Classic Shell: History


Version 4.2.0 beta (Dec, 2014):

  • Improved support for Windows 10
  • New ability to apply settings from XML files from command line:
      use "ClassicStartMenu.exe -xml <settings file>"
  • New setting to override the system DPI resolution only for the start menu
  • New setting to change the user picture
  • Improved support for touch and high resolution displays
  • Multiple minor improvements and bugfixes

Version 4.1.0 general release (Apr, 2014):

  • Improved support for Windows 8.1 Spring Update
  • Improved checks for new versions
  • Minor stability fixes

Version 4.0.6 general release (Apr, 2014):

  • Quick fix for a crash in Explorer introduced in version 4.0.5

Version 4.0.5 general release (Mar, 2014):

  • Improved support for high resolution displays
  • Improved support for touch displays
  • New button for the Explorer toolbar to toggle the navigation pane
  • Added support for animated start buttons
  • Multiple minor improvements and bugfixes

Version 4.0.4 general release (Jan, 2014):

  • New ADMX files to allow controlling all settings through group policy
  • Secure download of language files and new versions
  • Multiple minor improvements and bugfixes

Version 4.0.2 general release (Oct, 2013):

  • Quick fix for the taskbar showing up on top of fullscreen programs under some conditions

Version 4.0.1 general release (Oct, 2013):

  • New setting to hide Metro apps from the Programs folder
  • Improved compatibility with the final build of Windows 8.1
  • Minor bugfixes

Version 4.0.0 general release (Oct, 2013):

  • The first official release of Classic Shell 4.0
  • Improved support for downloading and installing language files
  • Improved compatibility with Windows 8.1

Version 3.9.5 release candidate (Sep, 2013):

  • Windows 8.1 RTM is officially supported
  • Added animated menu transitions for the Windows 7 style
  • Added status bar for Explorer in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to show the total size of the selected files and the free disk space
  • Improved hovering functionality for the start button
  • New feature allows administrators to modify the default settings without locking them
  • Fixed many bugs reported during the beta

Version 3.9.3 beta (Aug, 2013):

  • New setting to override the glass color used by the menu
  • Support for Nvidia surround and AMD eyefinity
  • Many fixes, including a crash that happens on some versions of Windows 8.1

Version 3.9.1 beta (Aug, 2013):

  • The All Programs tree can be rearranged with drag and drop
  • The start button settings are applied immediately and you can see a preview of the button image in the settings dialog
  • The start menu can use the native Windows 8.1 start button
  • The Windows 8.1 setting to skip the Metro screen can be accessed through the Classic Shell settings
  • New item in the main menu to open the start screen (Windows 8 and 8.1)
  • New setting for the Windows 7 style to control the height of the main menu
  • The installer uses better compression that reduces the download size by half
  • Many bugfixes reported for the previous beta version

Version 3.9.0 beta (Jul, 2013):

This is the first public beta of the new Classic Shell 4. It has a long list of new features:
  • New "Windows 7" menu style that replicates the look and feel of the Windows 7 start menu
    • the programs show in a tree inside the main menu
    • search results and jump lists show inside the main menu
    • dedicated shutdown button
    • the unparalleled customizability you've come to expect from Classic Shell

  • You can search for files as well as programs, using the Windows indexing service
  • The menu can show the most frequently used programs
  • Programs can be pinned directly from Explorer
  • New programs are automatically highlighted in the menu
  • The list of Classic Shell settings can be searched to easily find the setting you need
  • New more reliable way to start on Windows 8, that doesn't use a service
  • Improved compatibility with Windows 8.1 Preview
  • Many improvements to performance and responsiveness
Note: Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 are no longer supported.


