Windows 11 Dev Channel Update Introduces Redesigned Start Menu

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04 Jul 2024

A new test version of Windows 11 is now available for Windows Insiders on the Dev Channel with Build 26120.961, introducing a significant change: a new Windows Start menu.

The Redesigned Windows 11 Start Menu

Microsoft has revamped the user account display, placing it at the center of the Start menu once you click on the username or profile picture. This new “account manager” feature provides quicker access to various Microsoft accounts, including Microsoft 365, Xbox Game Pass, and OneDrive cloud storage. Additionally, a recovery method for your Microsoft account is prominently offered here.

Windows 11 Start MenuThe redesigned Windows 11 Start menu with Account Manager feature.

Microsoft is leveraging this display to remind users of their products and services. The difference from the current Windows 11 Start menu is evident, as shown in the screenshot below:

Original Windows 11 Start MenuThe original Windows 11 Start menu before the redesign.

Microsoft explains that this update initiates the rollout of the new account manager in the Start menu, providing a quick overview of account benefits and simplifying account settings management.

This update begins the rollout of the new account manager in the Start menu. When you sign in with a Microsoft account, the new design gives you a quick overview of your account benefits and makes it easier to manage your account settings.

However, the redesign has led to the removal of the “Lock,” “Sign out,” and “Switch user” options that were previously easily accessible. Users now need to click on the three dots at the top right of the user account menu to access these options.

It appears that an additional mouse click will be required for these commonly used actions, which are more frequent than accessing other accounts like Xbox Game Pass or Microsoft 365.

The timeline for this change to be available to all Windows 11 users is uncertain, but the upcoming major autumn update (24H2) could be a potential release window.

This article was originally published in German on our sister publication PC-WELT and has been translated and adapted for our readers.

Windows 11 Pro vs Home - Which is better?

Windows 11 Pro and Home cater to different user needs. Home is suited for general consumers, offering essential features like the new Start Menu, Virtual Desktops, Snap Layouts, and integrated Microsoft Teams. Pro includes all Home features plus advanced features for businesses and power users, such as BitLocker, Remote Desktop, Group Policy Management, and Hyper-V. If you need business-oriented features, Pro is better; otherwise, Home should suffice.
Update: 04 Jul 2024
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