Ever since the release of Windows 8 Developer Preview, a number of programs have been released to bring back the old-style Start menu in Windows 8. ViStart, ClassicShell, and Stardock’s Start8 are probably the best three software that provide smooth Start menu experience in Windows 8.
Users who aren’t willing to shell out $5 for Stardock’s Start8 (yes, it’s not free) and don’t like ClassicShell Start menu may be looking for a good, free alternative to these programs. Users who can’t live without the Start menu or who don’t like the Start screen can check out the newly released StartMenu8 program from the well known IObit.
IObit StartMenu8 is a free software specially developed for Windows 8 to enable the Start menu. Just like ClassicShell and Start8, StartMenu8 not only helps you get back Start menu and Start orb in Windows 8 but also allows you skip to the desktop mode directly instead of Start screen.
Even though the program is currently in beta stage, it works smoothly on both x86 and x64 versions of Windows 8. Users can either click on the Start button or press the Windows logo key to see the Start menu.
To switch to the Start screen, you need to move the mouse cursor to the lower left corner of the screen and then perform a click when the Start screen preview tile appears.
As you can see in the screenshots, you can access documents, pictures, music, games center, computer, control panel, devices & printers, default programs and shut down options from the Start menu, just like in Windows 7.
The search function of Start menu also works fine but the current version doesn’t support launching Modern UI (Metro UI) apps from the Start screen.
Please note that the current beta build includes Send Feedback button on the upper right of the Start menu and the same will be removed from the final build.
And if you like the Start screen, you can check out our how to customize the Start screen, how to open Start screen within desktop, set custom picture as Start screen background, add your own tiles to Start screen and display time on Start screen guides.
Users who are interested to install StartMenu8 may visit the developer’s page to know more about the program and download the setup file. We recommend you create a system restore point before installing third-party programs.