Labrys is a straightforward alternative for the Windows 7+ Start Menu.

The program installs easily, no adware and no setup issues. In part this is because it's very basic. There's no vast choice of replacement start menu images, for instance, in fact there are no images at all: Labrys simply hooks the keyboard and pops up whenever you press the Win key (or click the regular Start button).

Once you do launch it, though, Labrys gets much more interesting. The program doesn't simply reproduce the regular Start menu, for example. It sorts applications and shortcuts alphabetically, and provides index keys to jump directly to a particular letter (clicking "P" displayed Paint.exe, then Paint.NET, and other installed programs beginning with "P"), as well as including the regular text search.

Labrys makes good use of screen space, taking the full maximum available height and enabling you to adjust the width as required.

The Labrys Search box can also be toggled to Command mode, and used to manually launch some executable. Labrys remembers these commands and autocompletes them later, and there's also an option to create simple command aliases (by default "PwS" launches "PowerShell -Command "%typed_command%" with whatever arguments you type).

One issue we noticed is that newly installed programs aren't added to the menu. (The developer says "Shortcuts changes are not being monitored yet", which may be the reason).

You have to manually launch Command mode, too (Labrys always displays its Search box first, and it takes a click to see the commands).

This version adds file path completion with Ctrl + Space combination when typing in Command textbox. It was actually implemented from the very beginning. But I've accidentally disabled it in previous public releases and forgot to mention it in the help file. I've noticed this only after one of the users asked me about adding such a feature.

Another improvement would be compatibility with recent jumplist format changes in Windows 10.


Does the world need another Start Menu? Probably not. Labrys is a little different, though, and if you like the alphabetical index, width control and configurable commands then it could be useful.