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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:01 am 
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Every effort is made to make sure this comparison is accurate, relevant and up-to-date. If you feel it's incorrect, feel free to discuss what below. It may just be that you do not understand some feature.
Feature
Classic Shell’s Start Menu
Windows 7 Start Menu
Windows 8/8.1 Start Screen
StartIsBack/+/++
Stardock Start8/Start10
Windows 10 Start
Supported operating system
Windows 7/8/8.1/Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8/8.1
Windows 8+
Windows 8+
Windows 10
Cost
Free
Free (Integrated)
Free (Integrated)
$.2.99+ more for additional licenses
$.4.99+ more for additional licenses
Free (Integrated)
All Programs Style
Windows 9x/2000, XP style, Windows 7 style
Windows 7 style
Screen full of items with no hierarchy
Windows 7 style, XP style
Windows 7 style
Windows 7 style
Access folder contents with submenus
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
-
Number of items that can be shown without scrolling
Few in Windows 7 style, many in XP style multiple columns
Few
Fewer than XP multi columns, but more than Windows 7
Few in Windows 7 style, many in XP style multiple columns
Few
Few
A-Z list is free of clutter (Uninstall, ReadMe, Help etc)
Yes
Yes
No, All apps view is cluttered with hardly ever used shortcuts
Yes
Yes
Yes
Tweaks for All Programs list
Open automatically, Focus on All Programs automatically, Hide Metro apps, Show folders first, Jump to app by typing first letter
Jump to app by typing first letter
-
Show folders first, jump to app by typing first letter
Jump to app by typing first letter
Jump to app by clicking or tapping first letter
Yes
-
-
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Configure mouse clicks
Left click + modifier keys, right click, middle click, hover, additional hotkeys
-
-
Left click + modifier keys only
Left click + modifier keys only
-
Configure Windows key
Yes, Win key+modifier keys, act differently depending on Desktop or Metro
-
-
Yes, Win key+modifier keys, press and hold Win key
Yes, Win key+modifier keys, act differently depending on Desktop or Metro, press and hold Win key
-
Search Start menu's own settings
Yes
-
-
-
-
Yes
Start without background service
Yes
Yes (integrated into Explorer.exe)
Yes (integrated into Explorer.exe)
Yes
Yes but not by default
Yes (integrated into Explorer.exe)
Pin apps, websites, folders and drives
Per-user and for all users
Per-user only
Per-user only
Per-user only
Per-user only
Per-user
Items organized by
Folders, Custom items & submenus
Folders
Groups
Folders and Custom items
Folders and Custom items
Groups
Most used programs
Yes
Yes
Yes (Windows 8.1 only)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Recently used items
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Sort recent/frequent list by name or descending order
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Jumplists
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Adjust width and height
Yes
-
-
-
-
Yes
Customizable Shutdown menu
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Power actions accessible over Remote Desktop
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Rearrange items by drag and drop
Yes
Yes
Yes (but only in Tiles View, not in Apps View)
Yes
-
Main menu right area only
Drag items from outside to menu to pin, drag items out from the menu
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
-
Sort recent documents
Name, file extension or date
Name
-
Name
Name
-
Sort once
Yes
-
-
Yes
-
-
Keep always sorted
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Highlight new programs
Yes, customizable for how long
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Install Windows updates on shutdown
Yes
Yes
Install updates and restart
Yes
-
No control over updates
Set submenu delay
Yes
OS settings in Registry
-
OS settings in Registry
OS settings in Registry
-
Set tooltip delay
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Icons in the second column
Yes
-
-
Glyphs in StartIsBack++ only
-
Yes
Multiple columns for submenus
Yes
-
-
Yes
-
-
Column width of submenus
Dynamic so more columns fit
-
-
Width of all columns is equal
-
-
Customize user picture and its command
Yes
Picture only
Picture only
Picture only
Picture only
Picture only
Pin folders as expanding menu
Yes, both left and right columns
-
-
Right column only
Yes, both left and right columns
-
Show Libraries as a combined menu
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Show menu adjacent to vertical taskbar
Yes
-
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Fast & fluid experience due to icon caching
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
When using Win+W only
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Yes
Yes
When using Win+F only
Yes
Yes
After clicking “My Stuff”
Yes (if added to search index)
Yes
-
Yes
Yes (if added to search index)
-
Open folders from index using search
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Search network shares added to Libraries
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
-
-
Yes
-
Limited tile sizes, small size hides app name
-
All Programs view can show large icons in Start10
Limited tile sizes, small size hides app name
Customize animations
Yes
-
Yes
-
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Yes, background color, more customization via skins
-
Background color and textures
Background color, more customization via themes
Background color and textures, more customization via skins
Background color only
Skinnable
-
-
OS visual styles and WindowBlinds
Yes, and OS visual styles and WindowBlinds
-
Customize Start button tooltip
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Disable hot corners on Windows 8
Yes
N/A
Partial
Yes
Yes
N/A
Disable taskbar transparency
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
N/A
Customize menu item names
Yes
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Only before pinning
Yes
Yes
Only before pinning
Customize menu icon & tooltip
Yes
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Only before pinning
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Yes (only for file system shortcuts)
Only before pinning
Menu item positioning
Fully customizable
Limited
Limited
Limited
Limited
Limited
Custom DPI scaling
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Combine folders in one submenu
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Insert any command anywhere in the menu
Yes, both left and right columns
Only as pinned item in left column
Only as pinned item
Only as pinned item in left column
Only as pinned item in left column
-
Customizable menu sounds
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Yes
Yes
Limited
Yes
Yes
Limited
Start or exit the menu without Explorer restart
Yes
N/A as it is integrated
N/A as it is integrated
-
Yes
N/A as it is integrated
Separate Apps from Programs
Yes
N/A
Only in Apps View when it's sorted by Category
Yes
In Start10, not Start8
-
Multi-monitor support
Yes, menu can open on monitor with mouse pointer
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
-
Default number of skins / styles / themes
7 skins in Classic style, 5 in Windows 7 style
-
-
4 styles
3-4 themes
-
Open several apps by holding down Shift
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Yes
-
-
-
Yes
-
Hide programs from the Frequent list
Once or permanently
Once
-
Permanently
Once
Permanently
Yes
-
-
-
-
Yes
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Settings reset, backup and restore
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Insert submenu items as buttons
Yes
-
-
-
-
Has tiles which are similar
Split button items (command+submenu)
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Hide file extensions for submenus
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Extended keyboard shortcuts like Explorer
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Keyboard accelerators
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
-
View tooltips upon mouse hover
Yes
Yes
Partial
Yes
Yes
Yes
Open any command or even a file as administrator
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Create folders or shortcuts inside menu without using Explorer
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Scroll items with mouse wheel
Yes, scrolling menus and program tree
Programs-tree only
Yes
Programs-tree only
Programs-tree only
Programs-tree only
Unmatched customization and usability for mouse+keyboard
Yes
-
-
-
-
-
Full right click actions available
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
-
Links with submenus to system locations
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
-
Ease of closing it with mouse
Click anywhere outside or Start button
Click anywhere outside or Start button
Must click on ‘Desktop’ tile or Start button
Click anywhere outside or Start button
Click anywhere outside or Start button
Click anywhere outside or Start button
Compact yet fully functional menu
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
-
Scales well for large number of apps
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
-
-
Live Tiles
-
-
Yes
-
-
Yes
Optimized for touch screen
Yes
-
Yes
-
-
Yes
Glass support
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Start10
Yes
Match Start color with Taskbar
Yes
-
Yes
Yes
Yes
Uninstall Modern Apps
-
N/A
Yes
Yes
-
Yes
Move search box out of the way when touch keyboard is docked at the bottom
Yes
Touch keyboard can be docked at the top
Yes
-
-
Yes
Start menu and Taskbar translucency fine-grained adjustment
Yes
-
-
Yes
Yes
-

