Windows 7 Classic Start Menu

reghakr

Essential Member
Hello and welcome to the forums.

Just a couple notes.....

Windows 2000 is still supported as I have just downloaded an update for it.

The Classic menu was an option in Windows Vista as well.

You can download Microsoft's Virtual PC and XP Mode and run a virtual version of XP Professional in Windows 7. Updates and patches are still available for this as well. This is for older program capatability.
 


For example, for several years now I have been accustomed to (as a keyboard kinda guy who hates the mouse) using a Ctrl+Esc+<key> combination to initiate programs (Ctrl+Esc+1 for Visual Studio) and shutdown (Ctrl+Esc+U). Or there was this option: Ctrl+Esc (Start Menu) then P (Programs) then O (Office) and the W (Word). Well Ctrl+Esc still activates the Start Menu (thank-you), but I can't actually activate anything with the single <key>...instead I get a list of things I *may* want to activate...none of which are shutdown.
You are taking the words out of my mouth! This is exactly the way I use the classic start menu. All Programs are grouped into categories (Graphic, Sound, Tools, Office, ...) and I make sure each category (=folder) starts with a unique letter. This way I don't need to take my hands off of the keyboard and can simply start e.g. Irfanview by just typing CTRL+ESC P G I
Usually, starting a program this way takes me less than a second! When I try this with Win7 everything I type after CTRL-ESC is typed into the search-box - a feature needed only for people who don't know where to find what they are looking for.

I don't necessarily need back the classic start menu, but MS, please give me back the ability to navigate through the start menu with the keyboard as fast as I used to!

Cheers,
Alex
 


Dropping the classic Start menu was the right thing to do and in the end people will be thanking MSFT for doing it - for forcing them to try it. Kind-of like how people will be thanking Blizzard for dropping LAN support from Starcraft 2 - battle.net will make for a better overall experience and in the end, people will be glad that Blizzard forced them out of their caves.

Now if only they would drop the command line! Navigating through a few menus is far superior than typing in some totally esoteric command that no one's ever heard of. If you want to run esoteric commands, install Linux.
 


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Dropping the classic Start menu was the right thing to do and in the end people will be thanking MSFT for doing it
Please tell me how I can start any program in my start menu within about 1s or less using only the keyboard as I can do it now with the classic start menu. You can't? So could you please refrase why I should thank Microsoft?
 


Please tell me how I can start any program in my start menu within about 1s or less using only the keyboard as I can do it now with the classic start menu. You can't? So could you please refrase why I should thank Microsoft?
Please tell me how you can be such a luddite. What's next? Are you going to complain that wired keyboards and mice are superior to wireless ones because they don't require batteries? Wired ones should be discontinued, alleged advantages aside, and so, too, should the classic Start menu.
 


reghakr

Essential Member
Anyway, aside from the god-awful Classic Start Menue vs the better present Start Menue
I try to stay away from these Classic Start menu issues, but this hit a nerve.

Could you please explain and give examples as to why the Classic Start Menu was so God-awful and give me an explanation and examples why the new Start menu is so far superior.
 


No one is suggesting staying stuck in the past ...except Republicans ;-)

It's the loss (or apparent different functionality from your post) of keyboard behavior...which you have to admit is a much quicker way of launching a program than having to move your hand to the mouse and click on menu items.
 


<font face="Georgia">Ppl can stay w/ whatever they want, of course.
Like Windows XP. Of course, in a few years from now, it might be impossible to find a new computer with Windows XP let alone drivers for Windows XP, but that's what you get for not embracing change. Personally, I'm really surprised that MSFT was gutsy enough to do this. Most companies pander to luddites but not MSFT, as late. First, ribbon, and now this. I really applaud them for their efforts.
 


I hate the Vista Style Menu. How do I switch to the Classic Style? It was easy in Vista to do, but I am unable to locate that option in Windows 7
Hi,

you may use shareware -
Classic Start Menu in Windows 7

or freeware program -
Vista Start Menu

both will help you to enjoy with better start menu alternative
 


stueycaster

Millennium Celebration Award Winner
Premium Supporter
"Vista Start Menu" works in W7?
 


