Windows

Easily revive the Classic Start Menu hidden within Windows 8

Yes, you can indeed resuscitate the Classic Start Menu in Windows 8. Greg Shultz shows you how it is done.

Lots of people have asked me whether I think Microsoft will put the Start Menu back in Windows 8 before the final release. Of course, I'd like to believe that Microsoft would come to their senses and say that it was all a mistake to remove the Start Menu, but I don't think that's very likely. In fact, not only is the Start Button gone from the Desktop, but when you click in the place where it used to exist, you get the Metro Start screen. Windows 8 is designed with Metro as the starting point, and we'll just have to get used to it -- or will we?

Fortunately, I have discovered an Achilles' heel in Microsoft's evil plan to do away with the Start Menu. They may have been able to remove the GUI part of the Start Button/Menu, but they can't remove the underlying structure of it without crippling the operating system's backward-compatibility support for pre-Windows 8 applications.

In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, I'll show you how to take advantage of this chink in the armor and revive a classic version of the Start Menu.

This blog post is also available in a Slideshow Photo Gallery.
Note: Keep in mind that this technique is being written for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and the features I will discuss here may very well change between now and the time the operating system is actually released.

The underlying structure

When you install any standard Windows application in Windows 8, the operating system redirects the installation procedure to create a tile in Metro. Even so, the installation procedure is designed to create folders and shortcuts to the application in the directory where the Start Menu lives. In the case of Windows 7 and Windows 8, that directory is C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu. Since that directory still exists in Windows 8 for the sake of backward compatibility, you can take advantage of that fact along with the Taskbar's Toolbar feature to revive a classic version of the Start Menu. Let's take a closer look.

The Toolbar

In order to create your own Classic Start Menu in Windows 8, you'll use the Toolbar feature. This feature has been a part of the Windows operating system for a long time, and it allows you to create Toolbars right on the Taskbar.

To begin, right-click an empty spot on the Taskbar, hover over Toolbars, and select the New Toolbar command, as shown in Figure A. (Take note of the Lock the Taskbar command; you'll need to use it in an upcoming step.)

Figure A

Access the Toolbars submenu and select the New Toolbar command.
When you see the New Toolbar - Choose a Folder dialog box, type the following path in the Folder text box, as shown in Figure B.

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

Figure B

Type the path to the Start Menu folder in the Folder text box.
To continue, click the Select Folder button. You will then see the Start Menu Toolbar appear next to the Notification Area, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

The new Start Menu Toolbar will appear next to the Notification Area.

Populating the Start Menu

At this point, your Classic Start Menu contains the Programs menu and Windows Update. The Classic Start Menu also provides links to Documents, Settings, Search, and Shut Down. Fortunately, you can populate your Classic Start Menu with all these links. To do so, you will need to create shortcuts on your desktop and then move them to the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu folder.

Documents: To create a shortcut to Documents, launch Windows Explorer, which will open to the Libraries folder. Then, right-click on Documents and select Send To | Desktop (Create Shortcut) command, as shown in Figure D. You can repeat this step if you want to put Pictures, Music, and Videos on your Start Menu.

Figure D

You'll use the Send to | Desktop (Create Shortcut) command to create some of your shortcuts.
Control Panel: To create a shortcut to the Control Panel, select Desktop under the Favorites list in Windows Explorer. Then, right-click on Control Panel and select Create Shortcut, as shown in Figure E. You can repeat this step if you want to put Computer and Network on your Start menu.

Figure E

Right-click on Control Panel and select the Create Shortcut command.
Search: To create a shortcut to Search, right-click on the Desktop and select the New | Shortcut command. When you see the Create Shortcut dialog box, type the following command in the Location text box, as shown in Figure F. Be sure to include the colon at the very end of the command.

C:\Windows\explorer.exe search-ms:

Figure F

Be sure to include the colon.

To continue, click Next and save the shortcut with the name Search.

