How to bring back Windows Start button and Start menu in Windows 8

Start button and Start menu in Windows 8

Not a secret anymore, Microsoft made the bold decision to remove completely the classic Windows Start button (orb) and Start menu in Windows 8 Consumer Preview. While many Windows users started testing this latest beta release of the operating system, they still skeptical whether the new Start Screen is good enough as full replacement and some others want the traditional Start button (orb) and Start menu back.

Not everything is lost just yet, there is an easy way to bring back these lost features in Windows 8 Consumer Preview:

1. Head over and download ViStart — this is a piece of free software (not from Microsoft) that will recreate the old Windows 7 Start menu and its features.

2. When you are in the installation process watch out and skip the installation of the toolbar — you don’t need it –.

3. After you’ve completed the installation, you’ll notice the Start button (or Start orb) will once again appear in the bottom-left corner, and you also should be able to use the Windows key  to toggle the Start menu.


  • This will not disable the Start Screen.
  • To get to the Start Screen just move the mouse to the bottom-left corner of the screen and click the Start icon. Or move the mouse to the top or bottom-left of the screen to bring the Charms Bar and just simply, click the Windows 8 Metro style logo.
  • In the System Tray you’ll find ViStart options to control various aspect of this software.

If you feel that is not your solution, you can also try this workaround using a new Taskbar Toolbar: How to keep both an old style Start Menu and the Start Screen in Windows 8 [Trick].

Now with ViStart there are not more excuses on testing Windows 8 Consumer Preview, it works well and you can keep both worlds.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, 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