Think about it

I have just spent a good amount of time reading this thread and had to make a comment, even though most will not care of my humble opinion. I used to work in the industry as an OEM hardware and software developer and spent lots of time at Redmond trying to convince them of other common sense issues with no success. They don't listen or care mostly. They don't have to, in all honesty. Until they must care, this is the way they do business. Don't get me wrong, we need Microsoft as they supply the OS most people use and most of us don't have the money or resources to do this task.

Classic was very good but not perfect. Neither is the qwerty keyboard, but most everyone uses it. While we're at it, why don't auto manufactures put the brake pedal where the horn is, our hands move more quickly than our legs, right? There is a reason that some user interfaces last and despite their short comings, remain what is accepted as the norm.

Now this doesn't mean that power brakes or auto transmissions should have never been created and implemented. They are clearly superior. It's just very costly and time consuming to change for personal or businesses for non-safety or non-priority issues.

Most people don't care to spend the time to learn new things and get frustrated when their underwear is now in the t-shirt drawer. My wife still does this to me after 15yrs of marriage and it drives me crazy! I like improvements, don't get me wrong, but gradual changes with options that make sense, are best.

The option to have a classic interface should be available. In fact they should have worked on cleaning and improving it instead of changing it for looks or to compete with Apple or Linux starting with XP. Windows 2000 had probably the best start menu out of the box. I still remember the private MS Win2k launch party in San Fran when Carlos Santana played privately for OEM guests such as myself. So, I guess he should of been playing a 13 string electric guitar with built in piano keyboard because its new and looks better. "But, these go to eleven!" - Spinal Tap

While we are at it, the quick launch bar has been pinned to death. I have turned it back on, but had to Google how to do it. I guess we should all take our computers with us so we can Google how to drive, walk, talk, etc. Change for change is not good. Change can be good, but MS can't tell the difference most of the time. Remember too, that MS is not just one person, but a collective of persons. Too bad they lack common sense when it comes to usability and seem to hire people of like thinking. Apple and Linux are just as bad, IMO.

And one last thing. For those who say, "you should just stick to using Win95 or 2000", I would. But they are not supported properly and lack the modern features necessary for an OS to be usable in today's environment and hardware. Just as classic cars are not as safe or efficient as today's modern cars. At least the steering wheel and pedals are in the same place though. Think about it.
 


I have just spent a good amount of time reading this thread and had to make a comment, even though most will not care of my humble opinion. I used to work in the industry as an OEM hardware and software developer and spent lots of time at Redmond...
I agree with you, if I decided to use Windows 7 at home, it would mean switching between classic and the new start menu, which I wouldn't like. I wouldn't like it if the brake and accelerator pedals were changed either!

Now this doesn't mean that power brakes or auto transmissions should have never been created and implemented. They are clearly superior.
I disagree there :D Automatics are for old people! I'd guess 95% of cars here are manual, so 5% of road users are probably old and nervous about driving. Power brakes are a good thing though!
 


If it ain't broken...

Some folk thrive on new formats.. some prefer the well known trail.
For me.. classic is great..
As predicted, there is a 3rd party solution.
The key to good commenting is not to get too subjective.. state your views but respect those of others..
After all, W7 has lots of great NEW features that are unique..
Why argue? just enjoy.. ;)
 


Right, be a good boy and do everything exactly the way Microsoft wants you to!!

Most likely because it was old and poorly written.
How strange, that's exactly how I've felt about the new Start Menu since it showed up in Vista and, just so know where I'm coming from, I also put the Aero Interface and '2009' ribbon interface in the same category. It's called style over substance. However, I will admit that the newer version of the search function is noticeably more functional, so Microsoft at least got that right.