Shut Down: To create a shortcut to Shut Down the Computer, right-click on the Desktop and select the New | Shortcut command. When you see the Create Shortcut dialog box, type the following in the Location text box:

Shutdown.exe -s

To continue, click Next and save the shortcut with the name Shut Down.

When you create these shortcuts, Windows 8 appends "- shortcut" to each one. You can rename each to remove the unnecessary words.

At this point, launch Windows Explorer and navigate to the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu folder. Next, move all the shortcuts from your Desktop to the Start Menu folder. Because this folder is a special system folder, you will see a Destination Folder Access Denied dialog box, like the one shown in Figure G. Select the Do This for All Current Items check box and click the Continue button to proceed with the Move operation.

Figure G

You will have to click the Continue button to proceed with the Move operation.

Of course, you can put the shortcuts to any of your applications that you want to appear on your Start Menu in this folder as well.

Moving the Start Menu Toolbar

Now that you have created the Start Menu Toolbar, you'll want to move it the left corner where the Start button used to be. Right-click on the Taskbar and select Lock the Taskbar to remove the check mark. Once the Taskbar is unlocked, hover your mouse pointer over the Toolbar handle, just to the left of the "S" in Start Menu. When the pointer turns into a double-headed arrow, just click and drag the Toolbar handle over toward the left corner, as shown in Figure H. As you do, drag the handle slightly under or over the icons on the Taskbar in order to get the Start Menu Toolbar to its new position.

Figure H

When the pointer turns into a double-headed arrow, just click and drag the Toolbar handle over to the left corner.

When you position it, you'll see all the folders inside the Start Menu folder. To hide them, click and drag the Taskbar handle next to the Internet Explorer icon to the left to cover up those folders. Now, right-click on the Taskbar and select the Lock the Taskbar command. When you do, you'll notice a slight side effect -- just an edge of the Windows Update icon appears; however, it is nothing to worry about.

When you complete the operation, you will have your own Classic Start Menu in Windows 8, as shown in Figure I.

Figure I

You can create your own Classic Start Menu in Windows 8.

What's your take?

Will you put the classic Start Menu back in Windows 8 Consumer Preview with this technique? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

Also read:

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

75 comments
Y2KSUNDARA
Y2KSUNDARA

For day to day works without Touch, this is the way to go

ombm
ombm

Of course we all have grown to the classic Start button on previous Windows, but now everyone is crying foul with the elimination of the Start button on Windows 8 (it's not official yet). But just in case Microsoft does decide to get rid of the classic Start button, there's an option to bring it back and make it look exactly like Windows 7.. http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/ I just installed it and it looks great! The best part is those who love the Metro tiles, you can still access it by hitting the classic Start button. I think this is the way Microsoft should go. Bring back the Windows Start button but make it advance by accessing Metro apps. Bazinga!

hytyme
hytyme

I have told you above what I think about Metro, but let me tell you what we should have had by now. We should have had an interface that we could customize to exactly what we wanted. It should follow us from computer to computer by retrieving our interface options from the internet along with our favorite web sites and email accounts settings. When you enter a password to retrieve your interface it should also link to your home and office computers and retrieve any files you may need. It should also let you remotely control all your computers from that one logon. All of this could be built into the operating system and available now but instead we are putting ugly blocks on a screen to sell phones.

