Get back old start menu for Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 promise a return of the old start menu from Windows XP / Vista / 7 but it isn’t the case.  They bring back their own new version of the start menu, which in my humble opinion is the worst design of it all.  Today we will teach you how to get back old start menu using free software called : ClassicShell.

Classic Shell Icon

What you need ?

– ClassicShell directly here : Download.

Official ClassicShell Website

– Windows 8 or 8.1


How to get back old start menu for Windows 8.1

1. Download and Install Classic Shell.  Select all default options here.

Classic Shell installation

2. When install is finished, you will notice start menu icon already changed.  First time you click on it, software will ask you which start menu flavour you list most.  Select on your favorite.

Classic shell start menu flavours

3. Setup will warn you that you may loose your current settings, accept if you don’t mind otherwise, you may cancel.

Classic Shell Warning

4. We have tried different start menus for you, see how it look before activating them :

Windows XP Start Menu on Windows 8.1

Windows XP Start menu on Windows 8.1



Windows 7 Start Menu on Windows 8.1


Windows 7 Start Menu on Windows 8.1


5.  If you want to change start menu settings, select ‘Programs’, then ‘Classic Shell’ and finally ‘Classic Start Menu Settings’.

Classic Shell change start menu settings


If you don’t like Classic Shell, here is how to uninstall it and get back to Windows 8.1 start menu.


Uninstall Classic Shell

1. From control panel select ‘Program and Features’.

Control Panel : Programs and Features.

2. From the panel, select ‘Classic Shell’ and then click on ‘Uninstall’.

uninstall classic shell

3. Setup will prompt you to reboot your computer when uninstall is finished.  Please do so.

Classic Shell uninstall question

4. Windows 8.1 start menu is back!

Windows 8.1 start menu


If you have any question(s) about this software feel free to go on their website and ask for help.  You can also reply here, I will try to help as much as possible.

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