Enable Classic Start Menu Button in Windows 8

Microsoft has introduced Metro UI in the new version of Windows – Windows 8. This Metro UI is specially designed for touch-screen computers and shows tiles which can hold shortcuts to programs or web sites. Windows 8 opens with Metro UI tiles by default and if you click on the Start Menu button in the Desktop mode, it only switches back to the Metro UI tiles interface. For people using Desktop computers without any touch screen, this can be a painful experience. If you want then you can disable the Metro UI and enable the Windows 7 like Start Menu button in Windows 8 – so that when you click on the Start Menu, a real Start Menu opens where you can choose programs and other settings. Here is how :

Update (4th March, 2012) : Please note that Microsoft has permanently removed classic Start Menu from the latest version of Windows 8. The method mentioned in this article used to work in the Developer Preview edition but no longer works in the Consumer Preview edition. Click here for the new method to bring back the Classic Start Menu in Windows 8.
  1. Click on the Desktop tile in the Metro UI interface to switch to the Desktop mode. Alternatively, just hit the Windows logo key on your keyboard.

    Enable Classic Start Menu in Windows 8

  2. Press the Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog. Type regedit in the Run dialog and press Enter to start the Registry Editor.

    Enable Classic Start Menu in Windows 8

  3. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key :
    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer

    Enable Classic Start Menu in Windows 8

  4. In the right-side pane of Registry Editor, you would find a DWORD value RPEnabled. Double-click on this RPEnabled and change its value from 1 to 0 as shown.

    Enable Classic Start Menu in Windows 8

  5. As soon as you change the value you would see the icon of the Start Menu change to Windows 7 like Start Menu. If this does not change, then you may have to log off and then log on. Now if you click on this button, it would open a Windows 7 like Start Menu where you can search for programs, choose for programs and access various classic settings like the classic Control Panel.

    Enable Classic Start Menu in Windows 8

If later you decide to switch back to the Metro UI interface, then follow the same steps but this time change the value of RPEnabled to 1. You may have to log off and then log on again for the changes to take effect.

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