The default Windows Start menu is quite helpful, but what if you could make it more customizable and visually appealing? You can do so with the help of an open-source app called JaxCore.
Using JaxCore, you can modify the appearance of the Windows Start menu with a single click. The best aspect of Jaxcore is that it is free and offers some pretty cool Start menu replacements.
If you’re interested JaxCore, this guide will help you get started with it.
What Is JaxCore?
JaxCore is an open-source, customizable set of modules and widgets that utilize the functionality of Rainmeter. Rainmeter is the ultimate Windows desktop customization tool. And, JaxCore is a fancy skin or theme you can use with Rainmeter.
It includes modules for customizing Windows volume flyouts, the Start menu, the volume mixer, and the Windows screen saver, among others. In addition, for those who are familiar with Rainmeter, JaxCore offers a variety of unique desktop widgets.
Now that you know what JaxCore is, let’s dive into downloading JaxCore and customizing the Windows 11 Start menu with it.
Downloading JaxCore and ValliStart
JaxCore installation is pretty simple. However, you must read the onboarding instructions carefully to avoid missing any important steps. In addition, you’ve to also download the ValliStart module to replace the default Windows Start menu with a fancy one.
Follow the below-given steps to install JaxCore and the ValliStart module in Windows:
- Visit JaxCore’s website and click the Download button.
- Navigate to the location where the file is saved and double-click to open it. The batch file will then install Rainmeter and JaxCore on your computer.
- When the JaxCore welcome screen pops up, click Get Started and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
- Now, you’ll see a popup asking you about the modules or widgets you want to install. Select the ValliStart module and click Install on the Core Batch Installer.
- On the ValliStart module screen, click Yes, walk me through the setup.
- Read the on-screen instructions carefully and follow them accordingly to complete the installation process.
Once you install JaxCore and ValliStart, the next step is to apply a Start menu layout and customize it further. Before moving on to the customization step, we recommend creating a shortcut of JaxCore on your computer’s desktop, as it is a bit hard for a newbie to find it. To do so, open JaxCore Settings and click Desktop under Add shortcut to Desktop option.
Your antivirus software may flag JaxCore as a virus. Though, it is just a false positive alert. So, we recommend you pause your antivirus software till the installation process is finished.
Customizing the Start menu is a bit difficult using JaxCore for a newbie. There are a plethora of options that may confuse you at first glance. This is why we recommend sticking to this guide and following the given instructions carefully.
To get started with JaxCore, open ValliStart settings and click on the Layout option from the sidebar. Select your desired layout from the given options. You can test it by pressing the Win key, and the new Start menu design should pop up on your screen.
Once done, navigate to the Appearance settings from the sidebar. Here you can select between different options, such as Dimensions and Elements. You can customize the selected Start menu as per your needs to make it more personalized. For instance, you can set any image from your drive by clicking Background and file > Background image path.
Now, head to the Position section to change the alignment of the Start menu. JaxCore offers six different alignments, and you need to click the desired position to make your Start menu popup from the selected position. Above all, from the General section, you can customize other aspects of the Start menu, such as Animations, background blur, Start menu color, etc.
Are you a music lover? If so, you’ll surely love the media player customizations that JaxCore offers. Follow the instructions given on JaxCore’s Media Player FAQs website. That’s not the only thing you can do with ValliStart. You’ve to explore it thoroughly to unlock its full potential. Make sure you create a restore point in case your computer messes up in between.
While JaxCore proves to be one of the best Start menu replacements, it is still not wholly bugless. You may encounter minor bugs, such as JaxCore auto-closing for no apparent reason. Also, the onboarding experience for a newbie might be too confusing at first glance.
No matter whatever the reason is, if you want to remove the ValliStart module, here’s how to do it:
- Open JaxCore home and navigate to the Library page.
- Click ValliStart > Uninstall.
- Select a reason for uninstallation and click Proceed uninstallation to remove it.
This will only remove the ValliStart module you installed earlier in the initial steps. If the ValliStart module fails to impress you, there are a wide variety of options to try.
For a change, check out how to modify the Start menu in Windows using third-party tools. On the other hand, if you change your mind, navigate to JaxCore Home > Library > ValliStart and click the Download icon to reinstall the ValliStart module.
Uninstalling JaxCore Completely
While JaxCore offers some decent replacements for the Start menu, it doesn’t provide some useful features, such as the Start menu search in Windows.
If you don’t want JaxCore anymore, here’s how you can uninstall it completely:
- Open Windows Settings and navigate to Apps > Apps & features.
- Find Rainmeter and click the three-dot menu, then Uninstall.
- Once the uninstaller appears, tick all the checkboxes and click Uninstall. This will remove the Rainmeter, JaxCore, and all its settings.
- Restart your PC to ensure the uninstaller doesn’t leave any traces.
Now, as you’ve uninstalled JaxCore, check out some unique ways to customize the Windows Start menu.
Customizations Made Easy With JaxCore
If you’re getting bored by interacting with the default Start menu for years, JaxCore is a pretty good option to get your hands upon. Besides that, the customizations and layouts are something that won’t turn your mood off.
If you’re not interested in downloading a dedicated tool, you can still customize the Windows Start menu differently and make it stand apart from the crowd.