Fancy A New Windows Start Menu For Free?


While I hated the Windows 8 Start menu (and those damn awful charms too), I'm gradually beginning to accept the Windows 10 one.  Sure, it's not a patch on the XP or Win7 one, but it sort-of works.  Ish.
If you, too, are running Windows 8 or 10 and you long for the return of a better Start menu, check out a program called Start Menu 8.  Despite the name, it actually works just fine with Windows 8 and 10 (I tried it with 10).  It's free, and it's had more than 10 million downloads so far, so clearly it's well-regarded.
You'll find the installer at and it runs to around 6 MB.  The program is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.  When you run the installer, you'll be asked if you want the free or Pro version.  Make sure you select the free option unless you intend to pay for the Pro one.  The free one should do everything you need, and it promises no nagging for upgrades too.  Which is nice.


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I would like to join the horde of people loving Classic Shell

I have mine set to be like the original XP Classic start menu (and I use small icons)
That then allows you to create your own high level menu categories (that appear in the hard left column)
I could have full blown Alzheimer's and I could still find any program with one eye closed

(I am about 30% there already in brain and left eye),

I'm sure late to the party but all my ten thumbs go WAAYY UP for Classic Shell - but only if you avoid download portals and get it from

After beginning to use it I never looked back.

Back then, when Win8 was brand new, I tried most of the alternatives and as far as I recall Start 8 was one of the worst.

I agree with most of the comments for the same reasons stated below. I tried both when they first appeared and have been with Classic Shell ever since.

Well this is surely something new and extraordinary. I agree with almost everybody here ;-), except the article itself.

I have been using Classic shell until Windows 10 came out and it is fantastic. But then I've settled for new start menu (and it is acceptable now).
Never seen such unanimous support for an application before.

I'm currently running the KDE desktop, and kinda like it. It's also available on Windows.

Some other Linux desktops also have versions for Windows, I'm told.

Just a question, Start Menu 8 and Start Menu X looks extremely similar. How are they different? I have Start Menu X on my system, and unlike most of them mentioned, it doesn't nag me yet

It seems that readers have been talking about Start Menu 8 by IOBit which is different to both of the above. But still it confuses me about how the above both are different. 

Have been using Classic Shell on Win 8.1 since I brought the new machine in the door, maybe three years ago. I like it. Zero probs. "If it works.....". Hey Microsoft, I'll finish that famous old quote for you. It applies to a lot of things in this world. "If it works, DON'T FIX IT." Tweek it, improve it, update it, sure. But why start all over?? It makes a lot of people dread going with an all new whatever.

I totally agree!

I too agree. Classic Shell is DEFINITELY the way to go. Also no nags like Start Menu 8.

Classic Shell FTW!

@Rob: Would be nice for you to write a new column comparing Classic Shell with Start Menu 8. My clients all love Classic Shell, which does more than change the start menu and it is a freeware program.

Had to install start menu 8 just to be sure. Didn't realize there was a paid version and a free version. But Classic Shell, as per prior comments is far better and faster.

I also prefer Classic Shell, I have tried start menu 8, start menux x and iobit start menu, but classic shell is way better

This will certainly be a well received find. How a company can botch something as basic as a start menu is a mystery....but then again, we are talking about Microsoft.

Classic Shell is better and also free.

I agree.