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Five tools to bring the Start menu back to Windows 8.1

Price when rated: $5.00

Pros

  • Adds a real Start menu to Windows 8

Cons

  • Slightly slow response time

At a Glance

If you're a Windows 8 user missing your Start menu, download this free replacement.

Price when rated: Free

Pros

  • Convincingly replaces the missing Windows 8 Start menu
  • Free

Cons

  • Asks you to install paid software
  • Doesn't keep taskbar from auto-hiding
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At a Glance

Of all the Start menus for Windows 8, Start Menu Reviver looks the most like a part of Win 8 itself.

Price when rated: Free

Pros

  • Gives Windows 8 a start menu
  • Mimics Windows 8 look

Cons

  • Doesn't completely replace the modern UI
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At a Glance

This powerful free/donationware utility adds the features back to Windows 8 and 8.1 that Microsoft should never have taken out.

Price when rated: Free

Pros

  • Adds Start menu back to Windows 8 and 8.1
  • Adds useful features to Windows Explorer
  • Free

Cons

  • No longer open-source
Classic Shell 4.0 screenshot
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At a Glance

If you're frustrated by the lack of a Start menu on Windows 8 but want to move your experience forward rather than bring back the Start menu of yore, try Pokki.

Price when rated: Free

Pros

  • A Start menu that works
  • Beautiful interface

Cons

  • Not very many apps available yet

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