Classic Shell 4.3.0

4.8 out of 5 stars 4.8 (92 votes)


Windows 7/8/10/Server 2008/Server 2012 / Open Source / 33,607 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, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10; Toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer; and Caption and status bar for Internet Explorer.

  • Homepage

    Classic Shell

  • Uninstaller


  • Latest Changes

    - Official support for the Anniversary Update version of Windows 10

    - Fixes for issues found during the 4.2.7 beta

Reviews of Classic Shell

  1. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.7 Beta (May 24, 2016)

    ClassicShell is a great add-on for the (very lame) Win10 *cough* 'StartMenu'

    It's far more usable.

    Also, not to start a flame war, but ClassicShell is superior to StartIsBack. I've used both.

  2. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.7 Beta (May 24, 2016)

    An excellent FREEWARE alternative. Works better than expected. haven't had a single problem with it.

    Rather than simply being a shill for "StartIsBack" you provide some reasons WHY it is better?

    You do realize that this is more than just a start menu, right? And that you don't have to pay anything for it? Why downrate it simply because you prefer to pay for some other utility

  3. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.5 (Dec 2, 2015)

    Works great on my (forced-accidental clean install version of win 10 on my sorely missed win 7) pc.

  4. 3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.5 (Nov 23, 2015)

    StartIsBack is better

  5. 4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.4 (Oct 13, 2015)

    I noticed some bad reviews with earlier beta and rc versions of 4.2.4. So wasn't sure what to expect. I installed this newer version on a friends laptop with win 10 and spent a day with it. No problems were found on my end. Even restarted windows a couple times just to make sure of any bugs. Its good. The win 10 start menu isn't much better than the win 8/8.1 version. Why doesn't ms just include something like classic shell and give u the option of a win xp or win 7 or win 10 version of the start menu. And like allot of users, the metro interface just doesn't work for a pc. Even in this smaller version you find on windows 10.

  6. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.4 (Aug 10, 2015)

    Simply very good. Using Win 10.

  7. 2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.3 RC (Aug 4, 2015)

    very buggy on windows 10 ... Lots of explorer crashes
    I switched to "Start is Back" and all is well now
    I love Classic Shell but I hate explorer crashes and shell crashes

    Slug_Coordinator is right for windows 10

  8. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.3 Beta (Jul 28, 2015)

    For me using Windows 8 without Classic Shell is impossible. Classic Shell is absolutely best utility of its class.

  9. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.3 Beta (Jul 28, 2015)

    StartIsBack++ is good but this is better

  10. 3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.3 Beta (Jul 27, 2015)

    StartIsBack++ RC blows Classic Shell out of the water. Its more true Classic and works flawless with Windows 10 RTM as well as 8. and 8.1

    You actually get the true style Task Bar and Start Button, the Menu is back and you can still run updates without it breaking... Classic Shell could use some lessons from the StartIsBack++ RC developers....

  11. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.1 (Apr 20, 2015)

    Judging this from a Win 8.1 perspective. Works great. I like the win 7 option. This will probably be the reason I do the upgrade to win 10 if the start menu in win 10 turns out to be a problem. Hard to tell from pics of pre win 10 if its a true start menu or not. Either way, this is worth a shot if you hate your current start set up look.

  12. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.1 (Apr 19, 2015)

    10 Stars really. How is it that this software can effortlessly achieve outstanding usability - something that a multibillion dollar corporation like Micros*** can't?

  13. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.1 (Apr 16, 2015)

    10 stars
    Aegis69 is a troll

  14. 2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.2.1 (Apr 13, 2015)

    Why would anyone bother with Windows 8 or Windows in general for that matter? I guess I just dont understand dumb people.

  15. 5 out of 5 stars
    some guy

    Reviewing 4.2.1 (Apr 13, 2015)

    Best thing about windows 8 is classic shell ! thank you for fixing Microsoft's wannabe a tablet OS !

  16. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.1.0 (Sep 24, 2014)

    great stuff

  17. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.1.0 (Sep 19, 2014)

    Finally, something that makes Windows 8 usable. Great stuff

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.0.4 (Mar 11, 2014)


  22. 3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 4.0.4 (Feb 17, 2014)


  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 5 out of 5 stars
    some guy

    Reviewing 4.0.4 (Jan 20, 2014)

    turn that windows 8 bow into wow !

  26. 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..

  27. 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

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 3.9.0 Beta (Jul 23, 2013)

    Super great and free!

  33. 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.

  34. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 3.5.0 (May 28, 2013)

    This is a great program....

  35. 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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