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The Minimalist’s Start Menu

Article posted on 10/12/2023

The Windows Start menu has evolved considerably during the past couple of decades. What is typically considered the focal point of the operating system and the home to all of your apps, has gone from an app launcher to a productivity hub filled with apps, and documents, to a place that shows advertisements.

While Start11 makes it easy to remove unwanted content like advertisements, in my own use, I have gravitated to a minimalist model for my Start menu. Currently, I am running the Windows 10 style but with nearly everything removed.

Like many who are reading this post, the Start Menu has become less of a focus as I try to use keyboard shortcuts as much as humanly possible. This means that I hit the Windows key, type the app or setting that I need, and then use arrow keys to open what I need.

For those who like something that is centered on their taskbar, I have also been using the Windows 11 style but removed all apps and kept deep links to the drives on my PC and in the cloud. This makes it easy to navigate to my content stored locally or in the cloud without having to take my hand off my keyboard which means faster navigation and a better workflow.

The Start menu is a critical part of the Windows operating system and everyone has their own method for how they interact with the app hub. For some, it’s all about the customization and making it a truly unique experience. But for many others, it’s about keeping it simplified so that what is in the Start menu doesn’t get in the way of the work you are trying to get done.

Start11 is easily the most advanced and customizable Start menu replacement available today. If you haven’t experienced it yet, you can download a free trial here or if you are looking for the best value, Object Desktop has all of our popular apps included for one low price.