Why can't my friend access his Windows 8.1 Start Menu Like Win 7?


Well-Known Member
He did go to the navigation pane and check all the empty check boxes.

He's getting a tad bit tired from the Metro Menu, he does not want to install a third party software just so he can access his start menu.

He checked all the boxes found a picture online since I don't have Windows 8.1 and that Windows 8.1 Update did not do any justice either.

But it still did not show the start menu
Other people in YouTube videos install third party software just to force the menu to appear like this...

Thanks for the help Windows Forum :D You are the best users on here :).


Essential Member
That attachment of the navigation tab is not from windows 8.1, it may be from windows 8. That said, uncheck the box use apps first and the check the box to use desktop mode on start up. Now you have to apply (save) those changes in order for them to take place.

Here's mine.....

taskbar navigation.PNG


Senior Member

Perhaps you have been misinformed regarding Start Menu in Win 8.1

I am now running Win 8.1 Pro Update 1.

There is NO Win 7 style start menu in Win 8.1, both before and after Update 1.
The only way to have Start Menu like Win 7 is to install a 3rd party program. If you or your friend do not want to go that way, then you and your friend will have to put up with the Metro Start screen.

And to echo what bassfisher6522 said, your taskbar navigation screenshot is not Win 8.1 version.
Check the 1st box under Start Screen if you want to go to desktop upon sign in.

The only so-called Start menu in win 8.1 is this one when you right click at the start icon.....

Image 1.png

Last edited:


Senior Member
P.S. the one you circled in red is only about whether you want background picture to be used on Start screen. If it is unchecked, Start screen will show default solid color as background ( mine is blue.)
It has nothing to do with "start menu".


Extraordinary Member
I use the Desktop rather than the Apps screen as follows:

1. Put a Shortcut to the Start Menu on the Desktop by navigating in File Explorer (was Windows Explorer) to the hidden folder C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu, right-click or press and hold Programs and click or tap Send to (Desktop shortcut). You may have to tick ‘Hidden items’ in the View Ribbon of File Explorer.

2. Put a shortcut to msconfig on the Desktop to give you access to about 18 programs on its Tools Tab, including regedit, event viewer and system restore. Navigate to C:\Windows\System32, right-click or press and hold msconfig.exe and choose Send to (Desktop shortcut).

3. Further programs can be accessed by pressing the Windows Logo key+X (or right-click or press and hold off the bottom left corner) and choose from a list. The full list is Programs and Features, Mobility Center, Power Options, Event Viewer, System, Device Manager, Network Connections, Disk Management, Computer Management, Windows PowerShell, Windows PowerShell (Admin), Task Manager, Control Panel, File Explorer (was Windows Explorer), Search, Run, Shutdown (Restart, etc.) and Desktop.


Senior Member
Should you or your friend change mind and decide to try out some 3rd party Start Menu programs, here is a list of FREE programs :

Personally, I use Start8 by Stardock.
It's $4.99 one time purchase.
It works just like Windows 7 Start Menu. If you stick with the desktop, you would have thought you were on a Win 7 computer.
This is how it looks like. Screenshot was taken before I had Update 1 installed.

Image 2.png


Senior Member
If Win 8.1 shows a start menu like Win7, it would have been so sweet. What is wrong with 3rd party app?
I don't know if someone mentioned it already, I am using Classic Shell (I think most people does). Very customisable. :)


Last edited:
This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.