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Windows 8 - Where's the missing Start Button (and how to get it back)

As many of you out there know, in previous versions of Windows, pressing the 'Windows' button on your keyboard, normally brings up the 'Start Menu'. In Windows 8, this has been changed to bring up the Windows Metro Interface, and as many have discovered, the Start Button (or Start Menu) has been removed from Windows 8.

Unfortunately, this is a strategy that Microsoft has employed to try and get users to rely more on the Metro menu. But some of us 'old school' users are so used to the Start button and would like to have this brought back. So - how do we do this?

Well there are a few methods but I will elaborate on 2 of my preferred ways.

VISTART and CLASSIC SHELL.

Vistart
Vistart will bring back your Windows button in it's near original format. The only part of this method that irks me is the fact you could 'unwittingly' install software onto your system by accepting the terms and conditions - so please take the time to read what the terms and conditions are before pressing on the OK or ACCEPT button.

Please note: at the time I tested it today, with the retail release of Windows 8, I have found that, upon restarting, the Start Button has reverted back to text only and the button functionality has been lost. I am not sure if this has been a deliberate attempt by Microsoft to stop this button from working or not, but for now, please use Classic Shell (as per description below).

Classic Shell
Classic shell is a SourceForge community attempt to bring the start button back. Although the button doesn't resemble the old Start button (it looks like a Windows 'Shell' button), it does what it's meant to do and has a myriad of menu styles you can choose from, Windows Classic, Windows XP or Windows Vista/7 style of menu.
Upon installing this add-on you may be in a panic when you can't seem to get the Metro menu back. Don't worry, this can be reversed by doing the following...
  1. Click on the Start Shell Button
  2. Select the 'Basic Settings' tab
  3. Move to the 'Windows Key Opens' option
  4. Select 'Windows Start Menu'
  5. Click on OK and you're done.
 Now, pressing the Windows Key will bring the Metro Menu back again.

Classic Shell is the way to go to get most of the 'familiarity' of Windows 7 back to your Win8 setup and I would recommend this over all other methods at this point.

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