_________________
Compare Start Menus or read the Start Menu search box usage guide.

I am a Windows enthusiast and Classic Shell tester.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:17 am 
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Location: Oklahoma City OK USA
Good comparison info. I've tried them all and am convinced Classic Start Menu is way above the rest for my preferences. Thanks. Will contribute again soon.

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Windows 8.1 Pro X64
Windows Defender
EMET
MalwareBytes Pro
HitmanPro
WinPatrol Plus
Classic Shell
Rainmeter


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:15 pm 
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Good comparison info. I've tried them all and am convinced Classic Start Menu is way above the rest for my preferences. Thanks. Will contribute again soon.
Very very good ClassicShell


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:15 am 
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Posts: 15
Location: Monaco
I didn t even need to read that ! Just using it convinced it was the best !!! :)) :D

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Fabien
"Let's make things simple. Faisons les choses simplement. :)"


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 4:16 pm 
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Posts: 27
Nice comparison and Classic Shell excels. One thing I like with SiB is that it can keep only Apps on the Start Screen, removing all the clutter. Is that possible with CS?

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Windows 10 Pro x64


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 8:25 pm 
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MenuPeak wrote:
Nice comparison and Classic Shell excels. One thing I like with SiB is that it can keep only Apps on the Start Screen, removing all the clutter. Is that possible with CS?

