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Make Windows 8 Look Like Window 7

windows 7 start menuAt Boxaid online computer support we specialize in working on Microsoft Windows computers.  We have dealt with everything from Windows 98 to Windows XP and of course Windows 7.  These were all business as usual and our technicians are experts on all of these different operating systems.  But with Windows 8, which was released in late 2012 there is a new wrench in the mix.  We quickly came up to speed on the new operating system and as we did we simply couldn’t ignore how confusing and unintuitive it was.  This was such a radical change since previous versions of Windows and took some getting used to.  Worst of all, even if you did get used to it, we kept asking the question “What were they thinking?”  Why on earth would you remove the Start button that end user’s have been using for over 18 years.  We do think that Windows 8 works better on a tablet but if you have it on regular laptop or a desktop you have some serious changes coming your way.

Stuck with Windows 8

Nevertheless, if you have bought a new PC at your local electronics store or online at Dell, Lenovo, HP anytime since December of 2012 you are getting Windows 8 whether you like it or not.  So at Boxaid we have of course been fielding these new calls.  The biggest complaint we get, as we predicted, is countless of confused end users asking where their Start button is, how do they get to good old Control Panel, and PLEASE make my computer look like Windows 7 again!


Well it’s a fact, whether end user’s love Windows 8 or not, it is here to stay and we have to get used to it.  So of course you can get a new computer that comes with Windows 8 and wipe your hard drive and install Windows 7.  Alternatively, you can embrace it since it does have several cool features like improved speed, an app store, and new utilities.  The biggest negative change we see in Windows 8 is the removal of the Start button which has been around since Windows 95.  It is at the core of Windows and recognized all over the planet.  Why they thought this was a good decision we will never know.

How to get Back Original Start button

So rest assured we have a simple solution to make your Windows 8 computer go back in time and look a little more like Windows 7ClassicShell is a great free utility that takes your Windows 8 and returns the most common things that you are used to.   Most importantly, it returns your Start Menu which essentially can get you anywhere.  That includes Control Panel, My Documents,  and all your programs in the native desktop mode you were accustomed to.  Simply, download the latest version on your Windows 8 desktop from HERE and execute it like any other program.

classic shell installer

Install Prompt for Classic Shell

Follow the install prompts which are super easy and simple.

classic shell button choice

Choose your preferred menu type for the Start Button

Choose the Windows Start menu that you prefer. We recommend the Windows 7 version. Not much more to configure. Now you can reboot and moving forward you will get the traditional Start Menu.

Update 12-11-2013

Windows 8.1 was released several weeks ago and there were plenty of rumors that Microsoft has learned the error of its ways.  Many analysts speculated that Microsoft would be bringing back the original Start button in Windows 8.1 but shockingly they did not.  Instead they stuck to their guns with their Metro Styled Start screen and adding some much needed improvements allowing users to right click anywhere to get back most functionality of the old Start button.  Now the rumor is they will be bringing back the original Start button in Windows 8.2, code named Threshold due out in January of 2014.  Unfortunately this is a big disappointment that Microsoft keeps releasing updates and not giving their users what they really want.  Nevertheless, we still stand behind our fix for the missing Start button which is Classic Shell.  Simple, easy, free and fixes the mistakes of Microsoft.  You can download it below.

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