Classic Shell

Classic Shell / Open Shell Start and Windows 11
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Author:  AC78 [ Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Classic Shell / Open Shell Start and Windows 11

So far. I have been using Classic start menu ever since windows 10 came out. I have had zero issues with it, even after major updates.
Windows 11 has been leaked for a while now, and I believe is available as a legit download preview as well now...Has anyone tried Classic Start with windows 11?
I hated the win 10 start menu, and am sure I will hate the windows 11 version.
I know there are other start menu replacements, but CSM IS the BEST! Even if it has ben many years since an official update.

Author:  Gaurav [ Thu Aug 05, 2021 8:38 am ]
Post subject:  Classic Shell / Open Shell Start and Windows 11

Yeah so for Windows 11, you need to know first that although its Taskbar and Start Menu suck completely, the classic Taskbar code is still intact and can be revived. And Start Menu replacements (Classic Shell/Open Shell, or StartIsBack/StartAllBack or Stardock's apps) continue to work. 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, probably the most important app for the Taskbar also works if this classic Taskbar is activated.

Open Shell/Classic Shell works with the new Taskbar as well as the classic taskbar. StartIsBack/StartAllBack works only with the classic one. Stardock's Start11 works only with the new Taskbar. Anyway, the more functional classic Taskbar is the one everyone wants - that is the far superior one. The new one is a total joke, I won't even bother to mention how messed up the new taskbar is. It is an insult to 25 years of Windows releases and drops features introduced by Windows 95, 98, 2000, Me, XP, Vista and 7. :evil:

Now, to bring back the classic Taskbar, there are currently two projects - one free, open source one called ExplorerPatcher and another very affordable, commercial, proprietary app called StartAllBack.

As for the choice of Start Menus, this is always your own decision but Classic Shell's menu is objectively superior to the Start menu in StartAllBack, or Stardock's and of course to the Windows 7 menu, Windows 10 menu, or Windows 11 Start. Also, Open Shell is definitely now better than Classic Shell for Windows 10 and Windows 11 because of the various fixes and enhancements it made after Classic Shell's last release in 2017.

As of the current first "RTM" release of Windows 11 and the latest dev channel build for the version scheduled for release next year, (
22471.1000), there are many ways to use Classic Shell/Open Shell:

1.⠀Use the ExplorerPatcher project to revert first to the Classic Taskbar without losing the rest of Windows 11 functionality
2.⠀Use StartAllBack to enable the Classic Taskbar and revert many bad changes in Windows 11 but keep using the Classic Shell/Open Shell menu.
3.⠀Use⠀Classic Shell/Open Shell just as is with the Modern Taskbar (but you will have to use a square button - more on that below, read on)
4.⠀Revert to the Classic Taskbar with a Registry key instead of the in-memory patch that ExplorerPatcher does but a ton of functionality breaks. So although this UndockingDisabled Registry tweak was popular earlier, it is not the optimum way to keep Windows 11 fully functional yet usable.

1.⠀If you use ExplorerPatcher, there are no compromises required
2.⠀StartAllBackis yet another excellent, easy to use option with an installer with no compromises required
3.⠀If you use Open Shell with the new Taskbar in Windows 11, you lose a huge amount of Classic Taskbar features which has better usability
4.⠀Below described is the Regedit value that revives the classic Taskbar but it breaks a lot of things. Therefore either using ExplorerPatcher orStartAllBackto revive the classic Taskbar is a better option.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Restart Explorer or log off and login again. In this old Taskbar, most things work as before, including Classic Shell/Open Shell and the precious gem of an app, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. Unlike Windows 11's new Taskbar, there are no Start button position, replacement and custom image issues with the classic Taskbar.

For the system tray icons, run the command:

Explorer shell:::{05d7b0f4-2121-4eff-bf6b-ed3f69b894d9}\SystemIcons

Use it to enable any icons you want - Volume, Date/Time/Clock, Action Center and other things like Language/Input indicator. Only the Power and Network icons on Classic Taskbar are useless or broken. Taskbar Toolbars (DeskBands) such as NetSpeedMonitor and Everything Toolbar also work. You can use Winaero Tweaker to enable classic Volume control with the Volume icon (and also fix a lot of broken Windows 11/10 stuff).

