A few lines in the registry: how to manually improve the Windows 11 interface

The Windows 11 operating system turned out to be a highly controversial release. On the one hand, the new OS is a truly technological product. On the other hand, the Windows 11 interface has become a real nightmare for many users. Fortunately, many controversial innovations are easy enough to fix. How – we will tell in this article.

Of course, the appearance of Windows could not remain completely unchanged. The system is developing and modernizing. However, in the “eleventh” Microsoft really overdid it, radically changing many familiar things.

When the system starts, we see the “Start” button not in the left corner, as before, but slightly to the left of the center of the screen. You can move it, but the start menu will still cover a good part of the desktop. At the same time, the menu space is not used very rationally. There are not many labels, and the gaps between them are huge.

Further more. We right-click on any element, and there is nothing in the drop-down except for four or five options. You need to select Show More Options to see the rest.

The tape in the conductor has disappeared. At the top, apart from a few options, there is nothing. You need to guess, click the three dots in the right corner to see all the options.

Not tired yet? Then try resizing the taskbar. Or move something to dock on it by simply dragging and dropping on it. Again, nothing will work. Now it is impossible to remove the grouping of icons – at least by standard means.

All these changes cannot be disabled by standard means. It remains to either get used to them, or manually configure the Windows 11 interface. Fortunately, there are available tools for this. Most of them are easily accessible and understandable to any user. Well, let’s make the new “eleventh” one as convenient as the good old “ten”?

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There are two ways to change the look of Windows 11: through the settings of third-party programs and through the registry. The first method can be used by absolutely any user. The second option already requires some skills. We have prepared safe commands for editing the registry through the command line – and commands for undoing changes made. This will prevent accidental damage to the system.

To open a Command Prompt, click Start and type cmd in the search box. Once the “Command Prompt” option appears on the screen, right-click on it and select “Run as administrator”.

After opening the command line window, simply copy the required command from the text of the article and paste it into the window (key combination Ctrl + V). Press Enter, after that a message should appear stating that the changes were made successfully. After completing the operation, restart your computer.

If working with the command line is difficult for you, you can download ready-made registry configuration files from this link. It is enough to click on the file of the desired tweak and click “Yes” when asked to continue the operation. Then you need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Convenient Start Menu
You can return a convenient “Start” using third-party programs – StartAllBack or Start 11. Both have additional functions that can solve other interface problems. We will talk about them further.

StartAllBack offers a Windows 7-style menu that can be customized. For example, change the style and transparency. The program itself has ready-made themes with settings: “Correct 11”, “Almost 10” and “Updated 7”.

Start 11 has three skins (not counting Windows 11’s built-in Start menu). Windows 7 style and Modern style are almost identical to “Updated 7” and “Almost 10” from StartAllBack. But the Windows 10 style returns “Start” from the operating system of the same name. If you miss the top ten, this is your choice. You can personalize the appearance of each menu by clicking the arrow next to the style name.

Full context menu
There are two ways to return the full context menu when right-clicking. First, enable the specified setting in the StartAllBack program.

Secondly, make changes to the registry through the command line with the following command:

reg.exe add “HKCU \ Software \ Classes \ CLSID \ {86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2} \ InprocServer32” / f

You can undo the changes with the command:

reg.exe delete “HKCU \ Software \ Classes \ CLSID \ {86ca1aa0-34aa-4e8b-a509-50c905bae2a2}” / f

The familiar tape in the explorer
To return the Windows 10 Windows 10 Explorer ribbon, use the customization item in StartAllBack.

You can also use the command to edit the registry:

reg.exe add “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Shell Extensions \ Blocked” / v “{e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7}” / t REG_SZ / f

You can undo the changes using the command:

reg.exe delete “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Shell Extensions \ Blocked” / f

Resizing the taskbar
In StartAllBack:

In Start 11:

In the registry, for a small taskbar:

reg.exe add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced” / v TaskbarSi / t REG_DWORD / d “0” / f

In the registry, for the middle taskbar (default size):

reg.exe add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced” / v TaskbarSi / t REG_DWORD / d “1” / f

In the registry, for a large taskbar:

reg.exe add “HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced” / v TaskbarSi / t REG_DWORD / d “2” / f

Move the taskbar
When using StartAllBack, the taskbar move function becomes the default function. To do this, you just need to unpin the panel and move it to any desired corner.

In the Start 11 program, you can only move the panel up and down – for this you need to select the appropriate setting.

No grouping of icons on the taskbar
StartAllBack will handle this task. It is enough to enable the following setting:

Old taskbar context menu, pinning shortcuts by dragging to the panel
To do this, just enable the classic taskbar in the StartAllBack program:

Drag and Drop Files to Quick Launch Icons
This functionality can be brought back by customizing the classic taskbar in StartAllBack. However, you can go the other way: using the utility with the long name Windows11DragAndDropToTaskbarFix.

Download the file and place it in any folder on your local drive where it will not interfere – for example, in “Documents”. After that, run the application as administrator, its icon will appear in the tray. To have the application launch automatically at system startup each time, click on its icon in the tray and select “Configure”. The utility will create a configuration file by itself and register itself in startup.

A couple more useful things for Windows 11
Disable Defender
Windows 11 made it harder to completely disable Defender. It is really difficult to do it manually. But there is a utility that will do everything in automatic mode – Defender Control. Before downloading, temporarily disable Defender protection, otherwise the program will recognize the utility as a malicious file and immediately remove it.

Using Defender Control is simple – just click “Disable Windows Defender”. A disabled defender can also be easily turned back on using the “Enable Windows Defender” button.

Installing Windows 11 on computers that do not meet the official system requirements
The official system requirements of the new Windows are very strict in relation to processors. It requires at least an 8th Gen Intel Core or AMD Ryzen 2000 Series. TPM and UEFI boot mode are required, otherwise the official image installation will fail. Fortunately, there is an easy way to modify the installation image while it is being written to a USB flash drive. This is where the Rufus utility version 3.16 and higher will come to the rescue. Before writing to the USB flash drive, select the “Extended Windows 11 Installation” option in the “Image parameters” line. Then the program will do everything by itself. With such a flash drive, you can install Windows 11 on any computer where Windows 10 was previously running.

Outcomes
Bringing back the convenience of Windows 11 is easy enough. Many parameters are still present in the system, but their switching was hidden from ordinary users. To unlock functions, just use the registry commands or settings of third-party programs. Some functions are completely removed, but you can return from them with third-party utilities. Sometimes even better than the original. Therefore, if you cannot get used to a new type of system, then do not rush to leave it right away – customizing Windows 11 is not that difficult.