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How to Get the Classic Start Menu Back in Windows 8 ?

Feb 9, 2014

Both the Start button and classic Start menu are gone in Windows 8. If you don’t like the full-screen, Metro-style “Start screen,” there are a few ways to get a classic-style Start menu back. In the Developer Preview of Windows 8, you could remove Metro by deleting the shsxs.dll file, but you can’t do this in the Consumer Preview.

Metro is now baked into Explorer.exe itself. Create a Start Menu Toolbar It’s not a well-known feature, but Windows can create toolbars that show the contents of a folder on its taskbar. This means that you can create a pseudo-Start menu without installing any other software on Windows 8. Just create a new toolbar that points at the Start menu’s Programs folder.

1. From the desktop, right-click the taskbar, point to Toolbars, and select “New toolbar.”

2. Type or copy and paste the following path into the Choose a folder window: %ProgramData%MicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms 

3. Click the “Select Folder” button and you’ll get a Programs menu on your taskbar.

4. Right-click the taskbar and uncheck “Lock the taskbar” if you want to move the new Programs menu around.

5. Drag and drop the grip at the left side of the toolbar to place it somewhere else on the taskbar, like at its left side — the Start menu’s traditional location.

6. Right-click the “Programs” text if you want to change or hide its name. After you’re finished, right-click the taskbar again and select “Lock the taskbar.” There’s one catch with this method — it won’t actually show all your programs. The Start menu actually grabs shortcuts from two different places.

In addition to the system-wide ProgramData location, there’s a per-user Programs folder at the following location: %AppData%MicrosoftWindowsStart MenuPrograms The Windows Defender shortcut — and other shortcuts — don’t appear in our toolbar menu. You could create a second toolbar to list programs from this folder, or perhaps move shortcuts from the %AppData% location to the %ProgramData% location.