In this list, we talk about 5 free software to bring back the missing Start Menu to Windows 8. It’s not a new fact that the Start Menu is not available anymore on Windows 8, and this is pretty sad for people coming from the older Microsoft Operating Systems like Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. For those who really want to get the Start Menu back on Windows 8, some developers have created nifty apps that allow you to do just that.
These apps are pretty cool, especially if you consider their ability to provide Windows 7 like Start Menu on a Windows 8 machine. Some of these freeware look exactly like the Windows 7 Start Menu, and some of them look different and even better than the Windows 7 Start Menu, but provide a similar functionality. So what are these apps and how exactly do they work? Let’s now find out…
1. Spesoft Windows 8 Start Menu
Using the Spesoft Windows 8 Start Menu is as simple as it gets. You just have to download this little applet, and then pin it to the Taskbar of your device. Then, to use the app, simply click on its icon, and a Start Menu will open up, which looks pretty much like the Windows 7 Start Menu itself. The menu also has an inbuilt search box that allows you to quickly find installed apps. Towards the right of the menu are links like Control Panel, Computer, etc. Also, right clicking on an app inside the menu gives you the option to pin the app to the Start Screen of the device; apart from providing the standard options to view the file’s properties, run as administrator etc.
Get Spesoft Windows 8 Start Menu.
2. Start Menu 8
When you download Start Menu 8 and install it on your machine, you will be presented with the Start button on your Taskbar which is missing in Windows 8. Clicking on this Start button will open up the Start Menu which by all means is a perfect clone of Windows 7 Start Menu, or at least gets pretty damn close to it. Through the configuration settings of the app, you can also select various options, like: Booting up directly to the desktop, disabling the hot corners, etc. The Start Menu is fully functional and also allows you to search for the apps via the search bar inside the app. You can right click on the Start button and then open up the Preferences of the app by selecting the same option from the right click context menu. Do check this app out!
Get Start Menu 8.
3. Classic Shell
Classic Shell is an incredible little tool to get back the Start Menu on Windows 8 devices. The app is absolutely free, of course, and when you install and launch it, you are presented with the preferences screen of the app that appears on the first launch. Here, you can configure the style of theme that you wish for your Start Menu to have (the app supports Windows Classic, Windows XP and Windows Vista) themes. You can also select other settings that allow you to boot directly to the desktop, choose the image for the Start button etc. Once that’s done, you will be able to see a Start button at the left side of the taskbar, and you can click on this button to launch the Start Menu. A restart may be required after installation of the Classic Shell Menu on your device.
Get Classic Shell.
4. Vistart 8
Vistart 8 is a cool Windows 7 Start Menu clone for Windows 8 devices. When you install it, you will be provided with the exact same Windows 7 Start button at the left side of your taskbar. Clicking on this Start button opens up the Start Menu, which is a 100% working clone of the Windows 7 Start Menu. The app also has a search box at the bottom of the Start Menu which is also fully functional. Apart from this, Vistart 8 has configurable settings that allow you to change its theme, etc.
Get Vistart 8.
StartW8 allows you to get back the Start Menu on Windows 8, much like the tools that we talked about above. The main feature of this app that makes it stand out is that it is fully customizable, that is even for the links at the right panel of the Start Menu, you can choose which ones to display and which ones to hide. You can achieve it through the configuration page of the software. The Start Menu is the standard deal, with search box at the bottom which is fully working. StartW8 does not consume a lot of system memory even while it’s running, and this is one feature of this software that I really like.
This winds up our list of 5 Start Menu replacement apps for Windows 8. I do hope that you will love these software! Also, do let me know of your experiences with these apps through the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
I earlier commented, on this website, that the plural of “software” is still “software,” and so there is no such word as “softwares,” with an “s” at the end. I’m happy to see, then, that the headline of this story does not use “softwares”…
…however, from this headline, I can see why people for whom English is a second language might want to use “softwares” (seemingly, but not correctly plural) when they mean to convey more than one piece of software. Still, the correct English usage of “software,” no matter how it appears, is still just “software,” with no “s” at the end, no matter what.
And, so, again, I’m glad to see it used that way in this headline…
…however, from this headline is begged the question you might have: “If one uses only the word ‘software,’ without an ‘s’ at the end, no matter what, then how does one convey that one means or is referring to more than one piece of software in a headline (or even a sentence) like this?”
And the answer is to use the word “software” (which is normally a noun) almost more like it’s an adjective, wherein the word “software” describes the word that immediatelly follows it. In this case, the logical words to follow “software” when “software” is used almost like an adjective would be words like “program” or “app” or “utility”… something like that.
If so then this article’s headline could have been any of these…
“5 Free Software Utilities To Get Start Menu On Windows 8”
“5 Free Software Programs To Get Start Menu On Windows 8”
“5 Free Software Apps To Get Start Menu On Windows 8”
But, of course, once you do any of those, then it begins to negate the need for the word “software” in the headline, at all. For example, any of these would also have worked (and possibly even better)…
“5 Free Utilities To Get Start Menu On Windows 8”
“5 Free Programs To Get Start Menu On Windows 8”
“5 Free Apps To Get Start Menu On Windows 8”
Another way to convey that you means more than one piece of software would be to use that very phrase, except with an “s” at the end of “piece” to pluralize it, as in: “pieces of software”
And so, if you wanted to use that method, your headline would be…
“5 Free Pieces Of Software To Get Start Menu On Windows 8”
…which is technically correct, but might be more awkward than the three immediately-previous examples which just use “utiliy” or “program” or “app” without even using the word “software.” Because it’s probably too wordy, and because, in my opinion, the word “utilities” best suits the headline, the probably-better way to write the headline, then, would be:
“5 Free Utilities To Get Start Menu On Windows 8″
Additionally, as long as I have your attention about all this…
…”connecting” words in a headline should never be capitalized. So, then, using the most recent of my examples, here, the correct way would be:
“5 Free Utilities to Get Start Menu on Windows 8”
Additionally, regarding writing numbers in a headline: First, you must differentiate a number that is expressed as an actual digit from one that’s spelled-out.
