Ex7ForW8: Bring back the Start menu and bypass the Start screen in Windows 8

Win8 Start menu back

Forget every tool you tried in the past, Ex7ForW8 really gets the job done when it comes to bypass the Start screen at sign-in and go straight to the Windows 8 Desktop and bringing back the original Windows 7 Start menu.

Windows 8 brings a radical change to the way we use computers and as much as Microsoft wants every user to fully embrace the new “Modern UI”, many people aren’t just ready for the change. If you fall in this category there is a new nifty utility that disables the new Windows 8 interface completely, that is the Modern tile-based experience, and restores the Start menu you know and love.

The name of the utility, created by Tihiy, is Ex7ForW8, short for “Explorer 7 for Windows 8”, and basically permits explorer.exe from Windows 7 to run inside the new operating system. After installing the utility in your system, every time the PC boots, the user will directly access the Windows desktop bypassing the Start screen which also gets disabled. The beauty about this “wrapper” is that none of the system files in Win 8 are modify. Furthermore, if you ever change your mind, you can return to the new interface.

Ex7ForW8 allows you to keep taking advantage of all the new features in Windows 8 (Storage Spaces, File History, Reset and Refresh, Fast Startup, among hundreds of others), without even losing the new enhancements in File Explorer, like the ribbon menu and the new copy feature. Plus bringing back the Start menu too!

Boot-to-desktop bypassing the Start screen

One thing though, and it should not come as any surprise, is that by disabling the Start screen also disables all the Windows Store apps that you may have installed and purchased. Additionally, if you use a multi-monitor array to work, the new Taskbar that spreads across monitors will also disappear.


The installation is somewhat simple, you’ll have to get a copy of the Ex7ForW8_Setup.exe file and you also need to have in hand the Windows 7 DVD. Then launch Ex7ForW8 and tell it the location for the “source” folder in the Windows 7 installation media. Follow the remaining instructions, sign-out and sign back in to see the new changes.


Note: It’s worth noting that disabling the Windows 8 Modern UI is a per user operation. Additional user accounts in the system do inherit these changes. This is good, because you can either enjoy both experiences or if you share the Windows 8 PC with other people, and they like the new interface, they will still be able to use it.

As I mentioned earlier, you can go back to the Windows 8 interface at anytime, and do this just go to the Programs and Features and uninstall the utility like you will normally do with any program.

Source My Digital Life via BetaNews

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].