Download.com
  • Navigation
  • open search
Close

PLATFORMS

POPULAR LINKS

CATEGORIES

HELP & SETTINGS

All Guides

Best Free Apps to Customize Windows

Download.com hooks you up with the best free desktop customization software for Windows.

Apps in this Guide

While we spend most of our computer time in a Web browser, productivity app, or video game, the operating system is the connective tissue that binds everything together. The more smoothly and intuitivelymore

While we spend most of our computer time in a Web browser, productivity app, or video game, the operating system is the connective tissue that binds everything together. The more smoothly and intuitively you can navigate through the OS, the less friction between you and your next activity. Let's give you some ideas for what to download.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a different Start menu in Windows 10?
If you're on Windows 10 and you miss the functionality of older Start menus, you have a number of options such as Start10 or Classic Shell. Start10 costs $5, but you may prefer its look over the free Classic Shell. Windows 7 users can also try these menu replacers because of their enhanced customizability.
Can I get a Start menu in Windows 8?
With Windows 8, Microsoft introduced the Start Screen grid of icons that was optimized for touch interfaces. Accessing the traditional Start menu was awkward, and many third-party replacements sprung up to replace Windows 8's entire scheme. Thankfully, you can use an app like Start10 or Classic Shell (linked below) to get a standard Start menu.

Recommended Customization Apps for Windows

Download Clover

Download Clover

Download

Users have been asking Microsoft to add tabs to its Windows Explorer file manager for years, without success. Thankfully, a free utility like Clover can add them. Now you don't need multiple Explorer windows open just to view multiple locations on your computer's storage device.

Start10

Start10

Download

Microsoft brought the Start menu back with Windows 10, but it's evolved a lot from Windows 7, in ways you may not like (such as animated tiles). Start10 can bring back the original look and feel, and there's an option for a menu that evokes Windows 7 while fitting into the overall Windows 10 theme.

Download Classic Shell

Download Classic Shell

Download

Classic Shell is a free desktop-enhancement tool for customizing your Windows Start menu, plus the task bar, file manager, and other parts of the interface. When Windows 8 launched in 2012 without a Start menu, several developers found a way to put a replacement back in, and Classic Shell is one of the most popular choices.