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Bring back The Classic Windows 7 Start Menu in Windows 8

Jill from CA asks:

I got the Windows 8 developer preview to try out, based on your previous articles. Is there any way I can get the regular ol’ Windows Start menu back? This new “metro” interface is the pits!

In our previous tutorials, we showed you how to grab a free copy of Windows 8 developer preview [1] and install it [2]along side your existing operating system. If you are already using Windows 8, you would know that the start screen and start menu of Windows 8 is very different from previous versions of Windows e.g Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP. Microsoft has completely re-organized everything under a Metro UI; programs, applications and all other shortcuts are no longer accessible from Windows start menu.

Furthermore, clicking the start button or using the “Windows” key from your keyboard takes you to the Metro Start screen, instead of launching the classic start menu of Windows. This can be very annoying, especially if you are used to launch applications and programs from Windows start menu. If you would like to use the classic Windows 7 start menu in Windows 8, here are a few steps that needs to be done:

1. Click Windows 8 start button and go to the Metro screen. Type “regedit” (without quotes) and click the registry icon to open Windows registry editor.

2. In the registry editor window, navigate to the following location


3. When you have reached the destination, your registry editor window should look like this:

4. Double click “RPEnabled” and change its value to 0 from the default value of 1. When you are done, click Ok and close the registry editor window.

5. All done. Now click on Windows 8 Start menu and you should see the classic start menu back in action. Here is an example:

The above mentioned registry hack never disables the Metro user interface or the Metro start screen of Windows 8 . Instead, it allows you to use the start menu and the metro user interface as per your convenience.

By default, the usage of classic start menu is restricted in Windows 8 and the above mentioned registry hack simply unlocks it.

You can switch to the Metro screen of Windows 8 by hovering your mouse cursor at the left bottom edge of the screen and then clicking the start button. While clicking the regular “Start” button will open the classic Start menu of Windows.

~ Amit Banerjee