Version 3.6.8 general release (Jun, 2013):

  • Added support for Windows 8.1 Preview
  • Modified the Classic Shell logo and removed the Metro button by request from Microsoft
  • Fixed some bugs found in the previous version

Version 3.6.7 general release (Apr, 2013):

  • Fixed incompatibility with the taskbar of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

Version 3.6.6 general release (Apr, 2013):

  • New setting to disable the taskbar transparency
  • Improved compatibility with future versions of Windows
  • Fixed some bugs found in the previous version

Version 3.6.5 general release (Dec, 2012):

  • Fixed a crash bug in the start menu for some 64-bit systems

Version 3.6.4 general release (Dec, 2012):

  • Fixed a freezing problem for some users when right-clicking on the Start button in Windows 7

Version 3.6.3 general release (Dec, 2012):

  • Improved performance of the start menu
  • Added new Metro-style start button image
  • Added support for multiple taskbars in Windows 8
  • Fixed some bugs found in the previous version

Version 3.6.2 general release (Oct, 2012):

  • Added support for jump lists in the main menu
  • Added support for displaying and launching Windows Store apps in Windows 8
  • Faster skipping of the Metro screen in Windows 8
  • Fixed some bugs found in the previous version

Version 3.6.1 general release (Aug, 2012):

  • Fixes a critical bug found in the previous version (the "new version" notification pops up too often)

Version 3.6.0 general release (Aug, 2012):

  • Windows 8 is now officially supported
  • Added more customization settings for the start button
  • Added a setting to disable all Metro hot corners
  • Improved the initial setup of the start menu
  • Added support for split menu buttons
  • Improved the usage of the Aero colorization in skins
  • Fixed some bugs found in the previous version

Version 3.5.1 general release (Jun, 2012):

  • Enabled the custom start button for Windows 7 and added more settings
  • Added a setting to skip the Metro screen on startup
  • Improved compatibility with the IE10's Enhanced Protected Mode
  • Fixed some bugs found in the previous version

Version 3.5.0 general release (Mar, 2012):

  • Added support for Windows 8 Consumer Preview:
    • Added customizable start button
    • Added a Metro skin for the start menu
    • Updated all settings for Windows 8
    • Fixed the missing caption in IE10
  • Added a setting to control the menu shadows
  • Added toolbar commands to map and disconnect network drives
  • Improved the responsiveness of the check for a new version
  • The check for new version is a separate component that can be skipped during install

Version 3.4.1 general release (Jan, 2012):

  • Fixed a small problem in the automatic check for a new version

Version 3.4.0 general release (Jan, 2012):

  • Fixed some minor problems found in the previous release. Most notably the corrupted text in the toolbar buttons
  • Added a check if a new version is available
  • Ctrl+Click in the navigation pane opens the folder in a new window
  • Alt+Enter in the search box of the start menu shows properties of the selected item
  • The recent documents list can be sorted by name or extension

Version 3.3.0 general release (Jan, 2012):

  • Fixed some minor problems found in the previous release
  • Improved compatibility with Windows 8 and removed the features that are no longer necessary or possible
  • Added customizable "Windows Explorer" item to the start button context menu
  • Added a new "paste shortcuts" command to Explorer
  • Added an option to hide the user picture from the Windows start menu
  • Ctrl+Shift+Enter can launch commands and documents as administrator from the start menu
  • Added a customizable hotkey for the Up button

Version 3.2.0 general release (Aug, 2011):

  • Fixed some minor problems found in the previous release
  • Added new setting to show the title in IE9 with no icon
  • Added a new "sortby" command to Explorer to sort the folder by given property
  • Added support for F2, Del and Alt+Enter keys in the start menu

Version 3.1.0 general release (Apr, 2011):

  • Added a new component called Classic IE9. It lets you customize the title bar and the status bar of Internet Explorer 9
  • Added ability to use external search programs from the search box of the start menu
  • Added support for the Lock command in the start menu

Version 3.0.0 general release (Mar, 2011):

  • Fixed some minor problems found in the previous version
  • Added the contents of the GodMode folder to the search in the start menu

Version 2.9.3 release candidate (Feb, 2011):

  • Added a search box to the start menu
  • Improved the responsiveness of the start menu by showing the menu first and loading the icons later
  • Added a command in the start menu to create a new shortcut
  • Added a way to include a row of icon buttons in the start menu
  • Added an option to hide extensions in the start menu
  • Added an option to hide the scroll tip in Explorer
  • Improved support for icons larger than 32x32
  • Added support for the "don't show common start menu items" group policy
  • Improved the option to always navigate to the selected folder

