Where is the Windows 8 Start Button? Stardock Start8 Has an Answer

Where is the Windows 8 Start Button?After using both of the preview editions of Windows 8, I have now installed the full RTM version. In doing so, I lost one of my comfort features: the Start button. Yes, I know all the reasons why Microsoft says that it had to remove the Start button, but I don’t personally believe that any of them make any sense. So when I read about Start8 by Stardock — which would once again give me access to the Start button — I decided to give it a try.

The process began with locating the website, but before I could download the software, the folks at Stardock required that I provide them with a valid email address. Once they confirmed my email address, I was sent a download link that enabled me to download the software. Once downloaded, the installation was straightforward. After the installation process was completed and after rebooting my system, I was ready to try out the new program.

The first thing I noticed was that, after rebooting the display, it had reverted to the old Windows 7 screen, which was now my Windows 8 desktop. I was relieved to see that I had once again found a friendly environment in which to work. However, most important to me was that the familiar Start button was right where it had been before: down on the bottom left-hand side of the taskbar.

As you can see, on the top of the Start menu is an icon that will allow you to toggle back and forth between this display and the application screen that Microsoft once called Metro. In addition, you will see that the following items have become available:

  • The traditional Start menu with all of the Windows 8 enhancements featured.
  • A feature that allows the user to pin both desktop and applications.
  • A support feature for Jump lists.
  • A unified search box.
  • A feature that allows users to boot directly into the Windows 8 (Windows 7) desktop.
  • A feature that allows the user to configure the Start menu.
  • A Winkey option that allows for full screen viewing within applications.
  • A feature that allows for fast access to the shutdown button, devices, music, documents, and videos.

For those of us who are set in their ways and like the old Windows 7 — now Windows 8 — desktop, Start8 brings back a good friend and provides a painless way to make Windows 8 work like Windows 7 while being just a mouse click away from the application of your choosing. However, if you are not a creature of habit and prefer booting directly into the application menu, then this software is not for you.

As much as I like the Start8 program, there is one issue that concerns me. My concern lies within the hands of Microsoft which, after its release of Windows 8 on October 26, 2012, could include future updates that would prevent Start8 from working. I believe that this concern is legitimate because Microsoft representatives have stated that the company would not allow the circumvention of the startup process. So, if you decide to give Start8 a try, we can only hope that Microsoft will soften its stance and allow Start8 or other future software offerings to provide users with an alternative to booting into the application menu. Fingers crossed.

Comments welcome.

Source: Start8 by Stardock

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by gynti_46

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • Cosdis

    I don’t see why you would need a start button when you got the apps on the startpage.

  • http://twitter.com/tbsteph tbsteph

    The old start button was just that – a button. The new start button is the entire screen where you can add whatever you want. To me, the old start button is just that – old. FWIW, I’m older than Chris’s father appears to be.

  • fuyao

    If you still use the old Start button, your approach to technology will be as old as Father Chris by just staring the screen to whole day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kslingo Kyle Christopher Slingo

    I don’t like windows 8 at all, I think there will be a lot of confusion as to where the start menu is p, because we are so familiar with it. People don’t like to change

  • RenderThis

    Star8 is only practical if your main computer is a desktop computer and not a touch tablet. I wouldn’t use Windows 7 desktop in Tablet mode when carrying Surface PRO around. Your fat fingers will guaranteed to hit the wrong radio button. I have to train myself to stay in ‘Windows 8 Apps’ UI, as you know, the desktop will be terminated in Windows 9 or Windows X.

  • http://www.maxmajewski.net/ Maximilian Majewski

    I agree with the other comments. I guess you never used your Win key on your keyboard. Seriously, what is the difference? I still access my programs the same way I always did. Press Win key and type the name of the program, then press enter. Easy.

  • Guest

    Classic Shell does the same thing and adds some useful Explorer features as well.

    Of course, you have to ask why anyone with a non-capacitive touch screen would want Win 8, anyway. I certainly don’t. M$ could’ve avoided this whole thing by simply offering a desktop UI mode for those who prefer it and have a desktop/laptop or a metro UI mode for everyone else. Set up the system with one or the other (or both) and forget about the alternative.

    Choice, however, is not what M$ is about. It’ll be truly interesting to see how purchasers of new PC’s will respond when they receive it with Win 8 installed. Were I a pc manufacturer, I’d be real worried about the return rate.

    M$ and the elite here can raise their noses in derision of the masses but they’ll have to buy a heck of a lot of copies to make up for the rest of us who won’t

  • Matt

    I would like a start button, but having apps on the start page really makes it un-needed. The apps are a really big thing to come to windows, but if people are having trouble using it they need to change it. Windows 7 was a very “User Friendly” OS and it’s what i use everyday. I don’t think i’m going to switch to windows 8 yet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1292299949 Nino Brunori

    Why Microsoft just didn’t add a menu item or radio button to turn Metro off is beyond me.
    Search for Metro Controller and you can use it to turn off Metro UI and/or the Ribbon.

    ShellFolderFix will return the ability to resize folders. MS must be run by Engineers.

    Windows 8 to me is nothing but an updated Windows 7 with an extra layer to compete with the tablet market. To be honest, I’ll just buy an Android based tablet for a hundred buckazoids. The alternative is a device where 75% of the cost is the operating system when it does the same thing. MS seen this threat from Linux back in the 90’s if you care to remember that mess.

    I mean seriously, I’ll use Windows 8 on my desktop where I play Skyrim, Trine 2 or some other awesome game because I don’t believe in consoles. Pads should be used for portable work and road trips to keep the kids busy.

  • Norbert ( Bob ) Gostischa

    My favorite is Classic Shell. I’ve been using it since the early beta days of Windows 8 and it now fully supports the final release of Windows 8.
    It allows you to bypass the “Metro App” start window and go right into the desktop mode.
    The best way to see what it can do is to check it out.
    http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/

  • BigD37

    I don’t like Win 8, sorry. I’ll stick with Win7, or Mint.

  • AnonymuosCoward

    Classic Shell is the best. The icon size can be blown up to suit a touch screen as well.