Computer Tip: How to put back the Start menu in Windows 8
December 28, 2012 6 Comments
One of the problems with Windows 8′s not so great reception by critics is the loss of the Start menu. Many have felt that is a major problem.
I have mentioned previously that the best solution would have been for non-touch screens and devices to have the option of using either the current “modern” desktop or the old Windows 7 style desktop.
When Windows XP was released, users were given the familiar Start menu but had the option to switch to the Windows 2000 style menu. Myself, it took me a couple of years to switch from the Windows 2000 style menu to the Windows XP style menu.
Going back to the “problem”, since there is no choice as Microsoft forced the modern desktop on us [note: the Windows 7 Start menu was available in an earlier developer "preview" but was removed in subsequent editions], enterprising companies and individuals have come out with replacement Start menus for Windows 8.
Basically, when you get into Windows 8 [after logging in], when installed, you will switch right away to the desktop. On the bottom left corner, you will see a variation of the old Start menu button and clicking it gives you a variation of the old Start menu. “Extras” may be added.
One application, commercial but just $5, is something called Start8 from Stardock [ http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/ ]. It is very closely resembles the Windows 7 menu except it uses the square-ish modern edging.
Another application, but free or open source, is Classic Shell [ http://www.classicshell.net ] It has a number of numerous features such as Start menus that resemble Windows 7 or Windows XP as well as various tweaks for Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer, etc.
Note: You may wish to wait a bit or make sure your menu replacement before installing the first [and future] service packs for Windows 8 as it could break the application.
Note: I’m only mentioning two. There are others. I would, however, not recommend something called Vista Start Menu at all because I’m not sure if it works with Windows 8, and when I installed it, it installed some applications without warning. After removing the software one application still lingered. Unsure if what installed was spyware or anything but I don’t trust anything that doesn’t give me the option of not installing it.