Get the new Windows 10 Start menu -- and other Insider features -- without being an Insider
Being a Windows Insider obviously carries some risks. You may install a build which doesn’t play at all nicely on your PC, resulting in features breaking, or worse. The plus side is you do get to try out cool new features before anyone else.
Recently Microsoft introduced an updated Start menu with theme-aware tiles, and an improved Alt-Tab experience which shows all open tabs from Microsoft Edge. Although you officially need to be an Insider to enjoy these, there is a sneaky workaround that will allow you to get them without having to join the program.
Since Microsoft hasn’t rolled out the features to non-Insiders, adding them could potentially cause you problems, although you run similar risks installing any Microsoft update these days.
The process of activating the new menu is quite straightforward, but you do need to be running the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (2004).
Type Winver into the Windows Search box and hit enter to check which version of the operating system you’re running. If it comes back with 2004 you’re good to continue. Follow these steps:
- Type Windows Update into the search box and hit enter.
- Click Check for updates
- When this is complete, select Optional updates and install Build 19041.423 (KB4568831).
- Reboot and wait while the installation completes.
- Open Notepad and paste in the following:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Save the Notepad file as 20H2.reg and double-click on it to apply the registry changes. Reboot your system and you should have the new menu.
If this doesn’t work for some reason, check to make sure you have installed the Build 19041.423 update. Type Winver into the search box and you should see the new build listed in place of 2004.
Run the registry entry again and reboot once more. It should work this time.