Mooreman
Mooreman

If Microsoft insists on making every new OS they roll out of Redmond more difficult for all users to use than the previous versions: Like hiding all of the commonly used icons in both XP and Win7, or removing the share icons in Win7, dumb things like that. I will be glad to stick with the older OS versions I know, or move on to another OS supplier. I don't see Windows 8 selling well on desktops or laptops for that matter. Who wants a touch interface on a desktop? This is just going to force the larger manufacturers like HP to step-in and design their own proprietary Start Button menu interfaces and add the missing features to their own line of desktop and laptop models. HP did a similar thing with their home servers and touch smart computers. Small custom PC builders will be left with little or no products to build or sell, due to lack of a decent OS to install on them. This is going to be the nail in the coffin for small custom PC builders. This is just opening up a wide window of opportunity for Google, or Apple to step in and take-over MS's desktop/laptop business. This will also hasten the death of the desktop, which for most manufacturers is where most of their best profit margins are still derived from. MS had better hope that smart phone users will want to use a clunky/gutted desktop OS on their smart phones and be ready to pay the ridiculous margins MS is used to getting on their OS products. Windows 8 is also going to hurt Intel. Who needs power-hungry Intel processors, when there are more battery friendly ARM processors to choose from. Time to sell your stock in both Intel and Microsoft. Microsoft's management has gone full circle from totally arrogant, to totally clueless.

eaglewolf
eaglewolf

When adaptation means going so far down and backwards that you feel you just stepped off a cliff, then that's not the option to follow. Please tell me why Microsoft should dictate to me how I can lose productivity on such a grand scale. When moving thru the system now involves a couple of mouse or keyboard clicks to be up and running .. and actually working .. why should it be taken over by hidden elements that for most will be non-intuitive and increase the time to accomplish the same task? Oh. That's right. I can learn all the new non-intuitive steps, right? Well, yes, but you're still looking at something that is clumsy at best and time consuming/wasting at the worst. If I were purchasing a toy for children in a desktop/laptop format, I might consider Win8, but never as a working tool. To be honest, I wouldn't consider it for a tablet or phone, either. Being curious to see Metro in action, I stopped by a local cell phone store and found one that was operational. 'Terrible' is the most polite thing I can say about it. Will Microsoft listen to us? No. We mean nothing to them except a source of revenue. We are not their demographic - it's the mass-market consumer. But if we don't buy as individuals and/or if we don't upgrade business systems, then the show begins. Btw, on the news tonight is the story that Microsoft is buying a billion dollars of AOL patents. Can't they develop anything on their own? Maybe 'Metro' IS their entry into the 'look, we did it ourselves' and look what we got!

hytyme
hytyme

I think the computer programming industry has lost its way. I have been in the computer industry since 1975 and was promised a lot of things back then that should have come to pass by now. Maybe Microsoft and other software companies should watch some of their old ads and say to themselves what did we promise that we did not deliver; then deliver those things. When PC???s were young we were promised many things that the hardware could just not do back then. Now that the hardware has the capability the software companies want to make software that is dumbed down to the point that a monkey can use it. I guess that would be good if monkeys were using them but most users are much more proficient with computer than ever before. As far as operating systems my hopes were that it would have a customizable interface that molded itself to the user. One that was what the User wanted, if that is a start button so be it. If it is a voice interface you wanted then that would be what you have. Instead we have to put up without much choice with what Microsoft sticks us with. You can resist but if Microsoft stays with Metro eventually you will have to go to it also. I resisted the ribbon interface. It was an illogical interface to me that took more clicks to do the same thing as before (many more trying to find what I needed). Was it a better interface? No, just different. Metro looks like an interface I would expect to find on a $20 toy computer. I think Microsoft could not sell its phone because of the difference in the interface so they are thinking it if they force Metro on the PC it will sell more phones. I think this will be a great opportunity for Apple if they wait about a month after metro and announce that they have heard all the PC owner want a better OS and offer a PC compatible version of the Apple OS for PC users for about $99.

rosshiuk
rosshiuk

WHY GO THROUGH ALL THIS? STICK WITH 7 DON'T TRY TO MAKE 8 LOOK LIKE 7 WHAT'S THE POINT OF THAT... AFTER ALL WIN 8 MAY AS WELL BE A SERVICE PACK FOR WIN7... i FOR ONE WONT GO ANYWHERE NEAR 8... wIN8 IS FOR PEOPLE WITH TO MUCH MONEY AND TO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS...

