HOW TO GET WINDOW 7 START MENU IN WINDOW 8
Let’s say you’ve just installed Windows 8.1 for the first time, or perhaps bought your first Windows 8 PC. After poking around for a bit you’ve finally found your way to the desktop. In the bottom left corner, you’ll see what looks like the Start button, but when you click it, you’ll be rewarded with a hideous new Start screen, not the Start menu that you know and love from Windows 7 and Vista. For some reason, despite the aforementioned series of updates over the last two years that are meant to make Windows 8 more user friendly for mouse-and-keyboard users, Microsoft is still forcing us to use the Metro interface instead of a real Start menu.
The good news is, despite Microsoft’s best efforts to ensure that the Start button and menu remain banished from its new OS, there are a bunch of third-party Windows 8 Start menu replacement apps that you can download today. Really, it goes to show how devoted the existing user base is. Microsoft completely stripped out the underlying Start menu code to quash potential Luddite revolutionaries, and yet now there are dozens of Start menu and Start button replacements — some of which are even superior to Microsoft’s own Windows 7 Start menu.
If you’re running Windows 8.1 today and want the Start menu back, take a look at our list of the best, least expensive, and most authentic Windows 8 Start menu replacements.
WINDOW 7 START MENU IN WINDOW 8
Start Menu Reviver 2
Start Menu Reviver 2 is a touch-screen-friendly option — one of the few that is, considering most people want the original Start menu back because they’re used to a keyboard and mouse. In this case, the new version is nicer, with plenty of sizing options and the ability to create shortcuts for documents, music, video, websites, and other tasks. It also embraces the Windows 8 tile design, without completely taking over the UI the way Windows 8 Metro does. It now includes scrolling tiles and a Windows 7-like mode as well.
ViStart is one of the most customizable Start menu restorers for Windows 8, and lets you choose from a variety of skins. ViStart includes a blurred, translucent menu that integrated well with Windows 8, as well as a Windows 7-like Start Menu skin that we imagine some people will want to head straight for. It also speeds up program launches thanks to built-in indexing, and advertises a faster-than-Windows-7 search option for your local PC.
Classic Shell is free, open-source donationware that gives you the option of a classic (Windows 98ish), Windows XP, or Vista/7 Start menu. At its most basic, it replaces the Windows 8 Start button on your taskbar — but as always with third-party utilities, it has a ton of other features and settings that you can tweak to your heart’s content (in Classic Shell’s case, there are probably too many tweakable settings). One strong point of Classic Shell is that it successfully rebinds your Start key, so that the Start menu pops up instead of the new Metro Start screen. Hitting the Start key from Metro pops up Classic Shell, too
Take care while installing Classic Shell, though: It’s not just a Start menu replacement, and if you’re not careful you will end up installing Classic IE and Classic Explorer, too.
Start Menu 8
If you want the Windows 7 Start menu look-and-feel, but you’re not prepared to fork out a few dollars for StartIsBack or Start8, Start Menu 8 is another solid alternative. With this one, you get a fair amount of configurability, and a handful of Windows 8-specific toggles that are very useful. By default, StartMenu8 will skip the Windows 8 Start screen and go straight to the Desktop, and disable Windows 8’s hot corners. There’s also the option to disable the sidebar, the StartMenu8 button icon can be altered, and you can add and remove which links appear up the right side of the Start menu.
Overall, Start Menu 8 looks and feels a bit clunky — and, incidentally, watch out for some annoying bundleware during the installation process.