Start11 Continues to Improve the Windows 11 Taskbar

Posted on March 16, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 18 Comments

I think it’s safe to say that the Windows 11 taskbar ranks among this platform’s worst new features. But Start11 continues to improve it.

“Start11 v1.2 beta focuses specifically on enhancing the Windows 11 experience by re-building the taskbar from the ground up to add new functionality,” Stardock’s announcement post explains. “With this release, users will be able to ungroup items on their taskbar with their windows centered or left-aligned.”

Start11 v1.2 will also better support multi-display setups by letting users define how window grouping works across displays. And you can also resize the taskbar, another previous Windows feature that Windows 11 ignores.

Start11 costs just $5.99 and it neatly answers many of the top complaints that Windows 11 upgraders have. I highly recommend it. You can learn more here.

Tagged with ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (18)

18 responses to “Start11 Continues to Improve the Windows 11 Taskbar”

  1. martinusv2

    Go Brad Go!

  2. brettscoast

    Agreed this is highly recommended, especially for suffering Windows 11 users

  3. ruivo

    Start11 is nearly perfect, and 1.2 (that confusingly shows up as 1.16) adds the "drag to icon to restore window" feature. Nice!

    I only wish they fix the small size taskbar on this release, that makes the clock and tray icons go all wonky.

    • NazmusLabs

      I have been using StartAllBack. It supports small taskbar, and all of the legacy Win10 taskbar features. It also upgrades classic Win32 UI, including control panel and system dialogs to support Dark Mode and your chosen accent color.

      Give it a try: open CMD and type WinGet Install StartAllBack. (Make sure to uninstall Start11 temporarily while you try Start11–only one of these can run at a time.) At the end, you can decide which one works better for you, and uninstall the other.

  4. Oo

    Do people actually use the start menu? I would like to think most power users (same folks this kind of thing would be targeted to) would be in the habit of just hitting the windows key and typing what they want and hitting enter.

    Also, this whole post screams paid advertisement.

  5. blue77star

    Windows 10 really works for me well, no major updates on it, just security updates and fixes. Going to keep Windows 10 as my main OS for years to come, next 3-4 for sure.

  6. CasualAdventurer

    I understand that when something is simplified some will be upset, especially if they used the removed features regularly. But simplification doesn't make something "worse" or "terrible", it makes it different. There may be a valid argument for this simplicity -- especially if the functionality was only moved and not completely removed. So can we stop with all the hyper criticism of Windows 11, please?

    • ruivo

      @CasualAdventurer, a key word you are missing on your argument is "necessarily". "Simplified" doesn't necessarily mean "worse", but in this case, it does. And the most infuriating thing is that they "simplified" things that were working fine, for no apparent reason.

  7. helix2301

    waiting to see something that says by Brad Sams vi Pages on Mac jk I really like stardock I pay for it

  8. fishnet37222

    Windows 10 and 11 are unusable to me without Start11. In my opinion, the best version of the Start Menu was the one in Windows 7.

    • ruivo

      I loved the version in Windows 10, but I knew its days were counted. I just didn't expected the replacement would look and feel like Program Manager from Windows 3.1!

  9. hrlngrv

    I followed the Stardock link. Their site doesn't state whether Start11 provides taskbar toolbars. Does it? If not, hard pass for me because that's the key feature I want restored.

    • NazmusLabs

      Open CMD, type: WinGet Install StartAllBack. And see miracle happen in a matter of seconds!

      I recommend “StartAllBack”. It brings back ALL, and I mean every single legacy functionality of the taskbar to Win11 while also keeping the Win11 features and aesthetic intact. You can add toolbars, move taskbar, small taskbar icons, resize taskbar, position start button and app icons at center or left, and have full system tray customization return. StartAllBack even enhances Win11 UI by Upgrading legacy Win32 UI so they support dark mode and your chosen accent color beautifully!

      The app is free to try for 30 days and install in literally seconds.

  10. Nacimota

    Even though the Windows UI has always had its quirks and irritations, it's never bothered me enough to completely replace major parts of the shell with third party software. Windows 11 may be the first major version to change my position on that.

    I was so utterly disappointed by the new start menu when 11 first came out. And look, I understand that tiles were not everyone's cup of tea, but the fact is they offered a fair bit of customization and organization that seems completely absent in Windows 11. Even ignoring live tiles (which never really caught on), you still got resizable tiles that you could manually position, group, and put into folders.

    Windows 11's start menu (last I looked) simply offers a block of Android-like icons and a huge recommendations section that doesn't go away even if you dismiss all of the recommendations. It's just so cut down and uninspired.

    I was similarly disappointed with changes to many other parts of the shell, which I won't cover in detail in this comment, but the point is to say that it utterly killed any enthusiasm I had for moving to Windows 11.

    I'm sure I will have to upgrade eventually, as Windows 10 reaches the sunset. When that time comes, unless Microsoft has made some serious and drastic improvements to Start, I will definitely be using software like Start11 for the first time.

    • ruivo

      You know all those crazy ideas that you, as an employee, successfully convinces management to let go in the name of decency and sanity? Those near misses that become cautionary tales for the new hires? Well, Windows 11 isn't one of them.

      I bet that there are entire teams that are not deriving any pleasure from a good "TOLD YOU SO!" for the simple reason that they are now tasked with fixing the mess they tried to avoid.

  11. LT1 Z51

    I wish they would fix the issue on Windows 10 about the taskbar not centering icons even though you've told it to.

    I use Windows 11 on every personal Windows machine (mine, my parents) but work is on Windows 10 (for the foreseeable future). So I want my Start Menu in the same place, not because one it better than the other, but because I want them all the same. After using the center mounted version on Windows 11 (especially on large screens) I found it was nicer and I just want this on Windows 10.

    Maybe it will eventually get fixed.

  12. spacein_vader

    Start 10/11 and paradox software in general are great products, but I do feel there should be some kind of notice on posts like these making clear that a major contributor to the site works for them.

    I don't think Paul would ever do anything underhand, but that would remove any doubts or accusations before they start.

    • miamimauler


      Agreed. I'm surprised there isn't a disclaimer. Even Neowin have one in their Start11 article. I also agree though that there is no deliberate intent to hide the connection though rather it just being an oversight.