A near-final build of Windows 11 leaked today, and that means it’s time to find all of the new features ahead of Microsoft’s June 24 announcement. One of them was spotted by Rafael Rivera, and as it turns out, there’s a way in Windows 11 to go back to the Windows 10 Start Menu if you want to.
It requires a Registry edit, and there doesn’t appear to be any simple way to do it through Settings.
Windows 11 tip: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Start_ShowClassicMode DWORD=0x1 to enable classic Start pic.twitter.com/xIfyCw68z9
— Rafael Rivera (@WithinRafael) June 15, 2021
There are a couple of things that are notable about this. One is that this might be useful for businesses, especially if Microsoft adds a toggle in Settings to allow this. One of the reasons that Windows 8 was such a terrible failure was because it was missing a key setting that almost every previous version had: a way to make it look like the last version. Windows 10 didn’t have that either, of course, but no one was exactly asking for it.
This could be Microsoft working on such a setting for businesses that don’t want to train employees with the new Windows 11 UX just yet. It could even be that the Redmond firm is laying the groundwork for adding that setting if there’s demand for it down the line.
The other thing that’s notable is that this is just more proof that Windows 11 is simply Windows 10 with a fresh coat of paint. If Microsoft wasn’t set to rebrand it, this would absolutely be Windows 10 version 21H2. It’s really no surprise that the old Start Menu is lying around and hidden on Windows 11.
There are a number of possibilities for why this could be there. But with Windows as a service and the way Microsoft delivers updates these days, the question remains of how the company is going to deal with business customers that don’t want a new UX.