Stardock Releases Start11

Posted on November 3, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 25 Comments

Stardock has announced the release of Start11, its Start menu replacement for Windows 11 and Windows 10. The official release follows several beta and release candidate builds.

“Since Microsoft first announced Windows 11, we have been working to optimize Start11 for the new operating system,” Stardock CEO Brad Wardell says. “We make it easy for users to customize nearly every detail of their PC experience, including being able to choose from several new Start menu layouts and repositioning the taskbar, among many other things.”

As you may know, Start11 allows Windows users to fully customize the Start menu and, if desired, make it look and work like the Start menus from previous Windows versions. Some notable changes since the last release candidate include:

Center the start menu on Windows 10. You can now use a Windows 11-style Start menu in Windows 10, including the ability to center it on the taskbar.

Improved pinning. You can now pin files, folders, and drives directly to the Start menu for quick access.

Hide search. You can now hide the search bar in the Windows 11-style menu.

Full-screen mode. You can now enable a full-screen Start menu using the Windows 10 and 11 menu styles.

Tile improvements. You can now change the color of individual tiles in the Windows 10-style menu.

And more is coming soon: Stardock says that it is working to enable new taskbar items in a future release.

Start11 costs just $5.99. You can learn more about Start11 from the Stardock website or via this video overview.

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Comments (25)

25 responses to “Stardock Releases Start11”

  1. Jeremy Turnley

    I actually bought this and am pretty happy with it. MS really went all in with the WTF on the start menu this time - it's the first time that I actually feel like Apple has the lead in productivity UI after 30 years, not because they came up with something better, but because MS finally made it harder to find what you are wanting than them.


    Stardock seems to have actually looked at what people were complaining about and lets you choose what layout works best for you, and most importantly for me, brought back the task manager shortcut on the taskbar's r-click menu.

  2. brettscoast

    I paid for and installed this app on my windows 11 laptop this morning and can report happily it works extremely well, I will test this on windows 10 systems also also but it gives power users\enthusiasts the ability to have all the stuff working that Microsoft for some unknown reason took away when they released Windows 11. Kudos to Brad and all the team at stardock for a job well done.

    • Brad Sams

      Thank you! I think you will love it on Windows 10 as well, it was a ton of work to get this out the door.

  3. brettscoast

    Excellent highly recommended.

  4. fiddle

    A word of warning - Start11 doesn't open up smoothly on high refresh rate monitors. I have a 100hz monitor and it is *noticeably* less smooth when I open it up. Unfortunately, that's a dealbreaker for me, but I can still use it for centering taskbar items so there's that at least.

    • wspaw

      That sucks. On my 120hz display it seems a bit smoother than my 60hz display.


      Also, as stated you can, "You can now pin files, folders, and drives directly to the Start menu for quick access." What I can't seem to do, unfortunately, is pin them to Sart11.

      • Brad Sams

        It should look just as smooth on those higher rate monitors, we added support for 240hz but wondering if it doesnt scale down as we would expect - filed this as an internal bug.

        • Piereligio

          I've to confirm that bug, in my case on a 165Hz monitor. Looks like it goes 60hz or something similar

      • fiddle

        To be clear, I was comparing Start11 vs native Start at 100 Hz. Huge difference. At 60 Hz they looked roughly the same.

      • wspaw

        Actually, pinning files and folders is done from Start11 - it just not on the context menu.


  5. blue77star

    Why would anyone want to make Windows 10 look like garbage called Windows 11 as Windows 10 does not look terrible alone.

    • simont

      Start 11 gives Windows 11 the Windows 10 Start menu so I am not quite sure what you are saying here.

    • aretzios

      Actually, I use the Win7 Start Menu. But one can choose the Win10 start menu, if one wants.

    • hrlngrv

      Who eats pizzas with pineapple, spam and jalapenos? (Yes, a real thing.)


      In any collection of humans, there's always some real oddballs. You should be used to this truth by now.

  6. simont

    Interesting, I just looked a buying it and Stardock lists the price at $5.99 on their website. Yes, I know it is only $1 difference

    • Aaron44126

      I bought two licenses for $4.99 each a bit over a month ago. I think that they just raised the price today at final release.

    • SvenJ

      Most not qualify for the Brad and Paul discount.

  7. sadsteve

    When I switch to Windows 11 (4 years from now), Open Shell will come with me!


  8. ronh

    Is there any performance difference?


    I assume there would not be any.

    • Brad Sams

      It should be about the same, if not the same - but there are quite a few variables that can impact performance.

    • jgraebner

      I've noticed that the Start menu is a tad slower opening with Start11 than it is with stock, but the delay is small and the features easily make up for it.

  9. ringofvoid

    I'm staying on Windows 10 for now but Start 11 is awesome. I love having the wealth of settings for both the Start Menu & the Taskbar.