Windows 8 & 10 Start Menu Returns

Recently a friend shared a bit of information about dealing with the missing start menu in Windows 8. It got me thinking that many people might not be aware of this method and my own prefered method using third party software.

Method 1 – 3rd Party Application (Prefered)

After the release of Windows 8 a flood of third party tools hit the internet to return your start menu. These tools are a mix of pay for and free, some perfectly replicate the older start menus and some don’t even come close. Here is what I use now that the dust has settled and I’ve tried all the options I can get my hands on.

Classic Start is a full start menu replacement for Windows 8 that almost perfectly replicated the old start menu experience with options that allow you to customize it even further.

Install and setup

  1. Downloaded and install the latest version from
  2. After installation right click on the start button and select “settings”… Capture
  3. Choose the style of menu you prefer (I prefer Windows 7 Style).Capture
  4. Customize other options in the basic settings tab if you desire. Also, advanced settings can be found by clicking the “Show all settings” option near the top.

That’s it! now you have a start menu just the way you want it.



Method 2 – Toolbar folder

For a very long time you’ve been able to attach a folder to the windows taskbar. After adding a folder, clicking it will display a menu of all the files and folders in that menu. The windows Start Menu is mostly just a series of organizes files and folders and while the menu is gone from 8 and 8.1, the folders are still present.

By right clicking on the taskbar, selecting “Toolbars” and pressing “New Toolbar…” you will see a window asking you to select a folder to add to the taskbar. Instead of selecting a folder copy and paste the following path into the folder input box at the bottom of the window:

%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Check out this article with some more detailed instructions.