Microsoft gives you a few ways to customize Windows 11 with themes and colors, but one of the best ways to go beyond what Microsoft offers is with Stardock software. From Start11, Fences 4, Deskscapes 11, there are a lot of great Stardock apps that are available to download. We've put together this guide for you to check them out. Of course, these are all paid apps, and you can buy them all directly from Stardock.com.
At the top of our list is Start11. This is one of the best ways to customize the Start Menu and Taskbar in both Windows 10 and Windows 11. As we noted when we reviewed it, the app lets you bring back a Windows 7-style Start Menu in Windows 11, and even a Windows 10-style one, too. On top of that, you'll be able to move the Taskbar to the top of the screen. It's one of the most powerful customization apps in Windows 11.
Have a lot of apps and folders on your Windows 11 desktop? That's what Fences 4 is for. This app lets you automatically organize your desktop shortcut icons and running tasks. You can create shaded areas to organize your desktop, and use a peek features to bring the fences on top of the app you're working on. Other features include the ability to define rules to organize your desktop icons and swipe between multiple pages of fences.
Want to add animated videos and pictures to your Windows 11 desktop? This isn't possible in Windows 11 natively, but DeskScapes 11 Beta helps fix that. With this Stardock app, you can create your own animated backgrounds with pictures and videos. You also can use drawing tools, and add logos, and effects to wallpapers. There are 60 different effects you can use, and you can even share your creations, and browse through other creations from fellow Windows users. The sky is the limit!
Remember when Microsoft tested tabs in Windows 10 apps with a feature known as Sets? And also tabs in the Windows 11 File Explorer? Well, if you're not a Windows Insider and never had a chance to try out either of those two features, this is what Groupy is for. The Stardock app lets organize multiple applications into grouped tabs on your Windows desktop. You can group apps under a common tabbed interface, save groups of applications together, mouseover tabs to preview contents, and automatically group instances of the same app together.
Want to spice up your cursor in Windows 11? Well, you can download cursors manually and follow our guide to change them, but that's a very complex process. Stardock's CursorFX lets you create your own cursors, animate cursors with special effects, listen to custom mouse click sounds, and more. You can choose from a great set of designs, and apply skins and shadows to cursors, and make your desktop look less generic.
Buying all of these Stardock apps we mentioned individually could add up to a lot of money, which is why we suggest the Object Desktop suite. It comes with all the apps we've mentioned so far, and so much more. If you found this guide helpful, let us know in the comments below.