Version 2.9.2 release candidate (Dec, 2010):

  • Added a toolbar command for creating a new folder
  • Added a way for the custom toolbar commands to receive all selected files
  • Added a white list and a black list to limit which processes can load Classic Explorer
  • Fixed the Z-order problems when the start menu is activated by hovering
  • Fixed the spontaneous expanding of the All Programs menu
  • Small improvements to the settings UI

Version 2.9.0 beta (Oct, 2010):

  • Replaced the ini files with a graphical interface for editing all settings
  • Added a setting to force sorting headers in Windows 7 (based on the Explorer7Fixes tool by Ian Prest)
  • Added more settings
  • Added special handling for specific folders in the start menu - Computer, Recycle Bin, Network, etc

Version 2.8.3 beta (Jul, 2010):

  • Added a way to put shell folders as buttons in the toolbar
  • Fixed a crash when browsing the assembly cache in the start menu
  • Fixed a problem that may corrupt the registry during uninstall
  • Added more troubleshooting capabilities

Version 2.8.2 beta (Jul, 2010):

  • Added toolbar commands for different Explorer views (Details, List, etc)
  • Fixed a freezing bug in the start menu
  • Fixed few cosmetic bugs in the skins

Version 2.8.1 beta (Jul, 2010):

  • Added an option for cascading All Programs in the Windows start menu
  • Added an option to open the start menu when hovering over the start button
  • Added a possibility for the skins to include the user name in the start menu
  • Added support for dropdown menus and chevrons in the Explorer toolbar
  • Added an option to automatically open progress dialogs to show more details
  • Converted the help to CHM file format
  • A much better installer using WiX
  • The settings no longer have semicolon in front of them. Just enter the new value. Leave the value blank to use the default
  • Changes to StartMenu.ini no longer require the start menu to be restarted

Version 2.0.0 general release (Jul, 2010):

  • Fixed a bug in the "EnableContextMenu" setting
  • Fixed a compatibility bug with Restorator

Version 1.9.8 release candidate (Jun, 2010):

  • Fixed a compatibility bug with older applications (you see the message "The ordinal 345 could not be located in the dynamic link library COMCTL32.dll")
  • Fixed a problem with the backing up of the ini files during uninstall

Version 1.9.7 release candidate (Jun, 2010):

  • Ctrl+Shift+Click in the start menu runs the program as administrator
  • The uninstaller offers to back up the ini files
  • Some improvements to the settings
  • Fixed a bug that was blocking the toolbar on Windows Vista
  • Fixed an incompatibility problem with QTTabBar
  • Fixed a start menu bug that was causing a flicker when Windows was running too long
  • Fixed a hovering bug in the start menu

Version 1.9.6 release candidate (May, 2010):

  • Added a setting to track and display the recently used programs
  • The middle mouse button can be used to open the start menu
  • Fixed an incompatibility with X-Mouse and other mouse bugs
  • Fixed some problems with separators

Version 1.9.2 release candidate (Apr, 2010):

  • This build contains mostly minor bugfixes found in the previous version

Version 1.9.1 release candidate (Apr, 2010):

  • Some skins can support two-column main menu similar to Windows XP
  • Some skins can support showing the user picture in the main menu
  • Fixed a bug showing an extra "Empty" item in the start menu
  • Fixed a bug that broke most foreign translations
  • Fixed a bug with the share overlay in the Recycle Bin items
  • Added a new Luna skin that is similar to the Windows XP start menu

Version 1.9.0 beta (Mar, 2010) - new skin engine:

  • The sub-menus can be skinned like the main menu
  • Full glass support, even behind the menu items
  • More skinnable elements - the sub-menu arrows, the scroll buttons, the vertical separator
  • Skins can provide customization options (small or large icons, add/remove caption, and many more)
  • The start menu plays the system sounds for opening a menu or selecting a command

Version 1.0.3 general release (Mar, 2010):

