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Where’s The 8.1 Start Button I Was Promised?

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Windows 8

Steve from S.C. writes:

Microsoft said they would bring the start button back with 8.1, so I bought a computer when 8.1 came out, updated to 8.1. There is a start button, but it only takes you back to the tile screen, no menus. Sounds like Microsoft told a story, as they know what people wanted and fooled them to get sales. If you have lots of time to figure it out, it does work well. I just don’t have hours trying to figure every little thing out, time and time again. So for that, I hate it.

Steve, I don’t think Microsoft ever promised that the old-style Start Button was making a comeback, though a lot of articles about 8.1 called it that. But there is a similar feature to the old Windows 7 Start Button available.  The reason you’re heading back to the Metro screen is that you are left-clicking the Windows button in the bottom left of your screen.


 To go to the Start Button menu, you need to right-click over that Windows icon.


 You’ll then see options for Programs and Features, Networks, Control Panel, File Explorer and more.

Although,  I actually Windows 8.1’s search features superior to anything  available in the old Start Menu.  If you just start typing what you want from the Start Screen with the tiles, it will instantly search for it without you opening anything.  If I start typing the name of a document or a program while I’m on the Start screen, the Search Charm will open instantly with my results. I can click on them and I’ll open the document right up.  


Or I could just open the Search Charm and search for any program, document, photo etc… I wanted to find. The Search Charm is the key to navigating Windows 8.1. You can quickly get to any app or program by typing it in or just start typing a question like “How do I change the time?” and you’ll probably get a result that takes you where you want to go.

The process for Windows 7 would be pretty similar. I’d need to click on the Start Button and type the name of the file or I could open the documents folder and search. But I find the Windows 8.1 search process to be much faster.

The functions of the Start Menu aren’t missing Windows 8.1 – they’ve just moved to the other side of the screen and pop out from the side instead of up from the bottom. But that change alone is enough to tick a lot of people off. Just remember to right-click to see that sort-of Start Menu in 8.1

You could also look into adding Windows Classic Shell to your computer to bring back the old-school look.

If anyone has any questions or comments about Windows 8 or 8.1, feel free to leave them in the comments.

~ Cynthia

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One Response to “Where’s The 8.1 Start Button I Was Promised?”

  1. Ruby Steele says:

    When I finish a game, app or program in Win 8.1 is it OK to go to power off from charms; I’ve not found “x” as in older versions.

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