Windows 8 has been out for a while now and the main complaint that I hear is that the start menu we are all used to is missing! I feel that most people would be comfortable switching to Windows 8 or at least giving it a try if there was a start menu. Fortunately there are several options available that will give you back the Windows 8 start menu so that you can be more productive! There are paid and free options out there, but I chose the free option for this tutorial. As I know that most everyone is trying to save those dollars!
Windows 8 Start Menu Reborn
First go here and download Classic Shell. It is a free download. The page has a lot of information on it, but the download is in the upper left hand section.
Once downloaded, run the installer.
When it opens, navigate through the install using the default settings.
After clicking “Install” and letting it finish. You can choose to view the Read Me if you want. If not, simply uncheck it.
After you click “Finish”, you should see a “Shell” looking icon in the lower left hand corner where the Start Menu is normally located.
Click on it, and you will be presented with a dialog box where you can configure settings. This will only happen the first time you click it and the options menu can be accessed at any time by via the context menu.
Once you have your options set, click “Ok” and then click on the “Shell” icon again. This time you will be presented with the all too familiar start menu.
Looks pretty familiar doesn’t it? There are three different menus and buttons that you can choose from. I like the Aero button theme as it seems to blend in with Windows 8 better, but if you are a fan of the classic look, that is available as well. I also chose the Windows 7 stye menu.
You know have a Windows 8 Start Menu! It works just like you remember from Windows 7 and previous versions of Windows. Simply hitting the Windows key will bring it up just like always. One thing I like about this particular software is that it has been around for a while, since 2009, which is way before Windows 8 was anywhere near release. It was originally developed to fix issues in Windows Vista and has evolved since then. It doesn’t try to invent anything new or add any “fancy” features. It simply works. Also, since it’s been around for a while, it is well developed. Meaning there are no bugs that you would typically run into with new software. There are paid Windows 8 Start Menu replacements out there, but in truth I think Classic Shell is worth it’s weight in gold. Give it a try and bring back the familiarity of the Windows that you love/hate! LOL.