The 6 Best Free Online Virus Scan and Removal Sites

Need to check for a computer virus but don't have antivirus software installed? Try these excellent online virus-scanning tools. from .

You've likely had some experience with a computer virus or malware. If not, you're one of the lucky ones. But you can never rest—especially if you're running Windows.

Online free antivirus apps are no match for a standalone antivirus tool. Let's make that clear. However, an online antivirus scan is a handy tool in a pinch. Perhaps it is an unfamiliar PC acting strangely? Or the computer of a relative acting up? It's time for a virus scan.

The Best Online Antivirus Scanners

The best online antivirus scanners offer a full system scan, analysis, and file removal. However, it is important to note that an online virus scan cannot replace an offline antivirus suite. Online scanners do not offer real-time analysis and protection, so you cannot rely on them to keep your system secure. Instead, you should check out the best antivirus software for real-time protection.

It's also worth noting that online virus scanners still require a small download. Otherwise, the tool won't have access to your computer to scan for malware. Each of the following online virus tools have a portable download, which means you don't need to install any files; you just run the downloaded antivirus file, and the scan will begin.

1. ESET Online Scanner

The ESET Online Scanner is one of the most thorough free online antivirus tools. It has a simple UI that is easy to use. ESET Online Scanner allows you to choose between a full, quick, or custom scan. Plus, you can also choose whether to quarantine and remove any malicious files automatically.

This is handy if the online antivirus scanner throws up false positives.

2. F-Secure Online Scanner

F-Secure's Online Scanner is the fastest free online antivirus scanner on this list. The F-Secure Online scanner finds themajority of malware, too, and doesn't require installation.

Of the free online antivirus scanners, F-Secure Online Scanner is the most basic. You don't choose which files to scan; the Online Scanner covers your entire system. Given the speed of the scan, it isn't an issue. The lack of options has a plus side, too: F-Secure Online Scanner is incredibly easy to use.

3. Trend Micro HouseCall

Trend Micro HouseCall is a useful online virus scanner that provides a fairly comprehensive scan of your machine. Better still, you can use HouseCall on Windows and macOS, so you're not limited by operating system.

As with all online virus scanners, the Trend Micro HouseCall interface is simple to use; you download the launch file, run it, and start scanning. The Smart Scan function will rapidly analyze the places malware is most likely to lurk and, once done, provide a review and quarantine option to help you cleanse your system.

Individual Malicious File Scanners

Individual malicious file scanners differ from online antivirus scanners in that you provide a single file sample instead of scanning your entire system for malware or otherwise. The onus is on you to scan a file before executing it on your system, rather than quarantining after the infection takes place.

However, you can determine if a file is malicious and what is wrong with it while helping security researchers update their definitions.

Again, an individual malicious file scanner is in no way a replacement for an a
replacement for an antivirus suite on your device.Again, an individual malicious file scanner is in no way a replacement for an antivirus suite on your device.

1. VirusTotal

VirusTotal allows you to search its database using an individual file, a URL, an IP address, a domain, or a file hash. In that, VirusTotal offers the widest range of tools and has one of the most extensive databases of malicious files and file signatures.
Like VirScan, VirusTotal pulls in definitions from all across the internet. Another VirusTotal feature is analysis-by-email. You can send your suspect file directly to VirusTotal (files up to 256MB), and they'll respond with the file status.

2. Kaspersky Threat Intelligence Portal

Kaspersky is one of the most well-known names in virus detection, and its Threat Intelligence Portal is a handy way to quickly scan a single file for nasties. Once open, you can upload a single file to the Threat Intelligence Portal. Once analyzed, Kaspersky will detail if the file is malicious.

You can also submit IP addresses, file hashes, domain names, and more.z

3. MetaDefender

MetaDefender takes definitions from over 30 antivirus tools and analyzes your file for malicious activity. The process is the same as the other tools, while MetaDefender allows you to scan from a file, an IP address, a URL, or a domain, as well as a CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure).

The MetaDefender UI is slick and offers different analysis options.

What Is the Best Online Antivirus Tool?

If you want a rapid online scan with great results, try F-Secure Online Scan. It is easy to use, takes minutes, and hits the majority of malware.

These free online antivirus scanners are great, but they are not an effective preventative against malware. They do not offer real-time scanning and protection. In the modern world, that's going to lead to a world of pain.



How to restore USB drive back to full capacity?

This article you can find methods to restore USB drive back to full capacity so that you can make use of lost or unallocated disk space of USB drives. USB drive not showing correct capacity is one of the common issues that may happen to USB disks, if you are facing same problem, then you are at the right place. Keep reading and you can find step-by-step solutions to restore USB drive.

