Update Star has been tested to meet all of the technical requirements to be compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, 2008, and Windows XP, 32 bit and 64 bit editions.
Simply double-click the downloaded file to install it.
And Windows 10 will bring the real thing back, albeit in an enhanced fashion that doesn’t depend on fiddly per-user shortcuts and extra folders.
The thing is, unless you’re willing to experiment with Windows 10 Technical Preview, the new version won’t help you yet.
Where Start Is Back diverges from the Windows 7 Start menu, though, is configurability: You can adjust which hot corners are enabled, make your PC jump straight to the Desktop when it first boots up, and configure a key combo to show the Windows 8 Start screen (Win Ctrl by default).
Download Start Is Back (, free 30-day trial)Where Start Is Back tries to replicate the Windows of yesteryear, Pokki (free) is very much its own beast — and as much as we love the Windows 7 Start menu, we have to admit that Pokki is probably even better.
It also speeds up program launches thanks to built-in indexing, and advertises a faster-than-Windows-7 search option for your local PC.
For some reason, despite the aforementioned series of updates over the last two years that are meant to make Windows 8 more user friendly for mouse-and-keyboard users, Microsoft is still forcing us to use the Metro interface instead of a real Start menu.It utilizes a neat “pinning” system that isn’t unlike the home screen of your smartphone or tablet.You can also add widgets to Pokki, such as Gmail or Facebook, which display your latest email or status updates.The good news is, despite Microsoft’s best efforts to ensure that the Start button and menu remain banished from its new OS, there are a bunch of third-party Windows 8 Start menu replacement apps that you can download today.Really, it goes to show how devoted the existing user base is.With Windows 10 seemingly just around the corner, Microsoft plans to fix one of its most egregious mistakes with Windows 8: the missing Start menu.