How to make Windows 11 look like Windows 10
PCWorld|November 2021
Windows 11 gives Microsoft’s operating system a bold new look, but you can still make it feel (mostly) familiar.
MATT SMITH

Microsoft knows how you want Windows to look. That, at least, seems to be the company’s message with Windows 11 (see page 25). It makes big changes to the user interface and continues the trend of making user customization more difficult. It’s not currently possible to fully revert Windows 11 to the look for Windows 10 and, given Microsoft’s current attitude toward user interface customization, it may never be. Still, there are several key tweaks that can make you more comfortable.

1. START MENU LOCATION

Windows 11’s most obvious design change is the relocation of the Windows Start menu from its traditional home, nestled on the taskbar’s leftside, to the center of the taskbar. Fortunately, this change is easy to revert.

Open the Windows Start menu and then the Settings app. In Settings, navigate to Personalization, then Taskbar, and open “Taskbar behaviors.” You’ll see a field labeled Taskbar alignment with a drop-down menu. Change the drop-down menu from Center to Left.

The change takes place immediately.

2. REMOVE NEW ICONS

While we’re here, let’s disable the new icons added by Windows 11. These are also in the Taskbar section of the Personalization settings. You will see a list labeled “Taskbar items” that includes four options: Search, Task view, Widgets, and Chat. Use the toggles next to each to turn all four icons off.

An important note about Search: There’s currently no way to restore the full Search field from the Windows 10 taskbar. Turning off the new Search icon means you can’t access Search by clicking a field or icon on the taskbar. It will still be available through the Windows + S keyboard shortcut, however.

3. START MENU DESIGN

Microsoft is kind enough to let you easily change the Start menu’s location and remove some icons, but the Start menu itself is a different story. You’ll need to use a third-party program.

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