Windows 8: How to Put the Start Menu Back In
Here's a letter that may interest you from a loyal Infopackets subscriber:
"Dear Infopackets Team,
I'm really enjoying your articles and learning a lot about my computer. But things are not perfect. My wife is going crazy with her new Windows 8 computer because there's no 'Start' button. Is there anything she can do to get it back, short of returning to Windows 7?
Please keep your useful information coming.
Your wife is not the only person unhappy with some of Windows 8's new features. One of the least favorite changes appears to be the removal of the familiar 'Start' button.
As a result, some developers have created techniques to put the Start menu back in.
A number of new applications allow users to restore the old Windows Start menu to Windows 8.
Start8: Free Trial Available Now
Of all the choices my personal favorite is Start8. It was developed by a Michigan-based firm called Stardock and offers a comprehensive interface that solves a lot of the problems introduced by Windows 8's new UI. (Source: stardock.com)
First off, you can try Start8 for free for thirty days. Once that trial period is over, it will cost you $4.99 to download a full version of the app.
Start8 takes little time to install. Once the installation is complete, however, you find your computer has suddenly developed several interface options that gel nicely with Windows 8's overall design.
The first thing you'll probably notice is the revival of the much-missed Windows Start menu. You can easily tailor this new menu to your own preferences, selecting the tools and applications you want listed at the top.
Start8 also allows users to disable some relatively unpopular Windows 8 features, including the less-than-loved "Charms" tool.
StartMenu8: Free, Still in Beta Stage
If you'd rather not pay for a program that restores a Start menu in Windows 8, try San Francisco-based IObit's Start Menu 8 (which we've previously profiled in our Freeware picks section).
From the get-go, Start Menu 8 installs quickly and easily, immediately putting up a Start menu. But since Start Menu 8 is still in the beta testing stage, users will often be asked to send feedback on their opinions of the application.
Start Menu 8 includes fewer customization options than Start8. No word yet on when Start Menu 8 will graduate from beta testing, but it's likely its 'production' version will contain major improvements.