Because the Start Menu was completely missing from Windows 8 and has been a complete disappointment in Windows 8.1, most of the users have to rely on third party start menu replacements. We have already discussed about the Classic Shell application that can add the start menu in Windows 8. StartW8 is another similar application which imitates the start menu of Windows 7 on your Windows 8 PC. The start menu is fully functional and has the usual shortcuts to programs and various sections of the machine. It supports both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (32-bit as well as 64-bit operating systems).
Installing StartW8 on your PC is a matter of seconds. After downloading the StartW8 setup file from the AreaGuard website, you can run the setup program to install it on your system. At the end of the installation, you should be able to see a new start menu icon in the Windows taskbar. The start menu icon is not the usual Windows logo icon but a red colored imitation, clicking on which the Windows 7 start menu lookalike menu appears on your screen.
It is not necessary to mention that you can use this menu just as you have been using the start menu in the Windows 7 PC. If you right-click on the StartW8 icon, it will show another menu which allows you to open the StartW8 settings in addition having the options to shutdown, restart, hibernate or sign out from your PC.
In the StartW8 settings, you can choose to boot straight to the Windows desktop instead of the Start screen, assign usual start menu shortcuts (Windows logo key and Ctrl + Esc), disable hot corners and charms hints corner. You can also decide what items should appear in the StartW8 start menu.
If you are feeling nostalgia of the bygone Windows days and want to have start menu in Windows 8 (and 8.1), then you can make use of the free StartW8 start menu replacement tool. Not only it looks the same as the Windows 7 start menu but also features the same layout. If anything is different in this start menu, it is the start menu icon (which unfortunately cannot be changed).
You can download StartW8 from http://www.areaguard.com/startw8.
Classic Shell FTW. Far superior and gets usability of little details perfect. It almost feels Microsoft-made
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