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For as long as we can remember, the iconic Windows Start menu button has always been located at the bottom-left corner of the desktop. From Windows 95 to Windows 10, this location has been predictable, and most users were accustomed to it as the standard way of navigating their apps. However, in Windows 11, Microsoft finally decided to do things a little differently and redesigned the taskbar – a move that remains wildly unpopular among avid Windows users.
If you’re one of those users who would have liked the Windows 11 Start Menu to be no different from its older counterparts, fear not. The latest Microsoft operating system is incredibly flexible in terms of customization.
Therefore, in this post, we’ll share how to put the Start Menu back where it belongs. So, let’s get right into it, starting with Microsoft’s explanation regarding the design change.
Microsoft Explains the New Windows 11 Start Menu and Taskbar Design
The latest Windows version from Microsoft came with a major overhaul of the user interface by removing the live tiles that were a key visual aspect of the Windows 8 and 10 operating systems. This redesign had been in the works for nearly half a decade as the company looked to optimize the Start Menu and taskbar in terms of aesthetics and functionality.
So, if you haven’t upgraded to Windows 11, you’ll find the taskbar icons centered by default. More importantly, the Start Menu, Action Center, Windows Search, and other flyouts all hover above the taskbar. While this redesigning looks stunning from a new user’s perspective, it takes away the sense of familiarity from avid Windows users. As a result, not everyone enjoys the new learning and adjustment curve.
Following the launch, Microsoft talked about the new design and how it came to be. The company claimed that it aimed to launch a design optimized for desktops, tablets, laptops, and large monitors. Thus, it centralized the Start and taskbar experience with the aid of 40 designers and years of research and testing.
The new Start Menu button has been designed to improve efficiency. It addresses an old design problem where users had to cover many “pixel miles” to click the button to access their apps when using full-fledged desktops and ultra-wide or large monitors.
However, because users have been accustomed to the traditional menu for over two decades, the company decided to put in a contingency that allows users to move the start button back to the lower-left corner.
Putting the Windows 11 Start Menu Where it Belongs After it Moves – The Bottom-Left Corner
If you’re unable to get used to the puritanical version of the Start Menu on the latest Window version, getting back to the more familiar, personal, and configurable version makes sense. The good news is that there’s no rocket science, coding, or software required for this purpose.
You simply need to get to the Settings app by either pressing the Windows Key + I or clicking the Settings gear icon in the pinned apps on the start menu. Of course, at this point, you’ve already seen most of the changes, such as the exclusion of the large square live tiles that used to pop up. Now, you get an A-Z listing of apps, simplifying things and making the UI more modest.
Below the app icons, you should see the “Recommended” section showing different apps Microsoft thinks you should try, such as Microsoft Teams. If you click on the “More” button or the search field, you will immediately access the settings, other apps, and the file explorer. Here’s where you can move the centered apps to the left of the taskbar:
▪ Access the “Taskbar Settings” by right-clicking on the taskbar.
▪ Look for “Taskbar behaviors” and click on it.
▪ You should come across “Taskbar alignment” and select “Left” instead of “Center.”
▪ Exit the Settings window, and you should see your app icons in the taskbar on the left with the Start Menu in the bottom-left corner.
So, if you prefer the traditional menu and taskbar experience, you can see it’s not too difficult to incorporate it into the Windows 11 OS. However, there is a limit to this solution, at least for now. While this method will put the Menu button and taskbar where they belong, it won’t be the same one you’re used to with the square tiles and other features.
For this method, you’ll need to install a third-party application, such as Stardock’s Start11 app, which allows Windows users to switch to a Windows 7 or 10 UI for a small price of $5.99 per install. Another app called StatAllBack lets users change some of the Windows 11 UI aspects, such as the taskbar and Start menu. You can even opt for a free 30-day trial period before buying a single-cost license for $4.99.
Or, you could wait for the next Windows update to introduce a new and improved solution to help users customize their system’s UI according to their requirements.
So, there you have it – how to put the Windows 11 Start Menu back where it belongs in the bottom-left corner. While there’s nothing wrong with the new UI, menu, and taskbar, most users have the old ways planted into their muscle memories.
Therefore, getting used to the new placement can take some time, which can be frustrating for avid users, especially those using different Windows OS on multiple devices. Thus, putting the button back to the bottom-left prevents discomfort and inefficiencies due to disruptions.
For more related Windows how-to’s and emerging software and technologies, we recommend visiting Percento Technologies.