What happens when you Force Classic Start Menu in Windows 7 / 8?

There are many who prefer to use the Classic Start Menu in Windows 7, and prefer to use the Group Policy setting of Force Classic Start Menu to do so. The setting lies here:

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar\Force Classic Start Menu

This setting affects the presentation of the Start menu. The classic Start menu in Windows 2000 Professional allows users to begin common tasks, while the new Start menu consolidates common items onto one menu. When the classic Start menu is used, the following icons are placed on the desktop: Documents, Pictures, Music, Computer, and Network. The new Start menu starts them directly. If you enable this setting, the Start menu displays the classic Start menu in the Windows 2000 style and displays the standard desktop icons. If you disable this setting, the Start menu only displays in the new style, meaning the desktop icons are now on the Start page. If you do not configure this setting, the default is the new style, and the user can change the view.

What you may not have noticed, is that it says there that this policy is supported only on Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP. There is no mention of Windows 7 and later.

So what happens when you enforce it on a Windows 7 … or a Windows 8 computer?

When you enable and enforce this policy setting, you will see the following icons added to the Windows 7 desktop:

  1. Libraries
  2. Control Panel
  3. User’s Profile Folder.

On a Windows 8 computer, I experienced or saw no change on the desktop.

Just a little something you may want to know!

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.