Gisabun
Gisabun

As I think the majorty have said [or implied], MS has made a fairly major mistake by forcing the Metro interface on us. If anything, it should be a choice like when in Windows Xp you can choose between the Win 9x/2000 "classic" menu or the new Win XP menu. I made a comment in a MS blog about the mistake. You think they repled? Nope. Again, Vistart is a peace of CRAP! Junk is installed without asking? Nothing to do with the menu. Even if you un install all the junk, I found something that was installed at the same time as Vistart and had no uninstallation entry. Searched around and some believe it could be some form of spyware [or malware]. And why on earth is Outlook Express at the top of the menu? I've also found the menus to be hard to control.

eldad.2005
eldad.2005

This is a good trick to revive the [i]Classic Start Menu in Win 8[/i] Consumer Preview. Actually, I've managed to do it before reading this blog, because [u]it's exactly the same manner for creating the Classic Start Menu toolbar in Windows 7[/u] [to those who aren't satisfied with only the Win 7 start menu] By the way, one can also revive the [i]Quick Launch toolbar[/i] in Win8 (as well as Win7) in a very similar manner. I'd like to post a [b]challenge[/b]: is there a trick to [b]eliminate the [u]Metro[/u][/b] screen from Win 8 (even if a registry hack is required)? Eldad

maj37
maj37

I saw this as a possibility also early on in my work the the consumer preview though I didn't think of pointing the new toolbar the startmenu directory. Once thing to watch out for though is never go into "Toolbars" and uncheck the new toolbar, at least not in the preview, because it will not be there when you go back you will have to create it new again.

PoppaTab
PoppaTab

I put the start menu back on the taskbar on W8 CP then first day I ran it. I also added the quick launch simply because it's there. I opted to use a gadget that gives all the commands for shutdown, restart, etc. Windows 8 isn't a "must have" operating system for me yet, but it's not bad either.

TechWolf
TechWolf

While I like the idea of recreating the classic start menu I think it is time Windows users learn to adapt and move on. Technology changes so why can't we adapt to it. Call me lazy but in less time than it takes to recreate the classic start menu I have already taught myself to mouse over to the right, click settings, and click power to shut my computer down. I also mouse over to the left and left click for Run and enter Explorer, like I always do to launch Windows Explorer. For open apps I mouse up to the left hand corner. All of these things can be achieved no matter what window or tile you have open. I spend too much time between Linux and Windows, it is easier for me to learn how each one is different than to try and make them all the same. Besides, change is the game if you are a technologist or IT Professional.

peter_erskine
peter_erskine

Very nice, for all those Windows 8 users (of whom I shan't be one). Steve Balmer once said that this O/S was the riskiest thing on their books for some time. Maybe, before final release, they'll try to make it a bit nicer. Alternatively, Microsoft can /easily/ afford to write a new version of Desktop Windows if they feel one is needed. Apparently it would be a "7B", there's really little to do except a few enhancements and a better Search and a better version of NTFS.

pegassus
pegassus

I think that if you have a system that includes a touch screen monitor, it could be easy get used to the Metro Interface (in a few days of use of course), but if you want to use it in a regular lap top or desktop, in my humble opinion, is following the steps (many of them by the way) that Greg Shultz post or just change a number (a "0" instead of a "1") in the registry (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer) once there just find "RPEenabled", change the number and that??s all, you can use it like Windows 7. One final note: I've been using it this way since Octuber and is working great; in fact I love it because is a very stable platform and very compatible with any software I have installed.

hrosita
hrosita

I have been using Windows 8 CP since the begining of March. I did create the Start Manu (part of it) but I find that I got so used to the Metro interface that I really don't need it. I did however create a shortcut icon for the Control Panel on the desktop. I find that the Search in the Charms gives me the App/Program I want very fast.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I once rote a script to do this instead and to make a special start menu folder. It was basically just robocopy everything from all users and your own profile to a separate folder, and use that as the start menu button. I then placed the script in the in the start up tasks.

