How to add a start menu to Windows 8.–PC Pitstop
Adding Start Menu to Windows 8
By Dave Taylor
The Question:I don’t mind Windows 8 too much after using it for a while, but I really can’t get over the loss of the Start Menu. I know 8.1 puts a button on the lower left of the screen, but I want my menu. How can I fix it?
You raise a huge issue, one that’s the greatest complaint people have about Windows 8 and Win8.1: that the handy start menu has become a start screen and that the very concept of “everything running on the Desktop” has been reinvented to be lots of windows and some apps running within their own worlds while others still run within the Desktop environment. It’s confusing, to say the least. But Microsoft’s pretty insistent that the Start Menu no longer has a place in the world of Windows 8.
My theory, by the way, is that they’ve been too focused on the tablet and touch device experience, where the Start Screen with its different size tiles works really well. That’s good for a Win8 tablet computer, but if you have a desktop or laptop device, it’s a big leap, probably too big a leap.
And then there’s the dopey “Windows button” that showed up when we jumped from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. All it is, however, is a shortcut to the Start Screen, so it’s rather the worst use of screen real estate ever. Windows 10 brings back the Start Menu, you’ll be glad to know, but it’s weird looking because part of it (in the current pre-release) ends up looking like the different size tiles from the Win8 Start Screen anyway. Bizarre.
Fortunately third parties have you covered, and there’s a very nice Start Menu program you can download and install on your Microsoft Windows 8 computer to restore the beloved menu. Better yet, it’s free!
This post is excerpted with permission from Dave Taylor.
Sign up for Dave’s emails about free tech support and special offers on books, seminars, workshops and more.