Windows 10 Start Menu to be Redesigned

John Lister's picture

Microsoft is reportedly set to ditch "live tiles" from Windows 10. It's part of a planned revamp of the system's Start Menu.

Live tiles originally debuted in Windows Phone 7 and there's a strong argument it's a feature that should have been left to mobile devices. The tile is a square display that shows a specific piece of information such as current weather or a stock price, updated in real time rather than the user having to click on it.

Live Tiles Driven By Mobile

The feature debuted on the PC desktop with Windows 8, which was widely criticized for being designed more for touchscreen devices than the traditional mouse and keyboard setup.

In Windows 10 they appear by default in the Start menu, to the right of the more familiar list of options and links to programs. They contain information from Windows apps, the programs that install from the Microsoft store like mobile device apps, rather than the more traditional method of directly installing a program.

Since Microsoft has largely abandoned mobile devices, it's seemingly given up on live tiles and stopped updating the ones powered by its own apps. While tiles for third party apps still have updates, it's questionable how many people find their benefit outweighs the clutter and disruption that the tiles bring.

Start Menu To Get Revamp

Now inside sources report Microsoft will ditch the live tiles in an update later this year or in early 2021 and replace them with static icons. It's part of a revamp of the entire Windows 10 user interface which has already started with some users getting new versions of familiar icons. (Source:

In the long run the Start menu is likely to resemble that in Windows 10X, a version of Windows made specifically for foldable devices that can switch between a traditional laptop and a touchscreen tablet mode. However, the Windows 10 version will have some differences to reflect the particular needs of desktop users. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Do you actively use live tiles in Windows 10? Would you be happy to see them go? What else, if anything, would you change about the Windows 10 interface?

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Average: 5 (8 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

The first thing I do when I work on a client's machine is to install Classic Shell (now called Open Shell). The reasoning here is that the Windows 10 Start menu is broken out of the box - it's extremely slow to load and can't find anything on the machine when you do a search.

For example, when I search for a document, it tells me to search Bing. I'm pretty sure it's not going to be there.

Classic Shell on the other hand finds everything - very quickly - and it doesn't show those useless tiles that take extra processing power to make the Start menu look extra pretty.

I don't know what Microsoft was thinking when they decided that tiles in the Start menu were needed. Prior to that they tried to kill the Start menu in Windows 8 - what a debacle that was. If it isn't broke, don't fix it!

dbrumley3077's picture

I don't understand Microsoft's process for determining what the user wants. Perhaps they need to look a bit harder at that before making any major changes to program interfaces. They don't seem to have a clue since Windows 7 has come, and now gone. I, like you, use another shell program to avoid the mess that is the Windows 10 interface.

banjoman_15_10660's picture

I have always disliked the tiles idea. It stinks, and I always replace it on my new installs.
This is good news for old-schoolers like me.

randyh2's picture

Out of curiosity, I installed Open Shell to try it.
I tried all 3 versions, and I prefer the Windows 10 menu.
But the first thing I did was turn off all the live ones.
The one thing I don't like is the way they did the scroll bar.
And I don't like it in the Edge browser either.
But then again, I am/was probably the only person in
North America that liked Windows 8!

dan_2160's picture

I tried Open Shell in its earlier incarnations as Classic Shell, but kept coming back to Start8 -- and then Start10 -- from the good folks at Recognizing that the alternative to the Windows 10 start menu is a matter of personal preferences, I did find Start10 to be easier to configure and customize than Classic/Open Shell and, frankly, a whole lot better looking. They offer a 30-day free trial and I readily admit I popped for the $4.99 fee for a permanent license within a week. Again, it's all a matter of personal preference better two such fine alternatives to the Windows 10 Start menu, but it might be worthwhile to give Start10 a look (I have no financial interest in even though it's not free.

David's picture

After going through the setup process for a new Win10 box I set about removing those asinine tiles. Do I need weather continuously updated on a tile? No, there's an app for that. Email? There's an app. Etc. Etc. Etc. The apps I need are pinned to the taskbar, and the start menu is only for accessing the shutdown command. Why Micro$oft ever thought tiles were a good idea on anything but a phone is beyond me.

It seems that if they are not actively removing useful features they are working on adding useless ones.

Mcd73165's picture

I have always used Classic Shell to get the Windows 7 style start menu. I don't like or use the Live Tiles for the Start Menu.

djbaxter's picture

I disliked the Windows 10 start menu from the start.

Like dan_2160, I settled on Start10. Classic Shell would be a good second choice but I preferred the look and feel of Start10. One plus, if you ever need it, is that with a single mouse click you can toggle back and forth between Start10 and the Windows 10 menus. I've only used that so far when helping someone who uses the W10 menu.