DATA DOCTORS

How to make Windows 11 look more like Windows 10

Dec 16, 2023, 5:45 AM

The upgrade to Windows 11 can feel disorienting, so how can users make it feel more like Windows 10? (Microsoft photo)

(Microsoft photo)

Q: My computer seems to have upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11 and I’m confused by the different look and feel. Is there any way to make it look more like Windows 10?

A: When it comes to our computers and smartphones, even minor changes can be somewhat disorienting, especially if the icons we use to launch our favorite apps get moved around.

As Microsoft moves to retire Windows 10 – End of Support is scheduled for October 14, 2025 – it’s doing more to nudge users to upgrade to Windows 11.

Although Microsoft doesn’t automatically upgrade users to Windows 11, the way they are staging the update, it can be easily authorized by those who aren’t paying attention.

Start Menu Changes

The most obvious difference in Windows 11 is the location of the Start Menu and Taskbar which went from the bottom left to the bottom center.

You can move it all back to the bottom left by right-clicking on a blank section of the Taskbar and choosing ‘Taskbar settings’.  Scroll down to ‘Taskbar behaviors’, click it, and then use the ‘Taskbar alignment’ dropdown menu to change the icons from Center to Left.

Live Tiles Now Widgets

If you used the ‘Live tiles’ in Windows 10 to display info such as weather forecasts it’s been moved to the ‘widgets’ menu in Windows 11 (https://bit.ly/3RIzJHv).There weren’t that many apps that supported Live tiles, but if you relied on them in Windows 10, you can install the ‘Live Tiles Anywhere’ app (https://bit.ly/47Zx9Tp) to regain them.

Pinned Apps

Another thing that you can customize is what appears in the ‘Pinned’ section when you click on the Start button.  You may notice a bunch of apps you don’t use got added, which you can get rid of by right-clicking each one and selecting ‘Unpin from Start’.

If an unneeded app also appears on the Taskbar, you can right-click again and select ‘Unpin from taskbar’.

Conversely, if you have apps you use regularly, click the ‘All apps’ button in the Start menu to see all your apps in alphabetical order. Find your favorite apps, then right-click on the icon and select ‘Pin to Start’.

Once you have all your favorite apps on the Start menu, you can drag them in the order you’d like them to appear or group them together in a sub menu.

Extra Taskbar Items

You may notice some new things in your Taskbar that you don’t want, such as a weather icon or the Task view icon.

Right-click on the Taskbar select ‘Taskbar settings’ again and look for the Taskbar items at the top. You can turn off Task viewWidgets, and Chat to declutter the Taskbar.

Start Menu Display Options

You may have noticed that the Start menu looks different than it did in Windows 10, which can be reverted with 3rd party programs such as Open-Shell (https://bit.ly/3tiOmYK) but I don’t recommend it.

The biggest change is the ‘Recommended’ section which shows a combination of recently added apps and recently used apps and files.

You can choose the ratio of Pinned apps and Recommended items by right-clicking on any blank portion of the Start menu, clicking ‘Start settings’, and choosing More pinsMore recommendations, or leave it in the Default view.

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How to make Windows 11 look more like Windows 10