Windows 8 users can finally get the start menu back by installing a great little program called Classic Start Menu, which is part of Classic Shell. If you’re a Windows 7 user, you can use Classic Start Menu to return to the XP style of menu you may be more familiar with. Best of all, it’s FREE!
You have your choice of the “Classic” start button, the Windows XP version, or the Windows 7 start button.
The basic settings allow you to control things like whether you want the Computer, Control panel, Favorites or Recent places links to be displayed on the start menu. You have total control over which icons are shown on the start menu.
As you can see below, the all settings button allows you to completely customize the look and feel of every setting in the start menu. Everything from the search box, to the sounds the menus use, to the number of columns in the menu and their width, can be customized.
You can also add skins to the menu to customize the look and feel. From the Classic Start page:
Classic shell also includes Classic Explorer. This part of the program fixes Windows Explorer annoyances by adding a toolbar with common operations (copy/paste, go to parent folder, etc.), showing the free disk space and the total size of the selected files in the status bar, disabling bread crumbs on the address bar, and more. Much like Classic Start Menu, it is very customizable, so you don’t have to use all of its features.
You can get Classic Start Menu and the rest of the Classic Shell software for the low low price of FREE here: Classic Shell.