If you are using Windows 8, but missing the Start Menu and the Start Button, you might want to check out Classic Shell, which adds the start menu and several useful classic explorer features back to your Windows 8.
Classic Shell for Windows
Classic Shell is a popular software many use on Windows 7 to get the classic start menu back or to add Up button, show title bar, get classic feel, etc, in Windows 7 explorer. Those who have not heard of Classic Shell, let me tell you that it is a collection of features that were available in the older versions of Windows, but were removed from Windows Vista and Windows 7. It has a classic start menu for Windows 7, adds a toolbar for Windows Explorer and supports a variety of smaller features. There are 3 major components – Classic Explorer, Classic Start Menu and Classic IE9.
On Mar 31st, 2012, version 3.5.0 was released, with a support for Windows 8. According to the developers:
Classic Shell adds a new customizable start button and some of the features have been disabled because they are not possible on Windows 8 or no longer make sense – like the status bar enhancements, the copy dialog replacement, and the Up button. That said, Windows 8 is still not final (as of March 2012), so it is possible that version 3.5.0 will not work with the final Windows 8 build.
In October 2013, Classic Shell v 4 was released. This version drops support for Windows Vista but extends support for Windows 8.1 too. It add the following new features:
- New “Windows 7″ menu style that replicates the look and feel of the Windows 7 start menu?the programs show in a tree inside the main menu
- You can search for files as well as programs, using the Windows Search
- The menu can show the most frequently used programs
- Programs can be pinned directly from Explorer
- New programs are automatically highlighted in the menu
- The list of Classic Shell settings can be searched to easily find the setting you need
- New more reliable way to start on Windows 8, that doesn’t use a service
- The start menu can use the native Windows 8.1 start button
- New status bar for Explorer that shows the total size of the selected files and the free disk space.
Add Start Menu to Windows 8
If you keep the start menu option selected it will add the classic menu to Windows 8.
Add Start Button to Windows 8
On Windows 8 you can also add and customize the Start button using Classic Shell.
When you right click on the Start Menu you their settings where you can change couple of settings and skins.
Skip Start Screen
From version 3.5.1 onwards, it also allows you to skip the Metro screen. To do so, open Settings and click on the General Behavior tab. Check the box to Skip Metro screen.
I would say Classic Shell is a must-have application for Windows 8. It’s a open source application so it won’t cost you anything, though the developers definitely deserve a donation.
If you want to check it out, go to the Classic Shell’s Official website.