JJFitz
JJFitz

This is a clever way to bring back the feel of the old OS. Setting my computer up this way may help me but if I want to troubleshoot someone else's Win 8 box that probably won't be set up this way, I will be at a disadvantage. For troubleshooting and support purposes, I think it would be better to learn how to use the OS as it was intended to be used.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

to replace functionality Microsoft shouldn't have removed in the first place.

JJFitz
JJFitz

That's what the SkyDrive and Microsoft Office Live is all about. Plus roamimg profiles and Remote Desktop have been around for quite a while. If you are in the same workgroup or domain, you are all set. Logmein and GoToMyPC work just as well. Tiles? One click and they are gone. Next request?

JJFitz
JJFitz

I can't tell from your post whether you have used Windows 8 on a computer or just touched Metro on a phone at a store. There's a lot more to it on a computer. The good ol' desktop is still there on Windows 8. That seems to be lost on a lot of people. You don't need Metro other than to jump to the desktop. Most of the shortcut keystrokes in Windows 8 are the same as they were in Windows 95. (Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-X, Ctrl-Alt-Del, F1, etc.) The only additions that I can think of are the Windows key takes you to Metro and Ctrl-Z gives you access to options when in Metro or Metro Apps. Yes, the start button is gone but as we see from this article, it can be revived. My question is why do you want it other than for nostalgia? (Frankly, I never understood why you would design a GUI where you have to press the start button to shutdown.) The de-emphasis of the start button should not come as a suprise to anyone who has been following the progression of operating systems coming out of Redmond. Beginning with Vista, you no longer need to follow the sequence Start > All Programs > (scroll down to) Microsoft Office > (scroll down to) Microsoft Word to open up Word. You can get to it much faster by pressing the windows key and typing "wo". Better still, you can (and should) pin your most frequently used programs to your taskbar. This has been true since Vista and it is still true in Windows 8. Only now, if you are on the Metro screen, you can just type "wo" - no need to press the windows key. (even faster) Basically, if you can spell at least part of the program name, you can find it. Hint: Pressing the "." when on the Metro screen opens up a list of all of your installed programs. Of course, you can pin it to your taskbar and make a Metro Word tile to save you the keystrokes in the future. As for Microsoft buying patents from AOL; Microsoft bought / modified a lot of stuff they didn't create in house; SQL, Skype, and Exchange come to mind. This strategy should not come as a surprise to anyone who follows computer tech.

JJFitz
JJFitz

That will get you to the good ol' desktop you are most familiar with. How hard is that?

Prescott_666
Prescott_666

I added the Start Menu from this article yesterday, and I thought it was pretty slick, but today I installed Classic Shell, and if I stay with windows that's the way I will go. Ubuntu has shot itself in the foot with Unity, but Microsoft has blown it's whole leg off by getting rid of the Start button. Other than that one little thing, I actually like Windows 8. In the short term I'll just stay with Windows 7, but the choice is Windows 8 with a third party start button, or Ubuntu.

Fletchguy
Fletchguy

If you like a Ford why buy a volkswagon? If you like steak why eat peas? Its a prefered preferences and like . You are used to working a certain way which was given to you by Microsoft and you embrasced and stayed loyal to for decades then Microsoft yanks everything you like about windows and says here you will learn this and like it. Its just not a good business move. The huge fail of wp7 shows how much distatse people have for the metro ui yet microsoft bets the company on something so obviously disliked. The edsel was a car and it ran well but people didnt like the looks and it failed to exist.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Specifically, business users get paid to be productive. Adaptation and change take time (and thus money) away from that productivity. Adaptation is worth the short term loss if there is eventual long term gain ('return on investment'). So far, it doesn't look like there's any ROI on W8, at least not on desktops or laptops.

hrosita
hrosita

I agree. I am retired now but have worked in the IT field (IBM Mainframe) since 1970. All new systems were always always critisized by people resistant to new software. If Windows 8 proves to be a solid system (and so far I think it is), in 6 to 12 month everybody will embrace it.

ombm
ombm

Agreed, but nothing is official yet.

hytyme
hytyme

"You don't need Metro other than to jump to the desktop." That is exactly our point WE DONT NEED METRO. It does not do anything we can't do already so why force a change just to be changing. If Microsoft were to offer 500 interfaces for windows and let me choose I would have no problem. Its that fact that they force it to be your default!

