How to switch back to the Classic Start Menu

One of the biggest changes in Windows Vista is the complete redesign of the Start Menu. While this change is a good thing for some people, others prefer to use the old style Start Menu. In this tutorial we will show you how to enable and configure the classic version of the Start Menu.

The procedure is very simple. Just follow these steps:

First, right click on the taskbar and select Properties.


The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window will open. Here, go to the Start Menu tab and check the Classic Start Menu option. If you want to customize the items that appear in the Start Menu, click the Customize… button. If you don’t want to customize anything, just press the OK button.

Taskbar Properties

In the Customize Classic Start Menu window you have lots of configuration options: you can add or remove start menu items, you can sort them or you can enable special shortcuts like the Run or Log Off buttons.

Customize Start Menu

Feel free to experiment with all the available options. When you have finished, press the OK button.

Classic Start Menu

Now the Windows Vista Start Menu will look just like on the older versions of Windows.

Related articles:
How to configure the Taskbar and the Start Menu
How to customize the Start Menu search box
Where is the Run button?
Are you lost in the new Control Panel? Switch to the old one!

10 thoughts on “How to switch back to the Classic Start Menu”

  1. Switch back to the Classic Start Menu
    thank you for the article on switching back to the Classic Start Menu !! Just might do it, but think I’ll keep the Vista version, to give it a chance. I just installed a Canon CanoScan, too puzzled to find just what programs of it actually installed. I know one did, it left a shortcut on my desktop, but what a strange search to find the other apps, but found the apps when I typed them in. In a hp PC, to successfully installed a Canon Scanner will be a necessity for me, as I sell on Ebay. As I said, so far there is an app and the vital app, the CanoScan, just haven’t got it to ‘pop up’ for use quite yet. To tell the truth, I’m a bit apprehensive to look quite yet. But, typing it in did show that it is installed !! Typing in a program seems to be a tetious step, when all I had to do on XP was scroll to it’s name and click, so perhaps I really Will follow these directions !!!

  2. Problem
    When I change my start menu to classic mode… it doesn´t stay as classic mode after I restart or shut down the computer..
    Also, I can´t unlock the task bar and I can´t create a new folder anywhere in my computer (when I right-click and go to the “New” it is empty!)

    What should it be?
    (I already tried to restore my computer to its original configuration and intalled vista again more than 3 times)

  3. help
    when i want to change the start menu back to the normal one, the option just isnt there anymore! maby my bro did something, i dont know, but the option is not there! please help

    I chaned the Vista start button to Classic view. When I try to change it back to Vista view through the start menu, it changes the menu back to Vista, but not the start button. Anyone know who to change it some other way?

  5. performance advantages

    are there any kind of performance figures showing if there is a benefit from using the windows classic theme over any other vista theme (not aero since that one is quite clear, but say, basic windows vista)?

    i think i can feel a performance improvement, but is there any documentation?


  6. Hi.. If your option doesn’t
    Hi.. If your option doesn’t pop up.. ( like I thought) go to setting on the older version of the start menu and chose taskbar and start menu. Go the the tab that says: start menu and chose start menu. That should get the start menu back to normal. It did for me anyway… lol! 😛

  7. Clearing the viewing history shortcuts in Windows 7
    How do you clear the website viewing history in Windows 7?, in Vista or earlier you would just click on the “Clear” button in the “Customize Classic Start Menu” to remove all links from the Windows Explorer/IE Explorer drop-down menu.

    Is there a similar function to clear the viewing history in Windows 7?

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