If you’ve been a PC user for years, then you’re probably so used to the Windows interface that you could almost navigate the system in your sleep. But lo and behold! When Microsoft released Windows 8, the once familiar interface had undergone a huge makeover. And apparently for Microsoft, the Live Tiles make more sense than the previous interface that many people have grown so accustomed to.

For Tablet Users Only?

Microsoft had taken a huge gamble when it decided to come up with a totally new look for Windows 8. While the tile-based design looks clean, it doesn’t really benefit the PC users that much. It seems like Microsoft had designed it with only the tablet, phone, and tablet-laptop hybrid users in mind.

What they failed to realize is that there are still a lot of desktop-users out there, and the completely new look of Windows 8 can be quite confusing. Multi-tasking may be more difficult in Windows 8 than in Windows 7. So say you’re using Photoshop and would like to launch your RingCentral app, you may have to change screens first.

Though many may contend that users can learn how to use it and navigate through it, there will still be a steep learning curve – something that many people simply don’t have the time for.

Where is The Start Button?

The one thing that, for years, has always been present in the Windows UI is suddenly nowhere to be found. This is the ever-reliable Start button or menu. For almost 20 years, people have always known that it’s just there, right at the lower left corner of the desktop.

But with Windows 8, it’s gone for good. Suddenly, Windows 8’s Live Tiles (or the interface also known as Metro Start screen) is the new thing and Microsoft apparently thinks that the Start button has no place in its latest OS.

This can be pretty annoying, especially if you’ve always been used to the Start button. After all, change can be frustrating especially if the Start button is the one that lets you access almost everything on your computer. Whether it’s the software, documents, or media you want to access, instinct tells you to just press the Start button.

How to Bring the Start Button Back?

So how do you work around this? Well, thanks to concerned and quick-thinking developers, there are apps that can bring your beloved Start button back. Here are a few of them:

StartMenu8. If you want to start simple and not spend a few dollars on any Start-button-mimicking app, this is the app to have and download. While its interface doesn’t really resemble that of the Windows 7 quite well, it’s a better than having none at all.

The interface looks like an early Linux that imitated Windows. Despite the so-so look, the app can still help you navigate through Windows 8 just like you did with its predecessors.


StartIsBack. If you want a substitute that looks exactly like Windows 7 and you don’t mind paying a few dollars for it ($3 license for 2 PCs), then StartIsBack is the best option for you. From the appearance down to the configuration, the app really is like Windows 7.

It can also detect patches that need to be applied to your computer, therefore telling you to restart your system. What’s better though is that the app is fully customizable, allowing you to change the Start button orb icon and infuse Windows 8-exclusive features in the app.

So if you’d love to try using Windows 8 but hate the look and want the Start button back, these are a few of the ways to work around it.

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  1. I never go backwards, nor looking back to the past…

  2. Win8 with a Start Menu application (I prefer IObit’s Start Menu 8) is great. Bypass all the stupid Metro crap, disable the Charms bar and corners and get real work done on the desktop. It’s not about looking back, forward or sideways– its about getting work done.

  3. Mike Greenway / March 22, 2013 at 9:38 am /Reply

    I’m so tired of you bring this up. It different to use, but it not a big deal. I can easily do it either way. Continually talking about this trivial change waists much more time than the start screen.

  4. GET OVER IT!!!!!! Don’t use windows 8, buy an 8 track, and install it in your horse carriage!!!!

  5. Misterbear Fapp / March 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm /Reply

    No. We’re moving on to the next subject. When Kinect for Windows comes out, you won’t be touching the screen at all. We’ll give you a mouse with no batteries so you can pretend, and a sticker for the corner of your screen that says start. You can drink your Koolaid now.

  6. There are so many more “offical” looking start buttons than these… While I’m not devastated by not having a start button I don’t see why they couldn’t have just put one that brings you to the metro UI, instead of moving the mouse to the left corner of the screen. However im still on w7 and don’t see the point untill I get a touch screen computer.

  7. OMG, if you knew the start button is a deal breaker then why did you upgrade to Windows 8 in the first place? Stick to Windows 7.

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