Since they split Quick actions from notifications in Windows 11, the cogwheel icon on the classic Taskbar (Win+A) opens the flyout from where you can access Wifi/Network, Volume and other things. Win+N shows calendar and notifications (but not calendar events/agenda).

If you still need direct icons for some broken/missing tray icon functionality, try these apps.

● For replacing/augmenting Network icon even though you can access Wifi from Win+A, use NetAnimate 1.8. Here's what NetAnimate is (it's an app that gives direct access to network adapters' status and properties and also has its own internet connectivity indicator per network interface - both Ethernet and Wi-Fi). Alternate download link if original website goes down:!AqQf4TJSwxe-ggHjTBgD3J36QoUO?e=5mCYWs.
● For Sound/Volume, use Winaero SimpleSndVol especially with the Jloud theme which shows the current volume level directly in the taskbar with a clear white icon + green bar:
● For Power icon, use Battery Mode app by Artem Tarasov: This is far superior to the Windows power icon
● To launch the Wi-Fi/Network pane, use this command from Run dialog: ms-availablenetworks: or create a AutoHotkey script to open it with for example Win+W for Wifi.

Turn off any extra Taskbar icons from Settings if you want (Task View button, Search icon etc).

Features that remain broken on the classic Taskbar as of the build mentioned above of Windows 11 if you use UndockingDisabled Registry value:

● The Windows 11 Start Menu obviously stops working as well as the new Windows cloud-powered search user interface (Win+S/Win+W). Workaround: Classic Shell's Start search still remains far superior to the Windows menu and to Win+S search.

● Touch keyboard with emoji (Workaround: Use an app like Telegram Desktop for entering emoji - it has search for emoji too)

● Win+X menu stops working (Workaround: You don't really need the Win+X menu when you have the full power of the Classic Shell/Open Shell Start Menu! You can just recreate the Win+X menu in Classic Shell's Start menu itself or link to Windows Administrative Tools in a subfolder/custom item and put Win+X menu shortcuts there)

● Widgets don't work. As a workaround, you can use the commercial app, True Launch Bar. It has various plugins including News, Weather and a lot more.

● Explorer search box is broken after "UndockingDisabled" as well. (Workaround: Use Everything Search and Windows Search integration of Classic Shell/Open Shell as an alternative.) In Everything Search, you can type: <searchquery> path:<folderpath> to search a specific folder

● Snap Previews on the Maximize button/the new snap layouts of Windows 11 are disabled with UndockingDisabled=1. Workaround: You can use the FancyZones Microsoft PowerToy.

● Win+H (Windows cloud-powered dictation) is disabled with UndockingDisabled=1. As a workaround, you can use Google Docs Voice Typing to dictate text.

● The Windows Startup sound is disabled with UndockingDisabled=1. Workaround: Just have a VBscript playing a sound at startup.

● Screen snip (Win+Shift+S) does not work. Use any of the dozens of third party screenshot taking tools.

● There is a considerable delay before Windows 11 logs on when this above Registry value is set to 1.

Because of so many things breaking when you use the Registry value, I strongly recommend ExplorerPatcher or StartAllBack only!

Regardless of some features lost from the new Taskbar such as fancy animations, the classic Taskbar has far more features and remains the more functional and easy-to-use one. The new one is dumbed down and custom Start button images of Classic Shell/Open Shell also won't work correctly with it.

Most importantly, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker works with the Classic Taskbar, all the older Registry values work, as does StartAllBack and Open Shell for changing the taskbar's appearance.
StartAllBacktaskbar msstyles/themes also work with it to restore the taskbar appearance like Windows Vista, 7 or 8.1.

See here if you need screenshots and step-by-step guidance:

As for the skin to use with the Classic Shell/Open Shell Start Menu, I recommend this one: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8557 Unlike the Windows XP skin which had only 3 colors (Blue, Olive Green and Silver), this one follows your Windows accent color while still maintaining the practical and beautiful XP layout.

