If you are a fresh Windows 8 user, you might have several surprises, and some are quite unpleasant. One of the annoying feature, noted by multiple users, is a lack of the start button, everyone so used to. Targeting new gadgets, Microsoft is committed to having everyone use the Start screen instead of the Start button and start menu found in previous versions of Windows and therefore has no setting to enable or disable the start button.
Eventually, you may find the new approach satisfactory. For example, if you're a power user looking to access easily such options as the Command prompt, Computer management, Device Manager, Event Viewer, Control Panel, Windows Explorer, you may use the Power user shortcut key (Windows key + X). However, if you miss the start button and some functionality, you are used to from the older Operating Systems, you may bring it back through the multiple third-party utilities, we are presenting now.
Windows Start Menu Vistart 8 is a nice free utility allowing getting the Start menu back to Windows 8, almost identical to what was in Windows 7. The utility also includes several custom start menu skins, like the windows 8 start menu metro skin, different start menu buttons’ designs, and lot's of extra useful customization features.
Direct Download: http://lee-soft.com/vistart/builds/windows-start-menu-vistart.exe
2. IObit Start Menu 8
IObit Start Menu 8 is specially designed for Windows 8. It offers a suitable solution for users who work with Windows Start Menu all the time and are not accustomed to the new Metro start screen in Windows 8. This smart tool brings back both the start button and Windows Start Menu, and offers the option to skip Metro start page, allowing users who only work on desktop to boot to Windows 8 desktop directly.
Direct Download: http://download.cnet.com/Start-Menu-8/3000-2072_4-75852660.html?part=dl-&subj=dl&tag=button
3. Classic Shell
Classic Shell is a collection of usability enhancements for Windows 8. The main features includes highly customizable start menu with multiple styles and skins, bringing back the familiar start button, and adding toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer, and many others.
Direct Download: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/classicshell/Version%203.6.8%20general%20release/ClassicShellSetup_3_6_8.exe
Pokki brings you back a start button for Windows 8, where you can find and open your programs, files, control panel, and power options with one click.
Direct Download: http://cdn.pokki.com/download/Pokki_Start_MenuSetup.exe
StartW8 is also designed to provide the classic Windows functionality to the Windows 8 users, adding Windows Start menu in Windows 8 design, but Windows 7 functionality and ability to switch automatically to desktop immediately after signing in. It also includes possibility to activate menu with Win key, log off, lock and turn off your computer, and provides a traditional search field.
Direct Download: http://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/System-Tweak/StartW8.shtml