Like Windows 8, Windows 10 has been filled with Live Tiles since its launch in 2015. By default, dozens of tiles or squares in the Start Menu are updated with the latest information, news or weather.

Start Menu live tiles first appeared in the Windows Phone 7 OS and were designed for a mobile-first experience.

As we reported last year, the days of live tiles are numbered and Microsoft is no longer developing the feature internally. In fact, Windows 11’s default Start Menu design drops live tiles for icons and grid layout, similar to what we’ve on Windows 10X. At least that’s what a new leaked build tells us.

If you’ve seen the screenshots of the updated Start menu, you probably figured out already that the Windows 11 design borrows its Start Menu from Windows 10X, an operating system originally designed for dual-screen products.

But if you aren’t a fan of these changes, it looks like you can still switch it back to the classic design.

According to references spotted in the leaked preview of Windows 11, there’s a new feature called “Classic Start Menu”. If you enable this feature in Windows Settings or Registry, you can restore the live tiles and go back to the old Start.

Old Start Menu
Old Start Menu layout restored in Windows 11

In the leaked build, users can go back to the old Start Menu with live tiles by creating a new DWord value using Registry Editor:

  • Open Regedit (Registry Editor.
  • Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\
  • Open the Advanced folder.
  • Create a new DWord and name it “Start_ShowClassicMode”
  • Double-tap on the DWord entry and set its value to 1.
  • Restart Windows Explorer using Task Manager.

At the moment, the classic Start Menu requires a Registry change, and Microsoft hasn’t added the option in the Settings app of the leaked build. It’s likely that the final build of Windows 11 will include a switch between the old and new Start Menu, which might be useful for both consumers and businesses.

By default, the Start menu will be centered and it will feature a simplified look with icons in a grid layout. There’s a new area within the Start menu for recommended activities/files, such as your Microsoft Office files and apps.

New Start Menu

The all apps list has been moved to the top right corner, while the power options are moved to the right corner at the bottom of the screen.

About The Author

Mayank Parmar

Mayank Parmar is an entrepreneur who founded Windows Latest. He is the Editor-in-Chief and has written on various topics in his seven years of career, but he is mostly known for his well-researched work on Microsoft's Windows. His articles and research works have been referred to by CNN, Business Insiders, Forbes, Fortune, CBS Interactive, Microsoft and many others over the years.