Finally if you would like more people to know how to properly configure Classic Shell and Open Shell with Windows 11 and to make them aware that they still work with Windows 11 brilliantly, please share the link of this topic everywhere on the web as many people mistakenly seem to think it no longer works. They repeatedly keep asking in the Open Shell Github to update it for Windows 11 when actually it is not required if you fix the taskbar correctly first.

I have attached screenshots of Open Shell Start Menu with this skin in 7 style and XP style, and some examples of fixed Taskbar with a combination of Open Shell/Classic Shell andStartAllBackon Windows 11.

P.S. The taskbar is intentionally cluttered in the screenshots to demonstrate all the features that Windows 11's new taskbar removes (but the classic Taskbar has intact).

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Author:  Gaurav [ Wed Aug 18, 2021 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Classic Shell / Open Shell Start and Windows 11

If you wish to use Classic Shell / Open Shell with the new severely degraded "Modern" Windows 11 taskbar and the taskbar icons on the left (not centered), this particular button works well with it for now, completely overlaying the Windows 11 Start button. As it's a square button without any transparency.

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Author:  Gaurav [ Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Classic Shell / Open Shell Start and Windows 11

As mentioned above, there is a free open source in-memory patch available: by a talented developer, Valentin-Gabriel Radu to enable only the Classic Taskbar without enabling "UndockingDisabled" and prevent the side effects it comes with/the things it breaks. As Windows 11 is finalized, the developer aims to update it to work with newer builds/releases.

Update: As of now it's already compatible with the latest builds.

There is also StartAllBack, an outstanding commercial, proprietary app, priced very sensibly, from well-known developer, Tihiy who's enhancing and fixing Windows with his little projects since the Windows 9x days.

Of course, for now, both projects simply enable the old Taskbar code still left intact in the Windows 11 OS. If Microsoft decide to remove it, some developer will have to step up and develop a full taskbar alternative or reverse engineer the full classic Taskbar code to re-create it. However, currently there are no compromises with the approaches used by ExplorerPatcher or StartAllBack. All of the above features (broken from UndockingDisabled) work due to the in-memory nature of these apps. Both projects even let you disable the new dumbed down context menus. You don't have to use any of the above mentioned workarounds as new Windows 11 features still work.

ExplorerPatcher and StartAllBack bring back the full classic Taskbar while keeping full Windows 11 functionality and offer several of their own enhancements.

Finally, here's a special transparent Start button specifically for the use case where you want Open Shell/Classic Shell as the Start Menu but StartAllBack for its taskbar fixes. Put this in C:\Program Files\StartAllBack\Orbs and then from StartAllBack Settings, set this transparent Start button in StartAllBack settings: Taskbar. Then in Classic Shell/Open Shell, use whatever Start button you want to use and set left click and Win key to open Classic/Open Shell Menu.

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Author:  balmforthk [ Mon Oct 04, 2021 5:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Classic Shell Start and Windows 11

I have installed Classic Shell 4.3.1 on a Windows 11 system, build 22000.194 and so far I have had no problems with it.

Author:  Puffnstuff [ Tue Oct 05, 2021 3:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Classic Shell Start and Windows 11

I've installed CS 4.3.1 and it behaves like OS for me with no access to the menu or settings.

Author:  balmforthk [ Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Classic Shell Start and Windows 11

This is my Windows 11 desktop with Classic Shell 4.3.1 :-)

Desktop2 by Kevin Balmforth, on Flickr

Author:  balmforthk [ Wed Oct 06, 2021 9:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Classic Shell Start and Windows 11

Windows 11 desktop - 2nd photo/

Any comments?

Desktop1 by Kevin Balmforth, on Flickr

Author:  Anixx [ Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Classic Shell / Open Shell Start and Windows 11

7+ Taskbar Tweaker does not work for me in Windows 11.

Author:  Anixx [ Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Classic Shell / Open Shell Start and Windows 11

The Wi-Fi list in tray stopped working for me after some time after installing Explorer Patcher (the window appears but empty).

StartAllBack disactivates all tray icons, even volume control.

Author:  banditek [ Mon Oct 18, 2021 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Classic Shell / Open Shell Start and Windows 11

hi, nothing is happed after taskkill /f /im explorer.exe, exp is closed but no restarts. when i run it by myself i see no changes.

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