Issue overview

It’s really annoying to be unable to use all USB drive’s storage, but this issue just happens due to various reasons. Thus we should get a rough idea about this issue at least. USB storage devices such as external HDD, USB flash drive, pen drive, memory card, etc, play important role in daily lives. Likewise hard drive, USB disks come with different size, ranging 215 MB to 1TB. We can store large amount of data on SD card or flash drive so that we can take them to anywhere without difficulty. It’s possible that a 64GB flash drive shows as 54MB only. That does not necessarily mean you have to buy a new one, as the capacity can be restored in many cases.
Let’s take a close look at a real cause about this issue:
“Lately I made a bootable USB drive on a USB flash drive for crashed laptop. I fixed the system problem successfully but a new problem arose in the flash drive. The problem is that the USB’s capacity shrank. The flash drive used to have 16GB storages, but it is 2.19MB in Windows Explorer only after it is made as a bootable drive. There is large free space on the flash disk when I checked it in Disk Management. But I can’t do anything to unallocated space. The size does not change even though I format the partition. Do you have any idea to restore capacity? Thanks!”

Why doesn’t USB drive show full capacity in Windows?

USB flash drive / SD card/ pen drive not showing full capacity can happen for several reasons. Let’s see some common reasons together:
  • The USB drive is made to bootable disk. For instance, you burn a portable operating system on your removable drive, and you may find that the disk loses capacity. Some system changes the partition of removable disk when writing booting data.
  • The USB drive is divided into two or more partition. Unlike hard drives, USB flash drive or SD card usually have only one partition, because Windows cannot recognize and access data stored on the second or other partitions. If there are multiple partitions on a flash disk, you can only see the first volume in File Explorer. Thus the capacity you can use is the first partition.
  • There is unallocated space. We all know that unallocated disk space cannot be used if there is not partition created on it. The result is that you can make use of allocated space only. Therefore we can fix the problem by adding unallocated space to existing partition.
  • Card reader or host devices are not well suited with the larger memory card. If you are using a card reader which is compatible with 32GB card at most, but your memory card is 64GB. It might turn or repartition the memory card to 32GB and the rest capacity won’t show in Windows.
  • The disk is physically damaged. If storage device is physically damaged, the capacity might change. The entire disk size in Disk Management shrinks or increases largely, or the USB drive shows 0 bytes if you check its properties. Physical damages cannot be repaired by solutions in this guide.

How to restore USB flash drive back to full capacity?

This part provides three solutions to restore USB drive backup to original capacity. The first method recovers capacity with the help of command DiskPart. If you feel this approach is difficult to you, you can try the second and third solutions which utilize a free third-part tool. Connect the USB drive or SD card to computer and you can try these resolutions.
Caution: The first two solutions will completely wipe the entire USB drive in question, please backup any important files before proceeding. Besides, please be very careful to select correct before formatting or cleaning operations, or you might wipe wrong disk by mistake.

Solution 1: Restore USB flash disk back to full capacity with DiskPart

Step 1: Run Command Prompt as Administrator. On Windows 8.1 or 10, you can launch it easily by clicking the Start button and selecting option “Command Prompt (Admin)”. If you are using Windows 7, you should click the Start button and enter cmd in the search box; then right-click “cmd.exe” to select “Run as Administrator”
Step 2: Type the following command in the Command Prompt windows and hit Enter key.
Step 3: Type list disk command so that diskpart lists all disks connected to your computer, and the command should be followed by pressing Enter.
  list disk
Step 4: Execute following command to select the USB disk you want to restore capacity.
  select disk #
Be very careful here! # is the disk number of your USB drive, You should replace # with the correct disk number. Be sure you select the correct drive, as all the rest actions will be performed on the selected disk, such as format the disk. If you select the wrong disk, you’ll lose all data stored on that disk.
Step 5: Type the follow command and press Enter
Step 6: Create a new partition on the USB drive after DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.
  create partition primary

Step 7: The following command formats the newly created partition to FAT32 file system.
  format fs=fat32 quick
Now you can open Windows Explorer to check if the USB drive is restored to full capacity.

