Get the Windows 8 desktop you want with StartMenu8 1.0

If you’ve upgraded to Windows 8 and discovered you’re not a fan of the new Start screen then the chances are you’ve already installed one of the many free tools which can give your system a more Windows 7-like appearance. If not, though, IObit has just released StartMenu8 1.0, a simple program which may be able to help.

Just install StartMenu8 1.0 and by default the program will launch along with Windows, skipping the Start Screen and jumping directly to the desktop. StartMenu8 1.0 will disable the Windows 8 “hot corners”, too.

And of course it adds a start orb to the left end of your taskbar, and clicking this will display a Start menu with links to your program, various system areas (Computer, Control Panel and so on), and a “shut down” dialog where you can close, hibernate, sleep or restart your PC.

Some of these settings are quite drastic, but if they don’t appeal then most can be disabled easily enough. So if you’d like to keep the hot corners, for instance, just right-click the Start orb, click Settings > General Settings, clear “Deactivate Metro Hot Corners” and click OK.

And there are plenty of other tweaks on offer. Clear “Skip Metro Screen” on the same page if you don’t need to boot to the desktop, for instance; click “Start Menu” on the Settings screen to choose a replacement icon for the Start orb; or select “Menu” to choose exactly which system applets and folders will be accessible from the program’s Start menu.

The program’s feature set is fairly familiar, then, and more or less just what we’d expect from this kind of tool.

IObit StartMenu8 1.0 is capable, configurable and free, though, and that works for us. If you and the Start Screen just can’t get along then the program may be able to help.

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