Get Start Button (ORB) and Classic Start Menu Back in Windows 8 Using Classic Shell

We all know that Microsoft has finalized its latest OS "Windows 8" and currently a free 90-day trial version of Windows 8 RTM is available for download.

Windows 8 comes with many new features and enhancements but many people didn't like the removal of Start button and Start Menu from Windows 8 Taskbar. Microsoft has removed Start button and has replaced it with a thumbnail which appears when you move your mouse cursor to bottom-left corner of screen. Start Menu has been replaced with new Start Screen.

Microsoft is not in mood of adding Start button and Start Menu back in Windows 8, so we have no other options left except using 3rd party software to get both the things back.

We have told you in past that you can get Start button and Start Menu back in Windows 8 using a few freeware such as ViStart and Start8.

And today in this topic, we are going to share yet another freeware to bring back Start button and Start Menu in Windows 8.

We all know about "Classic Shell" software which was developed to bring Classic Start Menu back in Windows 7. The software got huge success and lots of new features were added in later versions such as classic Windows Explorer features, classic IE features, etc.

Now the good old software has been updated with support for Windows 8 so now you can get Start button and Classic Start Menu back in Windows 8 using Classic Shell. Other operating systems such as Windows Vista, Windows 7, Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 are still supported.

Following is a preview of Classic Start Menu and Start button in action in Windows 8:


The Start Menu is highly customizable so as the Start button. You can customize lots of settings using Classic Shell Options. Just right-click on Start button and select Settings option.


You can change Start Menu skin, Start button image and much more. You can also add new items in Start Menu, remove unwanted items from Start Menu. Its extremely customizable.


By default, Classic Shell overwrites WIN key behavior and shows Classic Start Menu when you press WIN key. You can change this behavior using its Settings. You can also enable 2-column view in Start Menu, show user picture, user name in Start Menu and much more.

Apart from Classic Start Menu and Start button, Classic Shell also adds the good old toolbar in Windows Explorer and titlebar text, etc options in Internet Explorer 10.

You can download it using following link:

Download Classic Shell

Thanks to our reader "davidlim" for the update...

NOTE: You can also apply following exclusive skin to get Windows 7 look-like Start Menu and Start button in Windows 8:

Get Windows 7 Look-Like Start Menu and Start Button in Windows 8

Check out following video to learn how to customize Start button and Start Menu look using Classic Shell:


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  • In case you want to add the original Windows orb back instead of the Classic Shell orb, use this image: in the Start Menu settings -> Start button tab. :)

  • Works great and has wide options when compared to ViStart and start8.

  • It's Work well on Win 8,

    can it work on windows 7.

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. It can be used in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 and Windows 8.

    Thats by design. You can customize icons.

    Thanks for the image. It'll help others.

    Yes. Its highly customizable.

  • Not only does Classic Shell give you back both the start button and Windows XP start menu in Windows 8.But you can also create your own custom start orb.You cannot of course change the start orb on Windows XP,Vista or 7 with out having to hack or edit some shell files.Which is risky, as if you make a mistake you could break Windows.

    But as there is no start button on Windows 8,there are no files to hack. So you just create you own custom start orb by adding a bitmap image. There are also several start orbs on Devantart that can be downloaded and work in Classic Shell. I now have a Windows XP start orb on my Windows 8.As well as the Windows 7 and Windows XP start menu.Andrea Borman.

  • does this remove the Metro completely? this is what Microsoft should be offering natively. Baboons.

  • I don't agree with "Hi" that MS should allow you to remove Metro completely - that almost begs the question why upgrade in the first place! It is invevitable that PC's, tablets and smartphones will converge - in fact for usability it is almost essential that they do. Apps are the future - in any case an App is just a programme anyway. Touch screens are the intermediate future but I am sure will quickly develop into finger gesture screens that do not need to be touched at all.

    Nobody who really loves technology wants to see the status quo forever but what we do need are tools built in to aid transition and a selector to choose which interface you want as your default is so obvious it is hard to think of why it wasnt just there in the initial build. I am guessing in time that many of the major softwares will switch to more platform independent apps, especially if they are able, in some super fast broadband age, to make them web based but able to work as efficiently as desktop based.

    So even the most anti-metro/apps style user is going to be drawn to apps eventually, especially when great things come out on apps that you cant get for the desktop - however that is going to take few years and in the meantime users will first want to have a traditional desktop as the default and will switch to metro when they need it (and they will!) - in time the need will go the other way until eventually the need for a traditional desktop/keyboard and mouse are long gone.

    It is a shame that we will have to go third party for this functionality as the more third party apps you have installed, the slower your system becomes and the greater the risk of unknown errors an system crashes

  • I downloaded (as suggested above), this .png WINDOWS START BUTTOM ORB. Works fantastic!

  • Is it possibe to make it use the effect Windows 9x had? The one where you click the start button or press Windows on the keyboard and it would fire up from the bottom? I think it was called Scroll Effect.

  • The 9tAAy.png file works great. I know microsoft made them remove their logo but this is the option I wanted back!

    Thanks VG!

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