Fletchguy
Fletchguy

I am guessing you have not used windows 8 then as that is not the good old classic desktop we all love. Its a copy of it stripped of all function. It does not behave the same way and unless you install the startbutton you do not get the options of the start button the good ol desktop had.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

and you'll have to keep clicking the tile but that's a small price to pay to keep MS happy, isn't it?

hytyme
hytyme

I should be asked which desktop I want to be my default and only have to answer that once with the option to change at any time. Even if I only have to click it once a day that is 365 more click a year. What happened to the fact that computers are supposed to make my life easier? That seems to be missing from Microsoft in its quest to sell more software, services and phones. There are a lot of money generating schemes in the computer industry. If you make printers, avoid making too many that use the same cartridge. If youre new printer requires a new cartridge then you immediately sell a slew of the new cartridge to stock all the stores. If you used the same cartridge then you just sell the cheap underpriced printer and no new cartridges. If you change your software you get to sell new books and training materials. You also sell more service time to support all the people that make mistakes with the new software.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

If someone gets a tablet with win8, and uses that tablet all day, all night. then there won't be a learning curve to use win8 somewhere else (they'll still have to control their urge to touch the screen if it isn't a touch, though :^0 ). Thing is, I think they're not half wrong, either. Learning to use the new OS on a toy-like doohickey like a tablet doesn't bother people, it's what they expect to have to do, anyway. This again has to do with phones and how each handset you get will have a different OS (most likely, even if they're all different versions of the same OS, they will have significant differences).

JJFitz
JJFitz

in the run dialog box. I posted the explorer instructions for people like you who want to hold on to the old way of finding files. I have moved on to a quicker and more efficient way years ago. If someone called me and said they were using Windows 8 and looking for a Q2 Budget report, I would say, "On the Metro screen, type Q2." That's all they need. You don't even need to open a dialog box. Now that's even more efficient. The way you described assumes that they saved the file in "Documents" which is not always the case. What if it is buried in a subfolder on their desktop as some people save so many files "temporarily"? What if it is right in C:\ (root)? If I want my Q2 Budget Report document, I am quite comfortable typing "Q2" right on the Metro screen - without the need to open the new search charm or navigate the old way through explorer. I have been using a search box to locate my files since I installed X1Desktop on Windows XP. Type "Q2" in the X1 taskbar search box and there it is. So it was natural to use search instead of explorer in Windows Vista and Windows 7. If someone calls me with the same request and says they have Vista or 7, I say, "Click. Start > Run > Q2 > enter". Who cares where it was saved when I can open it my way in seconds? Your way [i]might[/i] get them what they were looking for but it is almost as likely that it will not. That being said, I know I have a few users who are set in their ways who would want to open explorer and navigate the old way so I will show them how to make a shortcut on the taskbar.

Slayer_
Slayer_

"Computer" or "Documents". I suppose MS's inefficiencies keep you employed. But I find it interesting your ultimate solution is to do it for your users. It kind of puts all of MS's hard work into making a usable GUI to waste. So here you are trying to sell Windows 8, when it seems all your users need is a GUI and a functioning TCP stack. Windows 95 was probably good enough for you.

JJFitz
JJFitz

These are some of the solutions I have implemented in the past to support our users. (From most efficient solution to least efficient) 1. We image our computers before we release them to our users. The lock, explorer, and shutdown shorcuts would already be there. 2. I can push a shortcut to their desktop. 3. I can remote in and create it for them. (RDP, Logmein, GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting) 4. I can send a Help Desk Tech to do it for them. 5. I can put an instruction video on my Intranet or on YouTube. If I was already on the phone with one of my users, I would remote in. None of this is new to Windows 8. Also, I would train my users before I released a new operating system.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I'm curious, after you did this, did the user believe Windows 8 was better?

