How to add a Start Button to Windows 8 to make it feel a bit more like Windows 7

Use The Taskbar

One of the best interface features new to Windows 7 was the ability to pin icons to the taskbar and open Jump Lists. Together, these two features made the Start menu more or less superflous. Users could pin popular folders and apps to the taskbar and navigate many of their functions directly without having to go into the Start menu at all. This is still possible with Windows 8. Users can create a faux Start menu by creating a shortcuts folder, pinning it to the taskbar, and then adding the desired shortcuts. This can take a few minutes, but it creates a simple, paired-down option that only lists the software the user wants to include.

Additionally, users who want a very close approximation to a Start menu – unused apps and all – can create it. Right-click on the taskbar, go to Toolbarss in the context menu, then click New Toolbar. When an open folder window pops up, type the following:

%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Ta-da! Now, right-click the taskbar again and uncheck “Lock the taskbar.” This makes it possible to drag the Programs button over to the left side so that it sits where the Windows 7 Start button sits.

When done Lock the Taskbar again.

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