Ask the Answer Guy – Where’s My Start Button On Windows 8?

Dear Brent,

I bought a new machine that's running Window's 8, which doesn't have a start button, and I miss it! Is there any way for me to get my start menu back?

I've been hearing this a lot. Users who don't have a touch screen are finding the Windows 8 interface a bit cumbersome, or they just simply miss the old Windows 7 Start menu. The good news is there are two solutions that will put your trusty Start menu back onto Windows 8.

Classic Shell is a group of usability enhancements for Windows, including a customizable Start menu for Windows 8, appropriately named Classic Start Menu. Just by pressing your Windows key, a familiar-looking Start menu appears, with skins customized by you to look just like your old Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP Start menu did. Begin a faster-than-ever search just by typing in what you're searching for and hitting Enter. You can still pin items of your choice to the Start menu in an even more customizable fashion. And more good news: It's free.

In addition to Classic Shell's Windows 7-style Start menu, you may prefer the Windows 8 Start menu found in Stardock's Start8. For $4.99 per month (after a free 30-day trial), Start8 offers a more authentic copy of the Windows 7 Start menu than Classic Shell's, and also has a Windows 8-style Start menu that allows you to go either partial- or full-screen.

Either way you go, you can rest knowing Windows 8 and your favorite Start menu can make a great partnership.

About Dyan James

Dyan has been researching, writing, copyediting, and proofreading articles across a variety of industries since 1998. She further developed her interest and talent for covering technology while working with the guys at DCG Technical Solutions, Inc. Whether writing from scratch, copyediting or simply polishing, Dyan has mastered the art of turning rough copy or a plain idea into an eloquently written piece.