Microsoft has brought back the Start button in Windows 8.1, even if its primary function when clicked is to take users to the Start screen. But familiar button with the Windows logo is back indeed.

Still, contrary to what most people expected, the new operating system is missing an option to disable the Start button. Meaning there is no way to get rid of the Start button and go back to the standard Windows 8 desktop UI.

As noted above, the returning Start button does not launch the Start Menu — instead it gets users to the Start screen, which itself has been tweaked and enhanced with several new customization options.

Right-clicking the Start button launches a small menu that was also included with Windows 8, but this time it comes with a few extra actions like Shut down and reboot.

Additionally, users are allowed to boot directly to the desktop and skip the Start screen altogether if they want. And as reported earlier, there are options to enable the App View mode whenever the Start screen is launched — a good option for users that do not want to see the Live Tiles interface.

There is a distinct chance that Microsoft will be keeping an eye on user feedback for this particular change. There is a gap of few months between Windows 8.1 Preview and final version of the new operating system, and who knows, Redmond may still include the option to disable the Start button.

What is your take on this? Is it good to go with this rigid approach, or should Microsoft allow users to make the choice of enabling or disabling the Start button. Share your thoughts in the comments.

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  • SmileyFace™

    What’s the big deal? You couldn’t disable the button in Windows 7 and previous OS’s, I bet third-party applications will resolve this.

    • iBooa the First

      The thing is it isn’t needed. It does take unnecessary space. The hot corner was fine. Still, a lot of people couldn’t comprehend that hot corners exist, so they brought it back. (What happened to being an adaptable species?) Now people with limited screen space have to suffer once more.

  • Janzu

    What’s the big deal? The big deal here is the fact that microsoft can’t bring themselves over a simple task to decide do they want to have start button. “No button, yea button” Is it so hard to really provide this customization they’ve been talking about all the time? Not all miss the start button. I know that most don’t agree with me but even after getting used to start menu over years, I never missed it in windows 8. Never would’ve in 8.1 either… Ctrl+X provided everything that was not on desktop.

  • Nikita Shtykov

    Users 🙂

  • Michael Chapman

    As user friendly as Android and Google are windows should include some user features that can be customized by the user.

  • komakaze

    I don’t want the start button back. I’m happy with using the windows key, and preserving screen real-estate for stuff that matters to me, like my applications & work!

    • iBooa the First

      You do know you don’t have to use the windows key. Use the hotcorner where the start button used to be.

      • shinji

        I have Start8 loaded (trial right now) and I setup that if I hit the Win key quickly it brings up the old school start menu and if I hold it down for a second or two it will bring up the full start screen. I think that’s a good compromise. Best of both. Hot corner is still available and start button is still hidden away.