The omission of the Start menu from the desktop mode in Windows 8 is one of the most controversial talking points of the new operating system. I’ve been using Windows 8 for the past few months on a non-touch laptop and have found there aren’t too many things I need to do in the desktop mode that can’t be achieved by pinning programs to the Taskbar, or using Win + x shortcut (see below).
However, i do miss the Start menu for browsing for programs I use less frequently that I haven’t pinned to the Taskbar, so lets add a Start menu!
With Windows 8 having been publicly for nearly a month now, there are starting to be a few Start menu programs available. I’ll add some links at the end of the post so you can try them out.
The program I’ve been trying is Classic Shell. Click the link to download it. The version tested is 3.6.2. Following the wizard to install it. Once installed have a read of the readme file. You’ll now have a Classic Start menu 🙂
One thing to note, the Windows Key now opens the Classic Start menu, so if you want to get back to the Metro Start menu, hold shift and click the Classic Start menu button. Classic Shell also has the ability to boot the computer straight to the Desktop mode. Take a look at the Classic Shell Settings as these are both configurable settings along with many others.
Below are a few links to other Windows 8 Start menu alternatives and blog posts that i have come across. I’ve not used any of them yet, so if you have and liked them let me know.
http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/index.html look at the alternatives menu item.