This quick tutorial shows you how to change Windows 8 Start Menu to look like Windows 7 Start Menu. If you’re tired of the Windows 8 Start Screen (which is designed for tablets, not PCs), then install the free Classic Shell program for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and even Windows 10. The Classic Shell Windows app / program gives you a full Windows 7 Start Menu on Windows 8. See how to set it up with these steps:
How to Change Windows 8 Start Menu
- In your browser, go to http://ClassicShell.net.
- Click the Download button after you arrive at ClassicShell.net
- Open the File that your browser downloads
- If your computer asks for your password, enter your password to let Windows know you’d like to proceed with Opening the installer file.
- Now click through any on-screen prompts, by clicking “Next“, “Yes”, “I agree” or whatever other prompts it may ask during the install process.
- After the Classic Shell program installation has finished, click the start button.
- You should now see a Windows 7 Start Menu in place of your crappy Windows 8 Start Menu. Voila!
- In addition to the default start menu functionality (which is based on Windows 7 Start menu), you can go to Programs > Classic Shell > Classic Start Menu Settings. Then change any options you see fit.
Explanation of Windows 8 Start Menu
The reason for Microsoft’s decision to include the “Start Screen” in Windows 8 as opposed to a Start Menu is because of the release of Microsoft Surface tablets, which coincided with Microsoft’s release of Windows 8. So Micro$oft decided to put Windows 8 on it’s Surface tablets, which they thought would work well with a Start Screen instead of a start menu.
Sure, this might be okay for tablets, but what about the millions of people using Windows 8 on their PCs? For us, thankfully, a third-party software creator has solved this issue with the Classic Shell program (install steps mentioned above).
Classic Shell Windows 8 Start Menu Options
- The Single column option is exactly that: One column with all your Start Menu inside.
- Two column gives you programs and recent apps on the left column of the start menu, and “control panel” type items on the right column of the menu.
- Windows 7-style is essentially an enhanced two-column menu, with a file browser / explorer-type panel in the left column and a standard control-panel assortment of options in the right column. We suggest Windows 7-style for the best productivity speed.
Classic Shell Compatibility
Classic Shell is compatible with both 32-bit (aka “x86”) and 64-bit (“CPU”) system artchitectures:
- Windows 7
- Windows 8
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 10
- Server counterparts such as Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016.
- Use the same installer file for all versions of Windows!
Class Shell is not compatible with Windows RT.
Related Videos & Tutorials
Enjoy the “retro” start menu! I know I do. What other apps do you know of that can make Windows look / feel better? Let us know on the KFire YouTube Channel.