Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Who Needs a Start Button in Windows 8.1?

  1. #1


    Texas
    Posts : 1,022
    Windows 8.1

    Who Needs a Start Button in Windows 8.1?


    I've used Quick Launch for several years, since it came out in Windows XP (I think). Someone here was kind enough to point me to creating the Programs toolbar. And, although mention has been given both of these toolbars, I've noticed quite a few new folks lately, so I thought I'd point them to the easy way. Especially since everyone misses the old Start Menu.

    Also there's a "rep" button you can choose if you want to add something nice for the author(s) of these toolbars.

    Click image for larger version

    Note that I have Windows 8.1 installed and Microsoft's excuse for a start menu is first in line . . . that's OK, better than the Windows 8 way to get there. After that, there's Programs and then Quick Launch.

    To install the Programs Toolbar, first, unlock the Taskbar, then follow the instructions in this link: Start Menu Toolbar - Create on Windows 8 Taskbar to create your Programs Toolbar. I didn't go all the way to "startmenu". I stopped at Programs. Programs is all the way over to the right (it was in mine anyway). Grab the handle (triple line of vertical dots) and pull it all the way over to the left, right next to Microsoft's link to Metro. Go to the other side and push everything all the way over to the left until only Programs and >> are showing. You can now lock the Taskbar, or if you want to keep going . . .

    To install Quick Launch, unlock the Taskbar, then follow the instructions in this link: Quick Launch - Add to Taskbar in Windows 8. Instructions are given to move Quick Launch to where you want it.

    With a little effort, these two toolbars along with Microsoft's excuse for a Start Button will be all you need. All my installed programs are on the Programs bar and those I use most are kept on Quick Launch which is even faster (but not by much) than the Programs bar.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Sometimes Programs create a whole array of shortcuts that cannot be easily re-created on a jumplist or toolbar like that. Some of the professional programs I install and maintain are that way, there is no "exe" file, it's a shortcut to a file with command line arguments. It's easy enough to drag the created shortcuts to the desktop, but only if they can be found in the Start Menu.

    If you don't have a bunch of programs that are like that, then what you suggest is fine.

    Actually I already have 2 toolbars like that I made. The Problem with Toolbars, is that they take a while to populate when you click on them. If they are links to files, its faster, but links to shortcuts really take a long time to appear on my system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Where do you running programs show up?

    Sorry but I don't see that as better than or a replacement for the Start menu.
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  4. #4


    Texas
    Posts : 1,022
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    Where do you running programs show up?

    Sorry but I don't see that as better than or a replacement for the Start menu.
    In the Taskbar. Just like before.

    This way is just cleaner and more convenient for me.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 1,320
    Server 2012 / 8.0


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    Where do your running programs show up?
    My preference is to control and monitor running programs in The Task Manager.

    Click image for larger version

    etc, etc, etc...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1,320
    Server 2012 / 8.0


    Who Needs a Start Button in Windows 8.1?
    I don't. You don't. Others don't... but many do! People are so conditioned to use a Microsoft Start Menu over a generation of users, that it is expected to be there. There are Microsoft employees that have Start8 or Classic Shell installed. I remember seeing a Microsoft presenter extolling the virtues of touch on their Surface but when going to the desktop for a moment, there it was (a desktop start menu) for everyone to see!

    What about the dude looking for the start button in the system tray?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    If I were just a simple user, didn't install a lot of extra programs, used the computer to simply get to the net and/or watch media or listen to music, I actually wound not bother with any Start Menu replacements.

    But once you get Office, Adobe Products, 3DS Max etc that all have a bunch of extra shortcuts, it's easier if you have a Start Menu. But I have one system I'm making just to pay my bills, I don't intend to put anything else on there but Quicken- I'll start with 8, then update it to 8.1 - On that one I intend to not have anything showing up on the desktop or start screen. Right now I have Windows 7 on it, once I upgrade it to 8, I plan to leave it pretty much as is.
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  8. #8


    Joisey
    Posts : 315
    Windows 8.1 consumer 64 bit


    I use classic shell because it lets me tap the win key and search for what I need in programs, settings, and the like, all from the "old" desktop.

    The new desktop may be fine for phones and tablets, but it is like typing with mittens on a PC - the zombie reincarnation of Microsoft Bob.

    Here's proof:

    Bill Gates says Microsoft Bob will make a comeback | Microsoft - CNET News
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    I have a 3 monitor setup on my desktop PC. Having a Start Button on each monitor is actually convenient. At the moment Metro Apps don't remember what screen they were last launched on so being able to open Metro on the screen I want the app displayed on is good. The Start Button lets me do that easily. I have 7 icons on my main taskbar for the programs I use every day. I haven't felt the need to install a third party app to give me the old style start menu. All my occasional use programs are on my Metro Start Screen.
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  10. #10


    N. Calif
    Posts : 2,584
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 Pro (tablet), W10 (laptop)


    I agree with you Wynona, a Start menu isn't needed. I have been using Win 8 and 8.1 since the very first previews were available and have never installed one of the 3rd party Start menu apps because I don't miss the old Start menu. I rarely used it in XP and Win 7 so when it disappeared in Win 8 I didn't mind.

    I use the 2 Toolbars you suggested along with a 3rd, the Desktop Toolbar. Virtually all programs provide the option to create a shortcut on the Desktop during installation. With the Desktop Toolbar, all those shortcuts are presented in a popup menu. I create folders to organize my Desktop shortcuts so it makes it very easy to find what I'm looking for. I also go one step further and hide the icons on the Desktop so it looks empty, but everything is available from the Toolbar.

    The fact is, people resist change and resist anything new that forces them out of their "comfort zone".
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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