The Start button re-introduced with Windows 8.1 isn’t very useful, especially if you prefer hitting Windows key to switch to the Start screen. While the button might help PC users who always use mouse to switch to the Start screen, most desktop and laptop users use the Start button very rarely.
The original purpose of Start button was to launch the Start menu but since there is no Start menu in Windows 8/8.1 and there are better ways to switch to the Start screen, you might consider removing the Start button to free up some valuable space on your taskbar. In other words, by hiding the Start button you can accommodate an additional program on the taskbar.
Luckily, there are a couple of free tools out there to help you remove this Start button from Windows 8.1’s taskbar and gain some space on the taskbar. You can use one of the following three tools to remove or hide the Start button from Windows 8.1’s taskbar.
NOTE: We know that the taskbar looks great with the Start button on it. This guide is for users who don’t like it or don’t use it.
Tools to hide the Start button in Windows
Start Killer: A tool specially developed to kill Start button in Windows. Start Killer, which was initially released to remove Windows XP/Vista/7 Start button has recently been updated to support Windows 8.1 as well. In short, download and run this portable utility to hide the Start button instantly.
The Start button will not appear as long as the tool is running in the system tray. Right-click on Start Killer’s icon located in system tray and then click Exit button to restore the Start button.
In addition to that, it also lets you kill Windows 8.1’s metro user interface. When this option is enabled, you will not have access to the Start screen and charms.
StartIsGone: StartIsGone, a product from WinAero, was developed soon after the release of Windows 8.1. Just like Start Killer, StartIsGone also enables you hide the Start button on Windows 8.1’s taskbar. It’s portable as well.
7+ Taskbar Tweaker: As you likely know, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker is an excellent utility to tweak and customize Windows 7/8/8.1 taskbar. It offers tens of options to tweak the default settings of your Windows taskbar. The latest version includes an option to hide the Start button on the taskbar with a click. 7+ Taskbar Tweaker is a portable utility, meaning you can run this software without installation.
If you are on Windows 10, refer to our 2 ways to hide or remove the Start button in Windows 10 guide.