Solution 2: Restore USB drive back to full capacity with free partition manager

This solution will repartition the USB drive into one partition using free partition management software PartitionGuru Free. The partition process is simple and fast.
  1. Install and launch PartitionGuru on your computer to get the main interface.
  2. Connect the USB drive to computer and it’ll be displayed in the software. All disks, partitions, files and disk parameters on the computer can be read on the main interface.
  3. Select the USB drive you want to restore capacity and click “Quick Partition” button from the toolbar.
  4. On the “Partition Count” section, you should select Custom option and choose “1” so that there will be only one partition on the USB drive; As to the Advanced Options, you can choose file system format for the USB disk. Click OK button and PartitionGuru start repartition the USB drive.
  5. PartitionGuru will ask confirmation for the action which will wipe everything on the disk while repartitioning process. Click “Yes”, wait for a couple of seconds, and the partition will complete.
The USB flash drive will show its full capacity in Windows Explorer after it is repartitioned to single volume. Another way to recover capacity is deleting all partitions on the UDB disk and then creating a new partition on it.

Solution 3: Reuse Unallocated Space

If your USB drive contains unallocated / free space, its size will be smaller than original capacity. In this situation, you can recover USB capacity by adding unallocated space to partition. It’s recommended to use PartitionGuru here again, as this software is able to add unallocated space to any existing partition on same disk without data loss.
  1. Launch PartitionGuru again and connect the problematic USB drive to computer.
  2. Right click the partition on the USB flash disk and select “Extend Partition” from the context menu.
  3. Move mouse to the partition bar and drag it to include the free disk space. Click “Start” button and PartitionGuru starts move unallocated disk space to the partition.

  4. Click “Complete” button when the process finishes. Then you can check whether the capacity is restored.
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10 Windows 11 Start Menu Features You Should Be Using

The Start Menu is one of the most iconic parts of Windows, and it received a pretty major overhaul with Windows 11. There are some nice features hidden in the settings that you might not know about. Let's unearth them.

Move the Start Menu to the Left

One of the biggest changes in Windows 11 is the placement of the Start Menu on the taskbar. By default, the Start Menu and apps pinned to the taskbar are centered.

The good news is you can move the Start Menu back to its traditional place on the left side of the screen. To do this, go to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar Behaviors." Change the "Taskbar Alignment" to "Left."

Customize the Color 

There are two ways you can customize the color on the Start Menu. For starters, you can choose to have a light (white) or dark (black) theme. This is also reflected in the taskbar and other areas of the interface.

You can also make the Start Menu and taskbar a completely custom color. However, this only works if you use the dark theme. You'll need to choose an accent color and then toggle on "Show Accent Color on Start and Taskbar."

Rearrange the App Icons

You may not think of it like this, but the Start Menu in Windows 11 is similar to the home screen on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. You can rearrange the icons simply by clicking (or pressing and holding on a touch screen), and then dragging and dropping them. You don't have to leave them in the order they were pinned.

Unpin Apps From the Start Menu 

Speaking of apps in the Start Menu, you can easily remove them. Windows 11 comes with plenty of apps already pinned to the menu. You don't have to keep them there forever.

Simply right-click an app in the Start Menu and select "Unpin From Start" from the menu. Easy peasy.

Add Folder Shortcuts

The Start Menu is essentially a place for different types of shortcuts. One of the handiest types of shortcuts in Windows 11 is shortcuts for folders. You can have quick access to a number of different folders from right next to the power menu button. This handy feature is surprisingly not enabled by default.

First, go to Settings > Personalization > Start > Folders. From here, you have a bunch of different folder-related things you can toggle on, such as "Settings," "Documents," "Pictures," and more.

Show More App Icons 

The Windows 11 Start Menu is divided into two sections---pinned apps and "Recommendations." By default, the split is about 50/50 between apps and recommendations, but you can adjust it to show more apps.

There are three options, actually. The default 50/50 split, "More Pins" for more apps, and "More Recommendations." To choose a different layout, go to Settings > Personalization > Start,

See Your Most Used Apps

The Start Menu is more than just pinned apps, of course. It's also where you can access the full list of apps on your PC. The full list is in alphabetical order, but you can add a section to the top for your most used apps.

To enable this, head over to Settings > Personalization > Start. Here you'll find a toggle for "Show Most Used Apps." Now you'll see your six most used apps at the top of the list for easy access.

Right-Click for Quick Actions

Clicking the Start button opens the Start Menu---I didn't have to tell you that. But did you know right-clicking the Start button also does something?

There's actually a very handy list of quick actions hidden behind right-clicking the Start button. Shortcuts to things like the Device Manager, Disk Management, Task Manager, Terminal, and Run. It's handy.

Remove a File From "Recommended"

The Windows 11 Start Menu shows recent files in the bottom "Recommended" section. You can minimize the section---or remove it entirely---but it's occasionally useful. However, you may not like everything that shows up there.