My main gripe is that it doesn't allow me to arrange my Start Menu folders in the order and location that _I want_. It also doesn't allow me to arrange the shortcuts in the alphabetized order that I want, namely all folders at the top and all file/folder names ordered alphabetically by length, a system you might want to look at as it noticeably improves the readability of file name lists, especially in a large file list. Along with that, it now takes me more mouse clicks to get to the Start Menu folders that I use the most. Most of the Start Menu functions that most of you seem to like I actually don't use from the Start Menu, instead I have icons on the desktop with the functions set up in a right click menu. I create the right click menus in the registry, specifically in the Hkey_Classes_Root section. It's a whole lot more convenient than going to the Start Menu to use them.

Other than that, I'm not particularly interested in pretty graphics, I'm more interested in utility and speed, something that has gotten progressively worse with each new iteration of the Start Menu from XP onwards. I've been sitting here playing around with this new version of the Start Menu, and it didn't take long to notice that the operation of Drag&Drop with it has taken a definite step backwards, not working even as well as it did in Vista. In a nutshell, I prefer function over form, and the new Start Menu is definitely a lot more form than function.

Even more irritating is Microsoft removing options that allow me to use the OS the way _I_ choose to use it.
 


iroken22

Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
Wow i cant believe this thread is still getting posted on! I mean i think i stated it clear an simple in the second post that microsoft was not coming back with it. I even provide a couple of classic menu emulators to help. Glad to see it has grown though!!!
 


iroken22

Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
Believe me i got my share of haters back in the day. DAMN OLD PEOPLE......just kidding but yea haha i think we need to let go of XP now and embraced our destiny of Windows 7!!!
 


'Coasty',

Put Quick Launch in & maybe you'll be, @ least, a little happier. http://windows7forums.com/blogs/drew/11-quick-launch-win7.html

Forgive me if I happen to really be impressed w/ 7 and quite enjoy using it. But, I'm in the IT field , maybe that's why.

Drew
I'll take a look at it, thanks for the URL.

I tried the CSMenu program that quite a few folks have mentioned and, while it works, it is definitely in the early rough development stage. I can't really complain since it's free, but if you make any additions to the Start Menu files/folders, something I do on a frequent basis, then you're either back to using the original Start Menu to get things where you want them to show up in CSMenu, or you have to edit the utilities text files, which is a pain and pretty much defeats the purpose behind using the utility. The author needs to figure out a better method of keeping the utilities files/folders lists up-to-date.

Overall, I'm actually quite happy with Win7, with the Start Menu being my only nose-out-of-joint gripe about this latest Microsoft OS. Since they left things in place to revert back to the classic desktop I really don't understand why they removed the option to revert back to the classic start menu.

My only other problems, so far, are busted programs, as my two favorite utilities went down in flames, TuneUp Utilities and The Ultimate Troubleshooter (v4.90 Win7 versionof TuT doesn't seem to like my system and won't load). Oh, yeah, almost forgot, Norton 360 v3 wouldn't install either (it's Sync Framework files crash and burn), I had to resurrect my ZoneAlarm IS Suite 2009 to get my AntiVirus screen back up. Just once I'd like to upgrade to a new OS and not have any broken programs afterwards. :p Not gonna happen, but it'd be a nice surprise if it did!

Heh... In my case I mostly do graphics work these days, lots and lots of photo retouching.

Given my druthers I guess I'd actually prefer to go back Win XP, but with it's Security Updates on the verge of disappearing that would be rather pointless, not to mention the PITA of finding drivers as XP is missing several for my current system.
 


Coasty if you use the search feature everything is accessible much faster for example, notepad used to be Start>All Programs>Accessories>Notepad.

Now with windows 7 you can just do Start>Type Note or Notepad>Enter and there you go its open. Works with any program too.
 


