Open Shell (formerly Classic Shell) is one of the best Start Menu replacements that you can get for free. Start Everywhere is a freeware alternative that offers multiple ways to access the Windows Start Menu.
The program is portable and is just 386KB in size. Technically, it’s not truly portable, since it creates a folder in the AppData directory to store its settings in a user.config file.
Run the executable and Start Everywhere will replaces the default Windows Start Menu. It doesn’t replace the Start button icon, so click on it and you’ll see the new menu.
The default menu has the following sub-menus: Programs, Desktop, MyDocuments, User Profile, Dropbox, Custom 1, Windows 10 Apps.
Programs contains all your Start Menu shortcuts. But it’s a bit odd. The “Folders” menu item has all Start Menu folders that were created by third-party programs installed on your computer (For e.g. Firefox, Sandboxie, QBitTorrent, Dropbox, etc). It’s sort of an all-in-one folder.
The Programs menu is divided into multiple sub-menus arranged in alphabetical order. Click on one of these and you’ll see all shortcuts that begins with the letter. (For e.g. C – Calculator, Command Prompt, Computer, etc). The number next to the letter indicated the number of shortcuts in that folder.
The Desktop menu lists all shortcuts and files placed on your desktop, similarly the MyDocuments, User Profile, and Dropbox menus display their relevant contents. Custom 1 is set to list the C: drive’s contents. View all available Microsoft apps under the Windows 10 menu.
There are four additional menus in Start Everywhere. Power Off++ contains options to Shut Down, Restart, Log Off, Sleep.
Clicking one of these options displays a confirmation prompt, asking if you want to execute it. Classic is the default Windows power menu.
System has various shortcuts for Windows components like This PC, Control Panel, Admin Tools, etc. The Most Used folder will consist of the shortcuts you access frequently. It has a clear option to delete its contents.
Let’s get back to the desktop. You’ll notice two new icons on the screen. One is placed on the system tray. Right-clicking the program’s tray icon does nothing, left-click to view the start menu. But the program’s name is Start Everywhere, the tray icon doesn’t make sense.
That’s what the second icon is for, Start Everywhere places a floating icon on the screen. It has four colored arrows in a white background. Drag the icon anywhere you want to place it on the screen. Click on it and you’ll see the Start Menu pop-up where the button is located. That’s why it has the name “Start Everywhere”. The dragging animation is a bit laggy, but otherwise it works fine.
The icon stays on top of other windows. Hit the button (or use the tray icon or start menu) and select “Others > Click Button”. This menu lets you change the size of the floating icon, or if you don’t like it, hide it completely.
The Others menu is used to manage Start Anywhere’s options. The program is highly customizable. The Size sub-menu modifies the size of the start menu’s text.
View the Settings page to set the maximum items per folder, file name length, toggle extensions, change the background color, font type and size.
Start Anywhere supports Active Corners, which brings up the start menu when you mouse over to one of the four corners of the screen.
It supports multiple monitors, and you can enable/disable any of the corners. By default, only the two bottom corners are enabled as “Active”.
You may choose the folders that will be displayed in the Start Menu, from the “Select Menu” page. Enable a hotkey to view the start menu, though this isn’t necessary, since hitting either of the Windows keys will bring it to view.
Start Everywhere is a nice alternative Start Menu, but it takes time getting used to the folder structure. I would’ve preferred icons instead of the colored boxes for the menu items.
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