Thankfully, you can easily remove files that appear in the "Recommended" section. Simply right-click the file and select "Remove From List." It won't appear there anymore.

Turn Off Transparency, If You Prefer

Windows 11 features transparency in a lot of areas throughout the user interface. Microsoft says these effects shouldn't affect performance. However, you may simply not like the look of it. Thankfully, you can turn off transparency in the Start Menu and Windows 11 overall.

To turn it off, go to Settings > Personalization > Colors and toggle off "Transparency Effects." Easy as that.

The Start Menu is a huge part of the Windows 11 experience. Hopefully, with these tips in your back pocket, you can get the most out of it. And if you really, really can't stand it, you can use some third-party wizadry to get the Windows 10 Start Menu back.



6 Best Free Photoshop Alternatives

You shouldn’t need to spend Adobe money to edit images and photos. Fortunately, free alternatives exist that can help you complete basic image editing operations, process RAW photos, and more.


The GNU Image Manipulation Program better known as GIMP has long been the go-to Photoshop alternative for Linux users. But you don’t need to use Linux to take advantage of GIMP since the software is available for macOS and Windows too. You can grab GIMP from the Downloads page or use a package manager like Flatpak for Linux or Mac equivalent Homebrew. GIMP is even available on the Windows Store.

There’s a bit of a learning curve to GIMP if you’re coming from Photoshop, and things don’t always “just work” as you’d expect them to. Thankfully you can resort to GIMP’s plentiful help documentation and tutorials to get up to speed. The app includes a familiar set of tools and a UI to match so that you can use layers, masks, brushes, tools, and even filters to edit your images.


This makes GIMP ideal for editing photos, designing elements from scratch for design purposes, creating original artwork, or converting hand-drawn images to digital paintings. The app also supports a variety of programming options and a library of plugins (which you can browse using the plugin browser under the “Help” menu).

GIMP is a great replacement for older versions of Photoshop, though it lacks many of the generative, content-aware, and AI-powered tools of the latest releases. If you put the time into learning how it works, it’s an excellent Photoshop alternative.


Paint.NET is a solid free image and photo editor for Windows that makes a great alternative to Photoshop. You can think of Paint.NET as a turbocharged version of the default Paint app that’s included with Windows. The app is powered by the Microsoft .NET 7 framework, dependencies that are taken care of with a single app install.

The app features an intuitive and customizable interface, layers (but no masks), a familiar array of tools, and tabs for quickly switching between files. There’s support for pressure-sensitive pens and drawing tablets (touchscreen too), an array of effects (like Photoshop’s filters), and all the basic tools you need. Paint.NET is highly optimized so you won’t be waiting around for things to happen.

Core to the Paint.NET experience is an active community and busy forum. This is where you can browse through hundreds of plugins and tutorials, get help with a specific problem, share your creations, and stay up to date with app development.

Paint.NET is a fast and easy-to-use image editor that all Windows users should have installed. The app is free to download from the Paint.NET website but be aware that the version featured in the Microsoft store is a premium app.

Apple Photos

Apple Photos is a photo editor and organizer that comes installed on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Though the interface differs between these versions, the base feature set is the same. Unlike Photoshop, which is great for creating artwork, using brushes, adding layers, drawing with a tablet, and other creative art tasks, Apple Photos is limited to photo editing.

Fortunately, there’s a rich suite of photo editing options available. You can use Apple Photos to edit both RAW and standard lossy images, and the app can be used on a local library or be used to sync your photos across devices with iCloud Photo Library.

Basic editing tools are divided into two categories: Light (including Exposure, Shadows, Highlights, Contrast, and so on) and Color (Saturation, Vibrance, and Cast). You can also use the app to edit monochrome images, touch-up blemishes with the Retouch tool, remove red-eye, adjust the white balance, add sharpening, fix or add vignetting, and more.

You can also use a set of advanced editing tools to adjust the curves of an image, view the histogram of a photo, reduce noise, and perform selective color edits. All of these operations are non-destructive, which means you can hit the “Reset Adjustments” button at any time to get back to your original image. You can also copy the edits from one photo and apply them to another (or multiple), and see before and after previews of any changes you make.

On top of this there are the sort of instant filters and auto enhancement tools you’d expect from a (primarily) mobile photo editor, plus a cropping tool that includes a variety of aspect ratios, perspective correction, and straightening tools.