The new start menu (which isn't new by the way, it's exactly the same worthless new menu thing as in XP or Vista) is seriously crippled when compared to the classic start menu. The classic start menu is fully configurable and it utilizes the whole screen if necessary. In the new thing everything is confined with a lot of space wasted on the right side for just a few items and the rest stuffed into a tiny matchbox forcing the user to click all over the place in that tiny space where the clicking isn't necessary in the classic menu. So tell me, what's so superior to the old new menu kiddo ???
There is a VERY good (M$) reason for this lock-down: M$, excuse me, the ultimately arrogant Bill Gates, may he & Steve Ballmer get squashed by some very large and heavy object, or executed during or after the next American revolution after the destruction of the middle class have ALWAYS as a corporate policy and an all-pervasive employee attitude, at every turn made EVERY effort to stop users from installing or using ANY non-MS product. This start menu is the clearest example.

HOWEVER, there is a way around this. You CAN add the Quick Launch toolbar (Add the Quick Launch Bar to the Taskbar in Windows 7 :: the How-To Geek). To move these toolbars, the trick is to drag fast and slam past or bump into where ever you want to go. I think that's what this fellow means by tricky.

Anyway, M$ will NEVER bring back a truly customizable start menu. M$ can be depended on to make things as difficult as possible to customize windows. This reduces tech support costs for M$ and anyone else.

Anyone who likes this can be considered either a village idiot, tea party wingnut, religious nut or a Republican like John McCain who would block the FCC from maintaining net neutrality because, BY THE WORDS OUT OF HIS OWN MOUTH, he doesn't even know how to turn a computer on. Yes, I've seen the video. I don't think he even knows he was being recorded. I don't think he really believes it's possible ! :) But $100,000 from the Telecom industry felt good sliding into his bank accounts.

And, no the win VM XP is not as good as booting into XP. So I'm going to set up XP64pro on the same drive. And of course, turn off ALL updates. After all Vista SP1 stole faxing from home premium users!

Bottom Line: keep looking for start menu replacements, there's gonna be lots. Like Stardock (Objectdock may still be free).
I've tried CSmenu. Sucks, not customizable and based on that failure, I'm not gonna pay for their Aero version. Objectdock (and Stardock) have been around longer but as a FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE MAC style dockbar.

IMHO, sooner or later someone will produce a classic menu as good as the one in XP. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

And don't forget the "control panel" horizontal sorting ? gimee a break ! That's just pure nastiness on the part of M$.
But unfortunately, typical. To bad that Judge Carter-Kotelly (?) is so spineless or completely inattentive in her oversight of the court's monopoly settlement.

Her's is just another head that will roll free when the revolution comes. Don't think it's gonna?
The signs are there, it's something every week. 2 weeks ago: from 2001 to 2007, child abuse deaths up 35%. Last week: Airline seats sold: down 19% from a year ago. The 1929 depression: stock market down 20%. The depression we are still in: stock market lost 50% ! O'Bama and his 3 [economic, wall street] stooges want to boost the economy by making loans/grants to small businesses to promote hiring. Yeah, right. If you have no [middle class] customers why would you borrow money to hire more employees ? Duh ! As usual, they are all putting the cart before the horse. They're to stupid to understand basic economics: trickle up is the ONLY way to create jobs. We've had 30+ years of "tax the middle class and give it all to the rich" and so here we are on the brink of the destruction of the middle class. Sorta like France, around say 1980 ? Got your 5 year supply of vacuum sealed, freeze dried food stashed away somewhere ? And maybe plenty of ammo and/or a full quiver or 3 ? :D:D:D
---
Larry.C
NYC 10/2009
 


Coasty if you use the search feature everything is accessible much faster for example, notepad used to be Start>All Programs>Accessories>Notepad.

Now with windows 7 you can just do Start>Type Note or Notepad>Enter and there you go its open. Works with any program too.
The run command always did. But that defeats the point and click purpose of a GUI ! AND you have to take your hand off the mouse and start typing.

The whole point to a GUI is that NO application should be more than 2 clicks away. Like linux or win98, win98se, winME, winXP and even the warmed over, reboot every 30 minutes winVISTA!
 


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