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There are not a lot of fans of the Windows 8 user interface, and I am one of those detractors. What I would like to do is remove the Metro touch overlay from Windows 8, and have a regular Windows 7 style Start Menu instead. I know that there are a lot of these programs available, but I need to make sure to choose the right one.

  1. Most importantly, it needs to be as stable as possible. I do not want to corrupt the Windows 8 installation. If this computer crashes then I will be in big trouble.
  2. It does not need to be free. The budget would be anywhere below 50 dollars, but there is some wiggle room for that as well.
  3. It needs to have a Start Menu that you open up by clicking in the bottom left, just like a Windows user is used to.
  4. If it looks and functions exactly like the Windows 7 start menu, that is bonus.

Someone recommended Classic Shell to me, but I have not tried it yet. I don't want to purchase multiple programs just to try them out. But again, the most important thing is stability, so I would rather go with a program that someone here has tried and likes, or that someone has heard is fully stable.

  • +1, clear question. Only things I guess you might be able to add is any solution you've tried so far and what you did(n't) like about it, or perhaps software you've considered using and why. – Jeroen Sep 12 '14 at 21:26
  • AFAIC I have been using Classic Shell for years on Windows 7 (I want Windows 7 to look like Windows 2000), if it is as good on Windows 8 which I haven't touched yet it's going to be tough to beat! – Franck Dernoncourt Sep 12 '14 at 22:03
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    Windows 8 has been Ubuntu's biggest boost ever! – Steve Barnes Sep 13 '14 at 9:54
  • Well Windows 9 apparently is incorporating both the metro startmenu and Windows 7 start menu together. – Izumi-reiLuLu Sep 14 '14 at 5:43
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The person who has recommended Classic Shell to you is on the right way, the program is free and will recover the classic startmenu, and it does its job really well because you can choose the Windows 7 style which will look exactly like in Windows 7, and you can select if it should skip the Metro screen or disable the active corners. Personally I had installed it during my longer tests with Windows 8.1 and had zero problems.

If you want the start menu and nothing else due to your stability worry, it's fine with it:

Classic Shell: setup options

After its installation, a first click on the start button will trigger the settings window. It looks like this:

Classic Shell: Classic Start Menu: settings window

Choose "Windows 7 style" if you want the familiar start menu. It will have a Windows 8 flat design look by default, you can change this by clicking at "Skin" and selecting "Windows Aero" from the dropdown list.

If you want to skip the Metro screen and disable some other settings like active corners, tick the check box "Show all settings" and click on "Windows 8.1 settings". Really neat, because you don't need another program if you wanted to do this.

Another picture:

the start menu like in Windows 7

That's it for the start menu!

If you want the Aero transparency from Windows 7 back in Windows 8.1, there is Aero Glass for Windows 8 for this purpose. It's free, but more like donationware, because it will show a small watermark text on your desktop after a few minutes. I had no system problems with it as well.

Good luck, it should work as expected!

2

Try this - http://www.reviversoft.com/start-menu-reviver/

I had used it and it never made any crashes or malfunctions. It never removes the metro screen. It places a start button in the taskbar and when you click on it a start menu pops up just as in Windows 7. The difference is that this start menu is very modern when compared to Windows 7 start menu and it can be customized as we wish.

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