  • Added an overlay icon for shared folders
  • Added a setting for sound alerts when overwriting system or read-only files
  • The status bar shows the details of the currently selected file
  • The drop down of the address bar is replaced with a list of parent folders  like in Windows XP
  • Added translations for Traditional Chinese (Taiwan)

Version 1.0.2 general release (Mar, 2010):

  • Added a setting to disable the breadcrumbs
  • Added a setting to show the path and icon in the Explorer title bar
  • Fixed a bug with the resizing of the Search box in Explorer

Version 1.0.1 general release (Feb, 2010):

  • This is a bugfix-only release. Fixes a few rare crashes in the start menu

Version 1.0.0 general release (Feb, 2010):

  • Added Up button to the Explorer title bar
  • More options for the start menu and for the Explorer toolbar
  • The installer supports command line options for logging or unattended install
  • Fix for the scroll problems in the Explorer navigation pane (Windows 7 only)

Version 0.9.10 release candidate (Jan, 2010) - make your own toolbar:

  • The Explorer toolbar can be customized with new icons and additional buttons
  • Fixed a crash bug when Windows is restarting
  • Fixed a crash bug when Explorer is restarting
  • Fixed a bug that was failing to replace the copy dialog for French, Hebrew, Croatian and Slovenian languages
  • Added more options for the navigation pane in Explorer
  • Active Accessibility support is enabled by default

Version 0.9.9 release candidate (Jan, 2010) - make your own start menu:

  • The start menu can be customized with new icons and additional menu items
  • The skins in the start menu can have variations
  • Added ini files that contain even more customization options for the Explorer toolbar and the start menu than are available from the Settings dialog box
  • Added "New Folder" and "Auto Arrange" commands to the start menu
  • The selected menu item fades out like in a real menu
  • Added "Email" button to Explorer
  • First try to support Active Accessibility (disabled by default for now)

Version 0.9.8 beta (Jan, 2010) - skins for the start menu:

  • Added support for skins in the classic start menu
  • Fixed compatibility problems with Unicode-unaware shell extensions (Microangelo On Display, I'm looking at you)
  • The start menu supports auto-hide taskbar and (on Vista only) a taskbar that is not "always on top"
  • Replaced the folder conflict dialog box with a simpler version (similar to the file conflict dialog box)
  • Fixed a crash when right-clicking on the caption area of the start menu
  • The start menu remembers the scroll position of scrollable menus
  • Added "-open" and "-toggle" command line parameters to ClassicStartMenu.exe to programmatically open the start menu

Version 0.9.7 beta (Dec, 2009):

  • Added free disk space and file size to the status bar in Windows 7 Explorer
  • Added dragging with the right mouse button for the start menu
  • Fixed a few UAC bugs
  • Fixed a few drag and drop bugs

Version 0.9.6 beta (Dec, 2009):

  • Added Properties button to the toolbar
  • Added settings for the look of the folder tree in Explorer - XP Classic, XP simple, don't fade buttons
  • Added option to expand links to folders in the start menu
  • Added option to show a confirmation dialog during Log Off from the start menu
  • Added option for a hotkey to replace the Win key for the start menu
  • The start menu hides the commands to search for printers or computers if Active Directory is not available
  • The start menu accepts click in all of the start button area even if it is not exactly on the orb
  • The start menu doesn't close if you hold down Shift while launching a program. Allows the user to start multiple programs more easily
  • Added support for the start menu group policies like "Hide Run", "Hide Help", "Always show Log Off", etc.
  • Fixed a bug with sorting Favorites and other top-level folders

Version 0.9.5 beta (Dec, 2009):

  • Added option to remove the Documents menu and option to use an alternative search application
  • Added more buttons to the toolbar - Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete
  • Added option for "big buttons" in the toolbar
  • The selected menu item is drawn using the current theme
  • Fixed a crash in the start menu
  • Fixed a problem when dropping items in an empty sub-menu

Version 0.9 beta (Nov, 2009) - first public version:

  • Classic start menu
  • Replacement for the Copy UI in Vista
  • Fix for Alt+Enter in Explorer
  • Toolbar for Explorer with Up button


Classic Shell © 2010-2014, Ivo Beltchev.
All right reserved.