The number “8” of “Windows 8” is obviously part of a proper name, and so it should always be a digit “8” just as you did it. However, numbers between one and nine (1 and 9) should always be spelled-out; and then starting with the number 10 you may use digits.
Note that in that immediately-previous sentence, I put “(1 and 9)” in parenthesis, even though I spelled-out “one” and “nine” before it. Putting into parenthesis the digits which correspond with spelled-out numbers isn’t necessary, but it can help with clarity sometimes; and since that whole sentence is about how to write numbers in headlines and sentences, depending on whether they’re nine or less, or ten or more, I figured it would help make things more clear to use the digits in parenthesis following their spelled-out versions.
And so, then, in any case, my last headline example would become:
“Five Free Utilities to Get Start Menu on Windows 8”
But, you might ask: “If I’m supposed to use digits for numbers higher than nine, how would I make the first word of the headline anything higher than nine?”
And the answer is that because it’s the first word of the headline (or even sentence), then it should be spelled-out no matter what is the number. And so even if the actual number were 15, insead of 5, the headline would become:
“Fifteen Free Utilities to Get Start Menu on Windows 8”
Only if the 15 were not the first word of the headline would be be expressed as a digit rather than a spelled-out number. Of course, the number in your original headline was five and not 15, and so let’s get the example we’re building, here, back to five, as in:
“Five Free Utilities to Get Start Menu on Windows 8”
Those capitalization-of-numbers rules also apply to sentences within the body of articles…
…and, speaking of articles, don’t forget them in your headlines! And so by “article,” I’m sure you can tell that I don’t mean the article on this page; rather, I mean “article,” as a part of speech. In English grammar, an “article” is a determiner word which precedes a noun. The common English articles are…
* “a” (or “an”) (sometimes “some”)
Your headline is missing an article, specifically, the word “the” in front of “Start Menu”; and so if we took my most recent headline example, it would more correctly become…
“Five Free Utilities to Get the Start Menu on Windows 8”
And the truth is that since most readers would perceive the Start Menu as something that Microsoft took away, the addition of the word “back” might make some sense in the headline, to wit:
“Five Free Utilities to Get the Start Menu Back on Windows 8”
But one could argue that “to Get the Start Menu Back” is too wordy; and that the more economical phrase would be “to restore the Start Menu”. If so, then the headline would become:
“Five Free Utilities to Restore the Start Menu on Windows 8”
Whether the word “on” or “in” might have been better is debatable; my inclination is to use “in” rather than “on” as in…
“Five Free Utilities to Restore the Start Menu in Windows 8”
…but, again, that’s a debatable stylistic question. However, if you stop and think about it, our use of “restore” in the headline, now, almost demands that we use the word “to” instead of either “on” or “in”. If so, then the headline becomes:
“Five Free Utilities to Restore the Start Menu to Windows 8”
Whether or not to capitalize even the non-connecting words in many headlines is also a stylistic debate. Personally, I like to avoid unnecessary capitalization in headlines. If so, then the headline would become:
“Five free utilities to restore the Start Menu to Windows 8”
Note that even with not capitalizing non-connecting words, the proper names “Start Menu” and “Windows 8” remain capitalized.
Finally, there’s just one more thing: Once the headline is formed as I’ve most recentely formed it, here, the use of the word “to” before “restore” becomes less-than-ideal. Now that the headline is formed as I’ve now formed it, the better way would be to substitute “that” for the word “to” in front of the word “restore,” as in:
“Five free utilities that restore the Start Menu to Windows 8”
And so, that last version of the headline, right there, would be the triple-net bottom-line way that I’d write your original headline, in light of all that I’ve herein written. Once again…
“Five free utilities that restore the Start Menu to Windows 8”
…but, of course, without the quotation marks. I only put those around my examples, here, to set them off from other text.
So, bottom line, I think that that’s your killer headline for this article: Five free utilities that restore the Start Menu to Windows 8
That’s the way a native English speaker — especially if s/he had proper journalism training — would re-write this article’s headline.
Since I started the trouble, around here, of not using the word “softwares,” with an “s” at the end, it’s only right that I now help with how to use that word — or, in this case, alternatives thereto — in your headlines (and in the body copy of your articles, too, come to think of it).
Just tryin’ to help.
Keep-up the good work! And please don’t be embarrassed or upset: After all, if I were writing in your language, I’d be making even BIGGER mistakes!
Gregg L. DesElms
Napa, California USA
gregg at greggdeselms dot com
Veritas nihil veretur nisi abscondi.
Veritas nimium altercando amittitur.
@Gregg – Thanks for dropping by again and sharing that point of view. The current headline works fine for me as it correctly conveys the meaning :)