Windows 11 Photos

Just like Apple Photos, Windows Photos is another pack-in photo editor that foregoes some of the more creative aspects of Photoshop (like art creation) but includes everything you’d need for basic photo editing. Windows Photos integrates with OneDrive and even iCloud Photos so that you can edit photos from connected devices right within Microsoft’s desktop OS.

The app can be used to open standard lossy image files and RAW photos with the aid of the Raw Image Extension from the Microsoft Store. Edits are divided by Light (Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, and so on) and Color (Saturation, Warmth, and Tint) for basic edits. Images can be cropped, mirrored, rotated, and straightened too.

There’s also a selection of instant filters designed to give you specific looks and an auto-enhance option that attempts to fix your images for you. You can use the Spot Fix tool to repair blemishes, but there’s no red-eye removal. On top of this, there are a few markup options like a highlighter and drawing pen for scribbling your thoughts.

Non-destructive edits let you reset your changes at any point, and you can easily save your image as a copy or overwrite the original.


is available in two versions: Pixlr X which is designed for quick creative design projects (like posters, flyers, and social posts), and Pixlr E which is a fully-fledged image editor that lives in your browser. If you’re looking for something with which to replace Photoshop, you’re probably looking for Pixlr E. Pixlr offers a decent free option (hence its inclusion on this list), but you’ll need to pay for a subscription starting at $1.99 per month to unlock its full functionality.

Pixlr E looks just like Photoshop when starting a new project or opening an existing image. You’ll see a full list of tools down the left-hand side of the screen (including favorites like rectangular and lasso selection, dodge/burn, and clone), and Photoshop mainstays like an image overview, layer selection, and history overlay to the right of the screen. You can work with layers and masks just like you can in Photoshop.

There’s even a menu bar that works much in the same way as Photoshop at the top of the screen, with filters, layer operations, image adjustments, selection tools, and a workflow designed specifically for making animations. Pixlr includes a huge range of templates to get you started, and some new AI-powered tools for removing backgrounds, and image generation.

The free version of Pixlr includes limited access to some tools, only three saves, no mobile support, limits on canvas size, and is supported by advertisements. Despite this, it’s still a feature-rich tool and for quick edits you might not bump into too many restrictions. It’s also a very cheap alternative to Photoshop if you like what’s on offer and want to pay to unlock more.

 Sumopaint and Sumophoto

Like Pixlr, Sumopaint and Sumophoto have compelling free options but are ultimately paid products. The apps are available as part of the Sumo Creative Suite. The apps are free to use, and paying for a subscription comes with access to the whole package (including a video editor called Sumovideo, development environment Sumocode, and many more).

Though they are two separate apps, Sumopaint and Sumphoto together make a fairly feature-complete Photoshop alternative. Sumopaint is a creative tool that includes support for layers, brushes (and custom brushes), shapes, text, and some image manipulation tools like smudge and adjustment brushes.

Sumophoto is a photo editor with a decent number of adjustment parameters that work similarly to Apple Photos. You can adjust exposure, contrast, highlights, and so on though more powerful features like curves and a histogram are missing. There are some one-click filters included, and you can resize, crop, straighten, and mirror or rotate your photo too.

You can use the free versions of Sumopaint and Sumophoto in your browser, with access to most app features. Paying for a Pro upgrade at $4 per month lets you download apps for offline use though these are effectively web apps that run locally, rather than native software like Photoshop or GIMP.

Consider Investing in a Paid Alternative

If these tools come up short but you don’t fancy shelling out for a pricey Photoshop subscription, you might want to consider a cheaper paid Photoshop alternative.

These tools are often available for a modest investment, with many available under a standard lifetime license rather than a subscription model.



Best free Start Menu Alternatives for Windows 11/10

This post covers a list of some best free Start menu alternatives for Windows 11/10 computers. The native Start menu of Windows 11 and Windows 10 is pretty good to access installed apps and programs, pinning favorite apps to Start for quick access, switching to another account, etc. Moreover, it is also very easy to customize the Start menu of Windows 10 and Windows 11 OS. But for those who are looking for a change and need some alternative to Windows 11/10 Start menu, the tools covered in this list are good to try.

The best part is these tools won’t stop you from using the Windows Start menu. Using most of these tools, you will have two Start menus (including the Windows Start menu) and two Start buttons that can be used separately. Apart from that, these Start menu alternatives work for as long as you are running a particular tool. When you exit or close a tool, you can continue using the native Start menu as usual. So, the control will remain in your hands.
Start Menu Alternatives for Windows 11/10

In this post, we have covered 5 free tools that can be used as a replacement for Windows 11/10 Start menu. The tools are:Start Menu X
Start Menu Reviver
Open Shell
Start Everywhere.

