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Sometimes, you don’t know how much you need something until it’s gone. Before Windows 8 came along, it didn’t seem like the Start Menu 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now Windows 8 won't get a native Start Menu after all. But why wait on Microsoft? Here's how you can help yourself with third party tools like Classic Shell or Start8 and other workarounds. Read More was a particularly popular Windows feature. After it was removed, however, we suddenly realized how much we depended on it.

We have covered alternative Start Menus for Windows 8 Start Menu, How I Miss Thee: 4 Ways To Make A Start Menu On Windows 8 Start Menu, How I Miss Thee: 4 Ways To Make A Start Menu On Windows 8 Windows 8 brought down the axe on the Start Menu. This is a feature that no one paid special attention to for years but its untimely demise has caused all sorts of despair. Not only... Read More in several different articles. This article looks at creative Start Menu alternatives and replacements that also work with Windows 7. A modern Start Menu can be a good way to bring something fresh to any version of Windows.

Start Menu Reviver

A Start Menu and Start Screen replacement with modern tiles.

The tile-based Start Menu Reviver comes closest to the Start Menu found in Windows 10 Windows 10 In Pictures - A Guided Tour Of The Technical Preview Windows 10 In Pictures - A Guided Tour Of The Technical Preview The Windows 10 Technical Preview is now available to everyone. Some bugs aside, it does look promising. We'll guide you through the new Windows one screenshot at a time. Read More . The left-hand column offers shortcuts to critical system features, including your computer and personal folder, Control Panel, Task Manager, and the Run menu. The second column from the left provides space for your most regularly used applications. The list of all your installed applications comes up when you click the All Apps tile or when you move the mouse from left to right across the Start Menu.

Start Menu Reviver Expanded

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To add & replace tiles, expand All Apps and drag an app onto the desired location. A right-click on the tile brings up the Reset tile option, which lets you clear a location beforehand, though this is not necessary. Through Add tile or Edit tile, you can update the description, manually add or alter the shortcut, change the color and theme icon.

Start Menu Reviver Edit Tile

You can also select to Run As Administrator, a useful option for apps like Notepad or the Command Prompt. To save your changes, click the checkmark in the top right.

Start Menu Reviver Tile Properties

You can change Start Menu Reviver’s color scheme. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be possible to re-size the tiles.

Start Menu 7 (aka Start Menu X )

Start Menu replacement that offers grouping of programs, shut down timer, a selection of skins and custom buttons for Windows XP & up.

Much like the new Start Menu available in Windows 10, you can re-size the menu via the icon in the top right corner.

Start Menu X

Per default, Start Menu X comes up when you click the Start button or the keyboard shortcut SHIFT + Windows key. In Windows 8, hitting the Windows key or double-clicking the Start button will take you to the Start screen. You can change the keyboard shortcut via Options, accessible via the cog wheel in the bottom right corner of the Start Menu. Here you can choose a different skin, change the icon for the Start button, and manage your virtual application groups.

When you install Start Menu 7 or X, you can choose between three different versions: free, PRO, and a 30-day PRO trial. If you go with the trial, you will be able to switch to the free version once the 30 days are up. The PRO version adds one-click-launch and tabs for $19.99.

JetStart

A Start Menu alternative for fans of docks & keyboard shortcuts, released by the makers of the file copying aid 4 Ways to Copy Files Faster in Windows 4 Ways to Copy Files Faster in Windows The Windows file copy dialog could be better. It's slow and prone to errors. We'll show you shortcuts and other faster ways to copy your files in Windows. Read More TeraCopy.

JetStart is a Start Menu alternative, with some similarities to Windows docklets 3 Multifunctional Docks To Replace Your Windows Taskbar 3 Multifunctional Docks To Replace Your Windows Taskbar Docks take what the taskbar does and make it better: beautiful, effective, and fun to use. Once introduced for the Mac, docks have long been available on Windows. Let me show you the best ones. Read More like RocketDock or StarDock’s ObjectDock; less stylish, but more advanced. Its key selling points are a main window that allows quick browsing and searching of applications, a toolbar with configurable categories, up to four edge menus for docking apps, and launching multiple programs at once.

JetStart

Per default, JetStart doesn’t add functionality to the Start button. Settings can be managed via the main window. The default keyboard shortcut is Windows key + S, but on Windows 8 that’s already taken. You can change the shortcut to another key combination in Preferences. Do set a convenient shortcut for the JetStart Toolbar! You can also assign the Windows key to showing JetStart.

JetStart Preferences

From the main menu, you can assign which applications should show up in the customizable toolbar or the edge menus. Right-click an application and select the respective destination. You can add custom categories via the Properties option.

JetStart Category

A properly configured toolbar will give you quick access to your most frequently used programs.

JetStart Toolbar

If this sounds like something you’ll be using a lot, you should also look into JetStart Pro (~$21), which supports launching with mouse buttons, a Startup Manager, and multimedia keyboards.

A Start Menu For Every Taste

At the end of this, you may miss Classic Shell. It’s not been included because we have mentioned Classic Shell mutliple times 8 Features Missing in Windows 8 and How To Get Them Back 8 Features Missing in Windows 8 and How To Get Them Back Microsoft removed a variety of features from Windows 8. Many of them aren't great losses to most people, but they are if you depended on them. Luckily, Windows 8 isn't yet a locked-down mobile operating... Read More before (our Classic Shell review Make Windows 8 Suck Less With Classic Shell Make Windows 8 Suck Less With Classic Shell Make Windows 8 usable for people who think it's not. Add a start menu to the desktop and tweak the way Explorer and Internet Explorer behave, all thanks to a piece of software called Classic... Read More ). We also tested Handy Start Menu, but decided not to include it here becuase it comes packed with bloatware How To Remove Bloatware & Avoid It On New Laptops How To Remove Bloatware & Avoid It On New Laptops Tired of software you never wanted consuming your laptop's resources? Your computer isn't free ad space. Here's how to get rid of bloatware. Read More and, apart from grouping applications, similar to Start Menu X, it doesn’t add anything innovative.

Did you spot a Start Menu that meets your requirements? Did you arrange yourself with the Start Screen or would you recommend any other tools not menioned above?

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