Want To Get Back The Start Menu In Windows 8? Here's How

By Vamien McKalin email: v.mckalin@mobilenapps.com | Jan 05, 2013 09:16 AM EST

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For some users, Windows 8 is an outstanding operating system with only one problem - the missing, classic Start Menu that has been a part of the operating system for most of its life.

The new Live Tiles feature on the modern Start Menu is good for what it delivers. For example, it makes it easier for users to stay up-to-date with their incoming e-mails, news, calendar appointments, and other important information. It is even possible to search for any file or application by using the new search option, but it is not as intuitive as using the classic Start Menu when desktop work comes into play.

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For those users who require the old way of doing things (which sometimes is the best way), there are quite a few options to choose from. To make it easier on you poor chaps, we'll list our favorite Windows 8 Start Menu replacements, pick choose and refuse.


ViStart can be considered as one of the best out of the plethora of options available. The design brings to the table the classic Windows 7 orb with all your shortcuts ad folders at the left. This design is what Windows users have become accustomed to, which is one of the main reasons why ViStart is on this list.

The program brings the classic search bar at the bottom, which allows for the searching of files and applications just the way you like it. The dedicated Shutdown, Restart, Sleep, Logoff and Hibernate options are also available. For those who hate the new Start Menu like a spoonful of poisonous Kraken venom, ViStart allows for bypassing it altogether.

All is not perfect with ViStart though. The ability to customize the Start Menu is not present and for some odd reason, right-clicking on a folder does nothing whatsoever. Despite those small number of problems, ViStart is still one of the best Windows 8 Start Menu replacement apps and better still it's free.

Download ViStart here

Classic Shell

Classic Shell is awesome because it brings more than just the classic Start Menu - it brings other classic features of older versions of Windows that were removed, as well. The app brings the familiar Windows 7 orb along with the Start Menu's look and feel. Users have the option of choosing to list all settings or just the basic stuff.

The menu brings everything one would expect from a Windows 7 Start Menu replacement. All the familiar shortcuts are there from Documents, Settings, and Programs. The run command is also there, but this feature is for advance users only.

Classic Shell doesn't only return classic features to Windows 8, it can bypass the modern Start Menu if you so wish.

Download Classic Shell here


StartW8 doesn't offer much in the form of advance features and customization; however, that should be okay if you require nothing but a simple Start Menu.

By using StartW8, users will have at their disposal the classic design with most things being in their respective places. The traditional shortcuts are there on the left side, and options like shutting down the PC, along with sending it into hibernation are all here.

Basic customizations like adding items to the Start Menu is there for your convenience. Users also have the ability to automatically allow StartW8 to open the desktop after a cold boot; which is quite handy if you are a user of the desktop more than the modern Start Menu.

Download StartW8 here.

That's all folks, the best Windows 8 Start Menu replacement apps available right now. Obviously there are more, however, we chose to go with the ones that would give the user a familiar feel and not something that was designed by humans for humanoids.

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