Before you try any of these tools, we suggest you create a system restore point. Also, some tools are added to the Windows Startup list automatically which you might not like or find annoying. So, you need to remove such options from their Settings or manually remove them if you don’t want those tools to run automatically after every startup.

Now let’s check these Start menu alternative tools one by one.

1] Start Menu X

Start Menu X (free version) supports different languages and has some really interesting features or options that easily catch the attention and make it a better replacement for Windows 11/10 Start menu. You just need to access the Options box of this tool to set and use the available features present in different categories. Some of those features are:Different skins or themes (including a Space X theme with animation) can be applied to the Start menu
Change the Windows Start button with any one of the pre-added buttons (such as angry bird, Pikachu, etc.). You can also add an image of your choice for the Start button
Add buttons that you want to see in the Start menu such as Log Off, Hibernate, User Account, Switch User, etc.
Change Start menu layout. Available layouts or styles are:Switch between Start Menu X
Classic Start Menu, and
Start Menu 10.

You can grab its setup file from During the installation, select the free version option, and complete the installation. Launch the tool and it will start running in the system tray.

Now when you will click on the Start button of Windows 11/10, it will show its Start menu, and pressing the Shift+Win hotkey will show the native Start menu. You can also reverse this action from the Settings of this tool.

The Start menu layout of this tool is user-friendly where you can access installed apps and programs in separate sections, use power options, and access This PC, Desktop, and other items easily.

While the default layout and settings are good enough, you can do the customization by accessing the Options box of this tool. To open that box, right-click its tray icon and select the Options. Set the options as per your needs and enjoy a customized Start menu on your Windows 11/10 computer.

2] Start Menu Reviver

Start Menu Reviver is another interesting tool on this list. Like Start Menu X, this tool can also be used separately. This tool also comes with some useful features. It lets you:Add up to 64 tiles in the Start menu to add and access favorite or frequently used items
Change the Start button: 11 different Start buttons are available to choose from
Set Start menu size to medium, large, or small
Change the Start menu theme to day or night mode. You can also set a custom color for background, background text, tile text, empty tiles, Start screen tile, etc.

To use this Start menu tool, download its setup file from After installation, launch the tool and its Start button will be visible on the bottom left corner of your Windows 11/10 taskbar. Clicking on the Start button will show its Start menu with the default layout and options.

The Start menu of this tool has three sections that cover everything:Left section: It helps to access user accounts, This PC, Settings app, Task Manager, Run Command box, user folder, etc.
Middle section: It contains a tiles menu to use pre-added tiles, add more tiles, edit and reset a tile, etc.
Right section: This section shows an expanded menu to access all programs, only programs, or apps separately. By default, the expanded menu is set to expand automatically to view programs and apps, but you can change its view mode from the Settings of this tool.

If you want to change the style and set other options of this Start menu tool, then simply access Settings of this tool (using right-click menu of its Start button) and use the available options. Once changes are made, press the tick mark icon to save them.

Also read: Start menu does not open or Start button not working.

3] Open Shell

Open Shell (originally known as Classic Shell) is one of the best Start menu alternatives for Windows 11/10 OS. This tool came into existence when the developer of the very famous tool named Classic Shell discontinued its development a long time ago. The tool became open-source and that Classic Shell tool was forked and updated by volunteer developers. Most of the options, Start menu style, etc., are the same as the original, only the name is changed.

Using this Open Shell tool, you can use a Windows 7 style Start menu, a classic with two columns style or a classic style Start menu where you will access all the programs, Microsoft Store apps, etc. For each Start menu type, you can also select a skin type (or theme), show/hide the user account picture, use small icons, and set items that you want to display on the Start menu. Thus, you can customize the Start menu as per your requirements.

There are many other useful features provided by this tool. These are:Replace the Start button with Aero, Classic, or a custom image
Set actions for the left mouse click, Win key, Shift+Win key, Shift+left mouse button, etc. For example, you can set the Win key to open the Start menu of this tool, Windows Start menu, Start menu in desktop and Start screen in Metro, or do nothing
Customize the taskbar to set taskbar opacity, taskbar look, color, text color, etc.
Enable/disable right-click context menu of this tool for Start menu items
Show/hide the Search box in the Start menu
Change language for the user interface. 40+ languages are supported by this tool.

All such features or options can be accessed from the Settings window of this tool. You can also save or backup all the changes or settings as an XML file so that you can load or restore them later whenever needed.

