.

The app is called Classic Shell and it doesn't just work on Windows 10 --- it'll let you customize Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 as well as Windows 10.

Windows 10 users who prefer old-style Start menus will be especially happy with it. You can choose from a variety of styles, including the old classic Start menu, the classic Start menu with two columns, and a Windows 7-style one as well.

That's just the beginning of what it can do. You can also skin the Start menu, make it transparent, show recently used documents, and customize exactly which apps and applications appear on it. It also supports jump lists. The Windows 7 style menu converts the "All Programs" button into a cascading menu. And there's a lot more as well.

It doesn't stop there. You can also customize the taskbar by making it opaque, transparent, or have a "glass" look. It lets you tell the Start menu to always highlight newly installed apps. You can customize the search box, the right-click menu in File Explorer, and that's just a start.

And if you're a Windows 8 user, the big news is that it actually gives you a Start menu, which is a tremendous productivity-booster.

Given that it's free, there's no reason not to give it a spin.

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