Classic Shell 4.2.0 Beta

4.8 out of 5 stars 4.8 (54 votes)


Windows 7/8/10/Server 2008/Server 2012 / Open Source / 31,182 downloads

Classic Shell is free software that improves your productivity, enhances the usability of Windows and empowers you to use the computer the way you like it. The main features are: Highly customizable start menu with multiple styles and skins; Quick access to recent, frequently-used, or pinned programs; Find programs, settings, files and documents; Start button for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1; Toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer; and Caption and status bar for Internet Explorer.

  • Homepage

    Classic Shell

  • Uninstaller


  • Latest Changes

    - 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 bug fixes

Reviews of Classic Shell

  1. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.1.0 (Sep 24, 2014)

    great stuff

  2. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.1.0 (Sep 19, 2014)

    Finally, something that makes Windows 8 usable. Great stuff

  3. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.1.0 (Jun 17, 2014)

    Outstanding app. This software does what Microsoft has failed to do for its power users after XP.

  4. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.1.0 (May 27, 2014)

    Great software. Brings back the old start button and menu. Either XP or 7 feel.

  5. 5 out of 5 stars
    extremely well

    Reviewing 4.0.6 (Apr 7, 2014)

    My fav tweaks:
    Start Button | check: Replace Start button Button look | Custom button | WindowsStartButtonSmall.png from
    Controls | Right-click opens Win+X menu
    Main Menu | Shutdown command: Sleep Shutdown menu items: restart, hibernate, shutdown
    Search box | uncheck: Search the internet
    Skin | check: Reduce glass color, Disable glass transparency
    Customize Start Menu | Move "This PC" to be second item, right under User files. Label: Drive Letters Display as link: Videos, Downloads Don't display this item: Games, Help

  6. 4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.0.4 (Mar 11, 2014)


  7. 3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.0.4 (Feb 17, 2014)


  8. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.0.4 (Jan 29, 2014)

    classic shell rocks. if you want more control and power this is the way to go.

  9. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.0.4 (Jan 21, 2014)

    A godsend.


    I keep telling you kids that "newer doesn't automatically equal better". It only does when it provides a benefit and on the desktop Metro DOESN'T. Metro is like a very half-baked Gnome3 / Unity combo and it's laughable how much MS plagiarized. Classic Shell is the Cinnamon for Windows: a breath of fresh air. It should also be noted that MS is backpedalling after 8.1 and giving users the ability to go back to what works.

    What works on a phone and tablet isn't necessarily suitable for the desktop.

    FIVE stars.

  10. 5 out of 5 stars
    some guy

    Reviewing 4.0.4 (Jan 20, 2014)

    turn that windows 8 bow into wow !

  11. 4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.0.2 (Dec 27, 2013)

    Very good program and useful. It has one problem which is coupled with "actual Multiple Monitors" . If you are running AMM, and install CS, you will get a second start icon in the upper left side of your screen. The cause(so reported) is that AMM had no way to communicate properly with CS. Apparently this is being worked on by AMM and CS. I have tried outher start menu programs which do not seem to have this problem. I have switched to another shell menu program until this glitch is fixed and when fixed, I will return to Classic Shell which I prefer over all i have seen so far. I deducted 1 point for the menu icon issue..

  12. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.0.2 (Oct 22, 2013)

    Software for real people with a real brain who enjoy getting things done fast!

    rafaelluik is a troll

  13. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.0.0 (Oct 9, 2013)

    Software for headstrong people with weird old habits, a blast to the past.

  14. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 3.9.3 Beta (Aug 27, 2013)

    If you are unfortunate enough to be forced into using Windows 8.x, this is the only way 6to fly.

    FIVE stars for turning a sow's ear into a silk purse.

  15. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 3.9.3 Beta (Aug 27, 2013)

    Just the best out there for replacing or adding windows start menu/shell. Kudos to author.

  16. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 3.9.1 Beta (Aug 22, 2013)

    3.9.1 supports Windows 8.1 and using its Start button to invoke the menu.

  17. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 3.9.0 Beta (Jul 23, 2013)

    Super great and free!

  18. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 3.5.0 (May 29, 2013)

    Classic Shell is the most powerful and longest around Start Menu replacement that just works and is constantly improved.

  19. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 3.5.0 (May 28, 2013)

    This is a great program....

  20. 4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 3.5.0 (May 28, 2013)

    And why did this pop up in the RSS feed now? The version referenced here (3.5.0) is completely outdated! Otherwise it's great software, of course.

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