Windows 8 Start Menu Switcher toggles Metro/Classic start menu

imageThe biggest concern desktop and laptop users have about Windows 8 is losing the simple and efficient usability of the old start menu, which has frankly just improved over time.

Vhanla has created a simple tool which allows a user to easily switch between Windows 8 old Start Menu and Windows Metro Style start screen.

The tool hides in the notification area, simply modifies a key in the registry and then restarts Explorer.

The app features:

  • Runs at start-up, so you can change anytime you want
  • Hides on system tray (notification area)
  • Special button to only enable/disable old windows start menu (keeps ribbon explorer), requires admin privileges

Read more about the app and find the download at DeviantArt here.

  • Afk

    Hoping someone makes an app so I can have the old start screen but the new one as a application in the old start screen

    • Anonymous

      That is something I am looking forward to. Hope they come up with some ideas for that.

      • Lickonos

        If you don’t restart explorer while being in the new metro interface, clicking on the microsoft flag icon will show the old start menu and hiting the Win key will show the new metro interface, kinda cool but it seems that after restarting windows the old start menu replaces everything as explorer has been restarted.

        But with this tool, setting it again to the new interface, restarting explorer and setting it back to old start menu without restarting explorer makes the trick. Just bare in mind that explorer must not be restarted to have that nice feature.

  • Fatherbrg

    Everything new takes some time.  Let’s all be a little patient.  I think Win8 is absolutely stunning.  Can’t wait for the Beta!

  • Anonymous

    Finally, Awesome!

  • Anonymous

    This is great for geeks like us, but my parents…or my sister…or my boss is not going to install an  app to change the default behavior of the Start button.

    Two important things I’ve learned in 15 years of UI/UX design are:

    1: If a user expects one thing to happen and it doesn’t they are hesitant to perform that action again. Jumping to a different UI is not what users expect when clicking the Start button in the “classic” desktop.

    2: Users tend to work in “computing sessions” meaning once they enter an experience, they stay in that experience until their task is complete. 

    Envisioning a typical “classic desktop session” I can see users launching Word from the Metro start screen, then Excel, maybe a browser, another job related legacy app in a single “session”. 

    It makes zero sense to jump between UIs 4 or five times as the the default behavior. 

    Microsoft needs to give the user control as it pertains to beginning and ending each of the experiences Windows 8 offers.

    The attached image shows a simple way to give this control to the user when in the “classic desktop”. It lets legacy Windows behave exactly as it has in the past, while letting the user decide when that experience ends.

    Based on my experience, users would find a solution like this easier and more intuitive than Microsoft’s current offerings of either jumping between UIs or just turning Metro off.

    Microsoft themselves say the “classic desktop” is an app, so you can look at this as a logical way to “exit” that app.

  • Franco Cencio

    This is going to be an option in the final release… but most people is so stupid to not understand it and judge something from its dev preview.

  • SebDom

    Hi. Does not work with Consumer Preview (build 8250)

    • Emi Cyberschreiber

      they kicked the old start menu code from Windows 8. so yeah, it wouldn’t work ever.

  • no nonsense

    Microsoft removed the Start Menu and the Start Button
    completely. If I wanted to do all my office work on a tablet, I would have gone
    and bought myself a new iPad (which I still might do, if I’m forced to choose
    between a Windows tablet and an iPad). Why can’t we just leave the tablet
    market to Apple and the PC market to Microsoft? Don’t get me wrong, I like Windows
    8 in general, but what happened to freedom of speech and choices. In Windows XP
    we had the choice to switch back to the Classic Start Menu and in Windows 7 we
    have XP Mode.


    It looks like in Windows 8, the only choices we have are to
    tablet or not to tablet. Rizonesoft started a petition to ask Microsoft to at
    least give us a choice between the interfaces and bring the Start Menu back. Go
    for more information about the petition. Please help Rizonesoft accomplish this
    almost impossible task by signing and sharing this petition.