Start menu applications for Windows 8


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If you know of a good app for replacing the start menu in win 8 then post it here or just mention which you like best or dislike the most.
To start the thread off is an application aptly titled: Start8.

Bring back the Windows[SUP]®[/SUP] "Start" menu with Start8

  • Windows 7-style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements
  • Search for Windows 8-style (Modern UI) apps
  • Pin desktop and Metro apps
  • Boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop
  • Windows 8 S

Start8 1.11 Changelog

  • Added Start8tweak.exe advanced configuration for extra options including enabling / disabling Start8 on a per account basis.
  • Added email category to search results.
  • Added support for Modern UI app closing to return to the desktop rather than the Windows 8 menu on advanced settings.
  • Added native support for the DisplayFusion secondary taskbar.
  • Added support for BMP files as start button. RGB (255,0,255) is permitted for transparency.
  • Added registry entry to control if hidden items should be included in the All programs list.
  • Added registry entry to control if the user picture should have a border or not in the default theme.
  • Added registry entry to control if the tree has a horizontal scroll bar.
  • Added support for Search the Internet button on search results via registry key.
  • Documents, Pictures, Music, Computer and Recorded TV places will use the name set in explorer for them if the user has renamed them.
  • Shutdown button menu will have an item selected when accessed via the keyboard.
  • Adjusted start menu sizing to prevent bottom item on the places list from being slightly clipped in certain circumstances.
  • Modified shutdown menu to prevent surplus separator line showing when the machine doesn't support sleep or hibernate.
  • Right to left language versions of Windows now show the user picture.
  • Right to left language versions of Windows now have icons rendered the correct direction.
  • Tweaked to prevent .lnk text showing in tree on occasion.
  • Tweaked code to better handle closing a docked Modern UI application when at the desktop when the charms bar is set to disabled.
  • Fixed an issue with right click on the places list
  • Jumplists close when you pin / unpin something / delete it
Reference and download:

Start8? for Windows® 8 - Bringing back the Windows Start menu

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Davehc passed along info concerning the next application which does have a free trial.


StartIsBack returns Windows 8 a real fully featured start menu and start button, behaving exactly like the ones in Windows 7.

StartIsBack - real start menu in Windows 8


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Startisback is yet another start menu add-on. The difference here is that it replicates the Windows 7 start menu exactly. Very customisable.

View attachment 1175


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Just want to update something from my previous post. I could not understand why startisback, apparently did not seem to be using any resources. The others, on the other hand, and in particular, Classic, certainly did.
It took an awful lot of browsing, and analysing comments, but it seems that Startisback is actually using the original Windows 7 start menu, which is buried somewhere in the Windows 8 OS.
With the controversy over the missing start menu, I doubt that MS will interfere with this, in any future update but, if you want to regain a few resources, give it a try.


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Considering that Stardock helped design the original Windows XP Luna Theme and the deskop theme systems in Windows XP and Windows Vista, I would still go with Start8 for the small cost. I am sure they are using whatever remnant code is available. Further, I prefer that Start8 runs as a service. If it goes down, it will just auto-restart, although this has never happened. It seems they have tried to recreate it as faithfully as possible, even going so far as to add some new options that probably should have been there to begin with. However, it is hard to compete with something that is free, so I would say something like StartIsBack is probably just as good.


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StartisBack has been updated to version 2.0. Here's the changelist:

  • Version 2.0 3 Mar 2013
    What's new in this major release:
  • New skin and orb image
  • Greatly improved Appearance UI
  • Modern Apps (Start Apps) are included into MFU and all programs list (optional)
  • Shortcut to Start Screen in Start Menu
  • Option to display all programs as multi-column flyout menu (Windows XP style)
  • Option to enable Start Screen hot corner on desktop
  • Bottom-left hot corner configuration
  • Option to configure what happens when Modern app closes
  • Advanced Win hotkeys configuration options
  • Option to hide Start button
  • Option to disable StartIsBack
  • Some useful Windows settings at hand
  • Group Policy support
  • Programs removed from MFU program list could return there
  • Secondary tiles for modern apps are excluded from MFU and new program highlighting
  • Search no longer finds faux shortcuts (Desktop, PC settings, Windows Store)
  • Pinned items are automatically renamed if renamed from shortcut properties
  • Shortcuts for games with dot in name could be created incorrectly
  • Uninstall could fail to remove installation directory
  • Windows key could fail to show start menu on some systems
  • Search could be slow to update search results and icons
  • Switching users could squish start menu
  • Incorrect blending in start button hover animation
StartIsBack - real start menu in Windows 8


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Stardock has released Version 1.12 of the Start8 Start Menu replacement utility for Windows 8. Changes support for BMP start buttons with alpha channels, along with a range of improvements and fixes.


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Stardock has released Version 1.16 of the Start8 Start Menu replacement utility for Windows 8. Changes include an advanced option to prevent searching within file contents, and various fixes.


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Reviving this thread with Ref my earlier post.
The startisback author has released Beta 4 of his product. This is fully compatible (so far) with Windows 8.1, and still uses very few resources. I have tested it reasonably well, and have not spotted any serious bugs. You can download it from the authors site. The download is in post #2.
The site can be trusted for the download. I did not experience any malware issues.

It's paid software. Pokki and Start Menu 8 also can bring classic start menu back to Windows 8. What's more, they are totally FREE.


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The thread is regarding Start menus. Free or charged are acceptable.
I have introduced it as it has interesting capabilities. It is built around Windows own code and uses very few resources. Fwiw. The Beta mentioned, is free.
So far, I have found these, there could be others lurking around.

Free. Top two IMO
StartisBack (free whilst in beta)
Classic Shell
Start Menu X
Start Menu for Windows 8
Power 8
Windows 8 Start Menu
StartMenu8 (IOBit)
Free Windows 8 Start Menu (SPESoft)
Taskbar Classic Start Menu
BringBack 2012 (Revel)
Handy Start Menu

Start8 - Approx $4.99
Classic Start Menu $19.99

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Perfect list. But SartIsBack is only free for beta testing, so it should not be listed as freeware, not to mention the "top two". :down:

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It isn't listed as freeware. The bracketed note explains (to most readers)

The first two are IMO. Other users are free to favour others.


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That is in my list but tks.

SartIsBack is not free.

i personally prefer to free ones for they seem not much different from each other.


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Someone already mentioned it but yeah, Pokki is a good alternative. Here's the description of the Pokki (check out photo attachment) :


I actually have it installed side by side with Classic Shell and use it mainly to get rid of my desktop clutter.


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going through the lists here, there are many common apps that i find for a cause but also there are some that are not to me .. preparing my list to post it here

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