For using this Start menu alternative tool, install it, and then press the Win key. Its Start button and Start menu will visible on the bottom left part of your computer screen. Like other Start menu alternatives present on this list, it doesn’t interfere with the Windows Start menu and you can use both the Start menus separately.

If you are satisfied with the default Start menu and options, then there is no need to do anything. Or else, launch Open-Shell Menu Settings using the Windows Start menu or from the installation folder of this tool, customize the options, and use the OK button to save the changes.

4] Spencer

Spencer is a portable and the simplest tool on this list. It lets you quickly access and launch installed programs, Windows Tools, File Explorer, Settings app, System Tools (Command Prompt, Task Manager, Run Command box, etc.), Accessories (Quick Assist, Steps Recorder, etc.), and more.

This tool doesn’t come with any interface or let you customize any type of settings. It only lets you access those items that are stored in the Programs folder (under the Start Menu folder) available in two different locations of your Windows 11/10 computer. The path or location of those folders are:C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

So, if you want to access more items, say Desktop, some folder containing your favorite videos, or important documents, then all you need to do is copy and paste those items to the Programs folder and access them quickly using this tool.

The benefit of this tool is you can launch it from any location say desktop, a particular folder, taskbar, etc. If you want to use it from the taskbar, then simply pin its application file there and click that file to use it.

To use this simple Start menu alternative, get its ZIP file from Extract that ZIP archive and execute its application file to open its menu or launcher. The launcher of this tool is a bit similar to the Windows XP style Start menu where you can expand folders and launch a particular item from that folder.

5] Start Everywhere

Another Start menu alternative on this list to quickly access Store apps, installed programs, Desktop items, user profile files and folders, power options, recent items, most used items, Microsoft Store apps, system tools, etc., is Start Everywhere. It provides a launcher that lets you expand available menus by just mouse hovering so that you can see the available items and use or launch them.

By default, this tool runs in the system tray, and clicking its icon lets you access and expand available menus. But you can also place its icon or launcher anywhere on your desktop screen.

You can also access the Settings of this tool to use options like:Set Active corner size
Maximum files and folders to show
Change theme color for background, text, image border, etc. 8 different theme colors are available to choose from. You can also create a custom theme
Show/hide Application Data, User Profile, My Documents, Programs, and other menus.

To access its settings, click on the launcher icon or system tray icon of this tool, access the Others menu, then expand Settings, and click on the Open option. There are different tabs for the available options that you can access and then adjust the options. Finally, press the Save button and use this tool.

Related: How to lock Start menu layout in Windows 11/10.
How do I get the Windows 10 Start menu back on Windows 11?

Earlier, it was possible to switch back to the classic Windows 10 Start menu in Windows 11 using a Registry tweak. But that tweak doesn’t work with the latest version of Windows 11. Still, those who want to use a different Start menu on Windows 11 can try a free Start menu tool. There exist some best free Start menu alternatives for Windows 11/10 that let you use Windows 7 style Start menu, classic Start menu, or come with different Start menu layouts and interesting options. We have created a list of such tools in this post above. Try these tools and see if they fit your needs.
Can you change the Windows 11 Start menu?

Yes, it is possible to change or customize Windows 11 Start menu. Customizations like moving the Start menu from center to left, changing its color, removing apps from the recommended list, showing/hiding most-used apps, recently added apps in Start, showing/hiding Settings, Documents, Pictures, File Explorer, and other supported icons next to the power button, etc., can be done easily. For this, you can open the Personalization category available under the Settings app of Windows 11 and access the associated section or page like the taskbar, Start, and folders and use the given options.



The 10 Best Windows 10 Themes for Every Desktop

A new Windows 10 theme gives your computer a fresh look for free. Here are the best Windows themes and how to apply them.
A surprising number of Windows users don't change their desktop background. Don't believe us? Just peek over a couple of people's shoulders next time you're in a coffee shop or airport.

And of the people that do change their desktop, far too many stick with one of the operating system's stock images. It's boring.

Why not jazz up your computer with a cool system-wide Windows theme instead? Here are the best Windows 10 themes for every desktop.

1. Windows 10 Dark Theme: GreyEve Theme

We think it's fair to say that dark themes for Windows 10 look the coolest. And, as an extra benefit, dark themes can help to reduce eye strain.

There are so many dark themes out there that it's hard to choose a winner, but we like GreyEve. You can grab the ZIP file off DeviantArt. Place the file into %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes then go to Settings > Personalization > Themes and select it from the list.

We covered lots of other dark themes for Windows 10 if you don't like GreyEve Theme.

