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How to Install a Free Windows 8 Start Menu

Updated on January 22, 2014

Where is the Windows 8 Start Menu and Start Button?

If you have recently bought a new computer or upgraded an old one and are now using Windows 8 you might be wondering where the start menu and start button have gone, what you are supposed to do with this new Metro screen and how you can get straight to your desktop.

If you liked Windows as it was and would like to install a classic Windows start button and start menu this video will show you how.

The new Windows 8 Metro screen. Great for touchscreen monitors but not so good if you just want to get straight to your desktop.
The new Windows 8 Metro screen. Great for touchscreen monitors but not so good if you just want to get straight to your desktop.

What happened to the desktop in Windows 8?

When Microsoft launched Windows 8 they obviously had touchscreen devices in mind. Instead of taking the user straight to the desktop, as with previous versions of Windows, with Windows 8 the first screen you see is a new screen called the Metro screen. The Metro screen has a number of tiles which you can rearrange and seems to be more geared towards tablet devices rather than desktop computers or laptops.

It's not necessarily that the Metro screen is such a bad idea - although not everyone would agree with that - it's more the fact that most of us don't like change. We may never have fallen in love with Windows but at least we understood the concept of the desktop and knew where to find things. With Windows 8 it's like starting all over again.

Thankfully there is a quick and easy way to bypass the Metro screen so you get taken straight to the desktop when you boot up and an equally easy way to install a traditional Windows start menu and start button on Windows 8.

All you need to do is install a free program from Iobit called Start Menu 8 which can be found here:

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Ah, peace at last. A traditional Windows start menu and start button installed on Windows 8. Bliss!
Ah, peace at last. A traditional Windows start menu and start button installed on Windows 8. Bliss!

Windows 8 Features Poll

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