With Windows 8 the largest thing to get used to is the fact that your Start button has been replaced with the Start Tiles instead. No longer do you have that comfort of the Start button at your beck and call. But if you really cannot get used to the Start Tiles and want to get your Start button back? I have the solution. And the good news is it is entirely free! This is my article on Windows 8 Get your Start Button back for free.
Microsoft is attempting something truly bold and different by removing the Start Button from Windows. With the release of the Microsoft Surface, and now their Windows 8 Phone. They all have something in common. The Tiles Screen (formerly known and hated as METRO). This is supposed to be your “One Stop Shop” and get to what you need quickly. With the use of “Live” Tiles you can get updated information right there on the screen.
Why Do We Need the Classic Start Button Then?
The bad news is for a lot of the users of Windows they miss and want the Start Button back.We all have our personal reasons for why we want to still have our Start Button. For power users it is just plain easier and simpler to get to things using the Start button (or Windows Shortcuts). But Microsoft took it away!
You should read the author’s “Rant” on the subject here: Why Classic Start Menu?
Classic Shell is an open project that is 100% completely free. But that isn’t why I really like it. It gave me everything I wanted back functionally without having to leave the desktop. And if I want to? I can still access the Windows 8 Start tiles any time I wish. (Translation: Almost Never!) You can see an example of the default Start Menu when you first install the program.
You’ll notice in the above picture both the “Programs” and the “Apps” menu. The Apps menu which is expanded above is the current list of applications you have in your Windows 8 Start Tiles menu. So you can open them now from your Windows Desktop! So now I get the best of both worlds 🙂
Of course this little application is highly configurable! You don’t have to use the Classic start menu above. You can change it to look to just about anything you want! For a complete list of features and what this program can do you’ll need to go here: Classic Start Shell – Features
Its Not Perfect
No, its not perfect. It doesn’t look 100% like the original Start Menus you get from the Original OS it is copying from. But to me it is close enough.
Also it does have some bugs. If you experience any they would love to hear from you! You can always report them here.
How to Get It?
There are two ways to get this program. The first way is to go to the project site here.
The second way is to go to Ninite and install it using this free utility to keep your computer upgraded to the latest version of commonly used apps.
Yes there is an alternative version out there. Stardock who has been around forever offering desktop skinning customization has a paid for version that you can get by going here: Start 8 – Stardock
But if you don’t want to pay for an alternative solution? The author was kind enough to even put up a page on his project site which you can read: Alternatives to Classic Shell
What Do You Think?
Personally, I love this application. It has been a lifesaver for me in my house. I had to repair the main computer and didn’t have a Windows 7 disk handy. My wife hates Windows 8 so this makes it tolerable for her to being able to use it now.
Leave me a comment on what you think about how the Start Button being moved/changed in Windows 8 has affected you! Or have you decided to forgo Windows 8 altogether? I want to hear from you!