No that is not possible for the Apps view with Classic Shell as of now. But on Windows 8.1, the automatic pinning of desktop shortcuts to the Start screen Tiles view is gone anyway so you can keep only Metro apps pinned there. Better still, use the Start Menu to launch Modern apps. :) You can add an "Apps" item to the right column in Windows 7 style also from the Customize Start Menu tab in Settings.

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Compare Start Menus or read the Start Menu search box usage guide.

I am a Windows enthusiast and Classic Shell tester.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 5:29 pm 
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Good news, thanks a lot GauravK. Didn't know this about 8.1.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:33 pm 
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Great comparison here. Tried them all but one thing that keeps me away from ClassicShell, such a small thing, but with the Windows 7 skin, the right panel with Control Panel etc doesn't look right, not enough width spacing compared to Windows 7 and SiB.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:56 pm 
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theoneofgod wrote:
Great comparison here. Tried them all but one thing that keeps me away from ClassicShell, such a small thing, but with the Windows 7 skin, the right panel with Control Panel etc doesn't look right, not enough width spacing compared to Windows 7 and SiB.


The spacing is less because it can support a far greater number of items (system folders and important locations) in the right column, much more than the Windows 7 menu ever did.


But you can adjust the spacing yourself by simply modifying the skin and re-saving it. The parameters you might need to modify are Main2_text_padding and Main2_padding. The 4 values of each parameters are the number of pixels added around the element from the left/top/right/bottom of the menu.

Copy the Windows Aero.skin7 file to the Desktop, open it in Resource Hacker. Change the 'top' or 'bottom' (2nd and 4th) values of the above parameters and save the changes. Rename the skin and copy it back to C:\Program Files\Classic Shell\Skins and then switch to the modded skin from the Skin tab in Start Menu settings.

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Compare Start Menus or read the Start Menu search box usage guide.

I am a Windows enthusiast and Classic Shell tester.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:17 am 
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Hi,


As GauravK said, it is very simple to do this modification with the Resource Hacker utility, and I encourage you to try it. :) However I have attached a ready-made skin that makes buttons bigger, more like Windows 7 if you like. Screenshot :


Not sure it is exactly the same size as on Windows 7 though, I don't have a mean of comparison here. Enjoy!


Attachments:
File comment: Skin that enlarges the buttons in the right column.
Windows 8 me.skin7 [162 KiB]
Downloaded 1700 times
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 Post subject: Likins
PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:27 am 
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I like Classic Shell's start menu


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:27 am 
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I do see some improvements in the Windows 10 Start "menu":

1. Live Tiles with push notifications (like the Windows 8 Start screen)

2. Overall, more space for pinning your items. (like the Windows 8 Start screen). It's not without tradeoffs though. The big compromise is all those super-important system folders with submenus have no place. The idea comes from mobile OSes like Android which tuck away all apps inside an App Drawer while you pin apps to the launcher's home screen which you use across multiple pages.


3. Pinned items can be organized into groups (like the Start screen). Again the compromise is that it took the place of important folders whose contents you needed to access easily and frequently.

4. In the All Programs list which is often long and requires you to vertically scroll, you now have the ability to jump to an app which is way up or down in the list without scrolling all the way. You can just click or tap on the A,B,C...Z letters. But then again if you had a physical keyboard, you could do that already. This feature comes straight from Windows Phone. You can do this with Classic Start Menu too if you tap the touch keyboard on the taskbar and tap a letter on it.

5. A handy "Recently installed" feature.

6. Apps can be uninstalled from the menu by right clicking. (The Windows 8 Start screen had this feature too). Most mobile app launchers also have it.

7. The Windows 10 menu can search EXE names of program shortcuts and do approximate string matching


Do you see anything else which is an improvement over the Classic Start menu? Discuss it here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4995

The Start screen also had some interesting unique features like sorting apps by date installed and direct switching between multiple user accounts bypassing the logon screen.

_________________
Compare Start Menus or read the Start Menu search box usage guide.

I am a Windows enthusiast and Classic Shell tester.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:58 am 
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In Windows 10, I do like the tiles appearing to the right of the Start Menu. I have tried Stardock10 and they offer three choices -- Windows 7, Windows 7 (with Windows 10 styling), and Windows 10 (with tiles).


I would like to have Windows 7 menus AND the Windows 10 tiles.

From the detailed comparison chart above, it appears that configuration is not available from anyone.....is that correct?


Last edited by mikemcking on Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:34 pm 
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It appears so, however it is possible that one of the above has updated since its been reviewed, or there is another product on the market. If you happen to find either to be the case, We would appreciate an update :P


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