Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Get Old Style Start Menu in Windows 8

Windows 8 is targeted to become as the single operating system for multiple Eco-systems, and to do that the OS design team has made some significant changes in this new version of Windows.

The very first visible change is the new Start Menu page. In Windows 8, if you hit the Windows Key on your keyboard, you will be taken to the scroll-able page having thumbs (showing respective information) of apps installed on your system. This new start screen looks really good and I think it is the perfect screen for touch devices. But you may find it a bit troublesome on normal desktop screens.

If you miss the old Windows 7, Vista or XP like Start Menu in Windows 8, you can get that by either of the 4 ways explained below.

You can either use third-party software to do that OR use some tricks to get similar features (like Start Menu with keyboard shortcut or Mouse Movement). Find these techniques listed below.

Third-party Software to get Start Menu in Windows 8

1. Start8

Stardock release an application to get the new, stylish start menu. You need to install the Start8 application to get that kind of Start Menu after hitting the Win Key . It brings the similar menu as we get after clicking the Search button on right navigation of Windows 8. Once you get this menu, you can type the name of application you want to open and run.

Windows 8 showing Start Menu on Win Key - Start8 Application

2. ViStart

Another third-party software to get traditional Start Menu. Once you install ViStart, you get the traditional Start Menu (just like Windows 7 or Vista). Here you get Control Panel, Recent Applications etc. as normal Start Menu.

Warning – When you install the ViStart application, don’t forget to uncheck the “Babylon Search and Toolbar” installation otherwise it will install this add-on of Internet Explorer as well which is not required.

Windows 7 or Vista like Start Menu in Windows 8 - ViStart

Simple Tricks to get Start Menu without Software Installation

3. Right Click on Start Page

If you don’t want to install any third-party software to get the Start Menu, you can still get that by simple trick. Go to the normal start page and right-click on the left-bottom corner of the page. There you get right-click menu as,
  • Run
  • System
  • Device Manager
  • Control Panel
  • Task Manager
  • Search
  • Program and Features

Start Menu like options in Windows 8

I think they are sufficient as you can easily type the application name inside the run box OR directly open the listed applications like Control Panel.

4. Add Search and Run Prompt on Toolbar

If you use the Start Menu to open applications installed on your computer, you can easily do that by having “Address bar” on your Windows Toolbar. Right click on the Desktop or Explorer toolbar and select Toolbars ==> Address.

This will add the address bar on the toolbar and you can search and run applications from there only. You can also add Desktop, Computer Drive etc. on Address bar for quick access.

Type and Run Applications in Windows 8 from Address bar

Bonus – You can also get the run prompt by hitting  + R keys on your keyboard, and then type the application name to run that.

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