Downloads: GreyEve Theme (Free)

2. Simple

If you are like me you most probably do not enjoy complicating your software. Then you'd probably also want a Windows theme should be similar and offer a few simple wallpapers.

If so, Simple is exactly what you are looking for. The theme adds a light gray background to desktop with simple wallpapers designed to be soothing to the eyes.

To get started, simply download and install the app. From there, head to Personalization in Settings and change your theme from there.

Downloads: Simple (Free)

3. HD Theme for Windows 10: 3D Theme

3D Theme, which is available on ThemePack, contains 17 high-definition wallpapers. The wallpapers all give the illusion of a 3D graphic.

The images are all abstract; though several of them draw inspiration from spheres and cubes.

To use 3D Theme, put the files in %windir%/Resources/Themes. You can use all 17 images at once; right-click on your desktop and choose Next Desktop Background to cycle through the options.

Downloads: 3D Theme (Free)

4. Simplify 10

If you think the Windows layout is too cluttered, take a look at the Simplify 10 theme. It is one of the best Windows 10 themes. The theme strips away a lot of the unnecessary design elements, leaving you with a minimalist theme that looks impressively sleek.

Simplify 10 comes in four different versions—a colorful theme, a light theme, a dark theme, and a third option called Maverick. The Maverick theme is designed to have a resemblance to the Linux distro, Ubuntu.

Downloads: Simplify 10 (Free)

5. Windows XP Theme for Windows 10: XP Themes

Windows XP lives long in the memory.

Of course, you shouldn't still be using the operating system for your day-to-day computing. Support ended a long time ago, and it's a security nightmare. However, you can still make Windows 10 look like XP—it's the best of both worlds for XP diehards.

The best option is XP Themes on DeviantArt. Just make sure you install the latest version of UxStyle before you proceed with setup; you'll be using one of the top Windows 10 themes in no time.

Downloads: XP Themes (Free)

6. Mac Theme for Windows 10: macOS Transformation Pack 5.0

The most well-known aspect of the macOS operating system is the dock. It provides quick access to all your frequently used apps. The Windows taskbar works similarly, but if you're craving the Mac feel, perhaps you should try using macOS Transformation Pack 5.0

As the name suggests, it adds a Mac-like theme to your computer. It will replace the existing taskbar, and you can customize the dock to display the apps you want to see. Download and install the app, and you will be ready your new Mac-based theme will be set up in no time.

You might have to restart your PC to complete the installation.

Downloads: macOS Transformation Pack 5.0 (Free)

7. Windows 10 Anime Theme: Various

Anime, in all its forms, seems to become more popular with every passing day; Netflix has made a slew of Anime originals, you can stream it on Amazon Prime, and there are near-endless resources that'll teach you how to draw in the anime style.

Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that you can find a glut of anime themes for Windows 10. On ThemePack you can grab themes for all your favorite stars and shows, including Gintama, Vegeta, Evangelion, and Haikyuu.

Downloads: Various (Free)

8. Best Microsoft Store Theme: Meteor Showers

You can find some of the best Windows 10 themes with a free download in the Microsoft Store. There are dozens to choose from (including a few paid options).

One of our favorite free themes in the store is Meteor Showers. It features 18 images of shooting stars for you to choose from, or you can get Windows to cycle through all 18 at predefined intervals.

Some of the other subject matter in the images include forests, cityscapes, lakes, and animals.

Downloads: Meteor Showers (Free)

9. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 4K

As the name suggests, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 4K is a Spider-Man-based theme that brings you a host of wallpaper based on its theme.

In total, the app comes with 15 different wallpapers, all designed to help you get the feel of the Spider-Man universe. While the theme doesn't bring many changes to the interface, we think the wallpapers and resulting background color themselves leave your PC with a sleek look.

Downloads: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse 4K (Free)

10. Ubuntu Theme 


We've looked at how to make Windows look like macOS, but what about making Windows look like Linux? If you want Windows' functionality with Linux's looks, check out the Ubuntu Theme. Again, while the theme pack won't make any tweaks to your taskbar, icons, etc., it will radically change how your Windows looks with its wallpapers and new background color.

In addition to Windows 11 and 10, the Ubuntu Theme also supports Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Downloads: Ubuntu Theme (Free)

Use the Best Windows 10 Themes for Your PC

Whenever you change your Windows 10 theme, you should always make sure you make Windows' accent colors match your desktop background. It'll make your theme appear more cohesive. Luckily, this process can be automated.

Moreover, apart from using automated apps, you can also create a custom Windows theme of your own. All you'll need are a few templates and some creativity. That's it—you'll be done in no time.