Want to Test the New Windows 10 2021 Start Menu? Here’s How (Insiders Only)


Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20161 to Insiders in the Dev Channel last week. Releasing new features after several months of focusing on bug fixes and performance improvements for Windows 10 20H2, Microsoft is finally giving us major new features. One of these includes a new-ish look for the Start menu.

Windows 10 2021 will bring a Start menu that is theme-aware, bringing a streamlined design and removing the logo's solid color backplates. The result is a somewhat transparent Start menu that supports both the Light and Dark modes and offers an almost distraction-free board to show off apps.

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However, the caveat is that not every Insider is receiving all the features at once. The Windows maker said that it is rolling out new features to a subset of Insiders to "quickly identify issues that may impact performance and reliability." It appears a lot of Insiders are stuck waiting for the new look.

If you are one of those and are ready to take some risks using third party tools, here is how you can choose what new Windows 10 features to test:

  • Download ViveTool from GitHub.
  • Open Command Prompt as an admin and enter the following (depending on the location where you extracted ViveTool):

    CD C: \Users\User\Downloads\ViveTool-v0.2.0

  • After that, enter the following:

    ViVeTool.exe addconfig 23615618 2

  • Restart your PC.

Microsoft is also testing ALT + TAB option between apps and sites, which takes productivity to a whole new level. Personalized Taskbar, improved notification experience, and improved Settings app are also some of the areas that the company is currently testing. All of these features aren't tied to a specific version of Windows 10 but are likely to be released next year.

- Relevant: Why Did Microsoft Remove Options to Defer Win10 Feature Updates?

via WU