How to Restore the Start Menu in Windows 8

You are missing the old start menu in Windows 8, aren’t you? Microsoft no more includes the old Start button. Instead, now simply click in a hidden corner and a Start Menu pop ups. It feels really odd for some people. So, you have two choices – Either live without the old Start buddy, or get back your Start buddy with few of the listed replacements. If you want the old Start buddy back, then consider the following.

Few of the choices below might even hide the charms and the app switcher menus. So, either get used to the new look, or go ahead with the following modifications to get that old look feeling back.


Stardock’s Start8 has a lot to offer. It has a Windows 8 style start menu, with an addition to Windows 7 style start menu. This replacement is not free. It has a 30 days free trail. Then, it is $5 to continue the usage of Start8.

The Windows 7 style Start menu is a close and accurate interpretation of Windows 7 start menu, offered by Start8.

The Windows 8 style Start menu isn’t that bad either. It is almost like the new Start menu of Windows 8, except for it can be used without the full screen.

Creating your own Start Menu

OK, this one sounds ridiculous, i know.

We may use the Windows taskbar’s support for toolbars to create our own start menu replacements. The Windows taskbar’s support for toolbars allows us to display the content of folder easily. So, we may use this feature to develop own start menu, without any kind of third party installations.

I will post about this in my next article. Will update the link here itself.


It was one of the most talked third party software when the Windows 8 preview releases were launched, and when people realized that it was void that old classic Start menu.

The problem with ViStart is that, now it has a lot of useless toolbars and other junkwares. But it was one of the most famous third party software in the beginning.


Pokki is originally a Windows app store. But, a Start menu is offered here as well. But Pokki is different with its start menu. It does not use the Microsoft’s design of the start menu. Rather it has its own design for the start menu.

The Pokki design offers the applications and settings to be separated as categories, which is kind of similar to what Windows 8 has done. The most used programs and stuffs can be pinned to the Favorites category.

IOBit StartMenu8

If the above listed options do not satisfy your needs, and you feel a little disappointed, then IOBit StartMenu8 might be the one you would like to try. It is totally free and its functioning is almost similar to Windows 7 Start Menu.

Right Clicking the IOBit StartMenu8 icon will give you several options which are very useful. It will allow you to convert your desktop more towards the traditional desktop which you seek. It will present you with the abilities to skip the Start Screen at the login, hiding the Charms side bar, and disabling the hot corners.

Classic Shell

Classic Shell is open source, and free. So, I guess many open source lovers will like this Windows 7 Start Menu alternative. It has loads of skins which replicate the start menus of various operating systems, such as Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, or even Windows 98. You may configure this to great extents.

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