JJFitz
JJFitz

You create a shortcut on the Win 8 desktop the same way you could do it for the past 15 years or more. Right click the desktop screen, new, shortcut, browse to explorer.exe and select it. Keep in mind, you only have to do this [i]once[/i]. From then on, you can use explorer to locate your programs and create shortcuts. You can also do it the ways you describe and many other ways.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Use the run command to open the C drive. - Not user friendly Use Control E - Not user friendly Enable desktop Icons - Not user friendly Or search for it in Metro. So which did you do? Or did you find a way to do it in Metro?

JJFitz
JJFitz

The ARM tablet may not have a desktop but my Fujitsu Tablet Convertible that I am using right now does. I was assuming that since this discussion was about bringing back the start button that we were still talking about the desktop. The ARM slate style tablet may be a different beast designed for a different consumer - the tablet crowd. Does anyone here plan to [i]replace[/i] their desktop with a slate tablet? Pinning explorer to the taskbar is the same as in Windows Vista and 7. Find explorer.exe in the Windows directory, send a shortcut to your desktop, right click the shortcut and choose pin to taskbar. While you are at it, pin it to start so you have a tile for it too. While you are at it, find shutdown.exe and lock and pin them too.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Also, tablet version has no desktop, don't forget that. And shortcut keys are not allowed. Turning on desktop icons is not allowed. Run command is certainly not allowed. So is it even possible under the default install, to even access your files? Do so using only your mouse, as if you were a normal user.

JJFitz
JJFitz

Explorer is still there and it looks pretty much the same as on Win 7. Pin it to the taskbar and pin it to Start (Metro) screen and you can quickly get to it from Metro or Desktop. That being said, I think Metro is superfast at finding files. To do so, open Metro by clicking the windows button (or a number of other ways), start typing and it finds your hits. You dont even have to type your search term in a dialog box in Metro. Just type. It's a huge time saver.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Far as I have seen, Metro offers no way to access the file system or your documents folder unless you do a search for your documents folder. So how are you using it?

JJFitz
JJFitz

correction: [i] YOU [/i] don't [i] WANT[/i] Metro. Don't assume that your wants and needs are the same as everyone else's. I want Metro. I am testing it out on a Windows tablet convertible that allows me to use the touchpad, keyboard, stylus or my finger to navigate and provide input. The operating system is a significant improvement over Windows 7 on my computer. I am also planning on replacing my 8 year old home computer with a new one with dual touch screens so I am looking forward to the release of the new operating system. I was merely pointing out that the old desktop is still there and it's not far away. Keep in mind that this is a [i]Consumer Preview [/i] and you might get your wish to drop into the old style desktop by default if you want to when the final version is released. If Microsoft doesn't provide it, I am sure someone else will. Also keep in mind that many of the larger computer manufacturers have typically provided a means to roll back the operating system to a previous version for several months after a new os is released. So you might not be forced into anything for quite some time even if you plan to purchase a new computer.

JJFitz
JJFitz

I can stay on the desktop all day unless I want to access a Metro app. If I open any of my programs from the desktop and close them, I get back to the desktop. Make a shortcut to shutdown.exe, pin it to your taskbar and you don't even need the charms to shutdown. MS might not be happy but I am. :)

Fletchguy
Fletchguy

The thing to do here to solve the entire issue is to offer a question at install. Do you want classic windows UI or Windows 8 metro ui. Click classic and you get tada classic ui over the new os and you have satified customers all around. Ballmer has to be the biggest moron ever and thats alot since Steve Jobs was a big one over at apple.

JJFitz
JJFitz

No one is forcing you to move to Metro or even stick with Windows for that matter. However, if your job requires you to support desktops (as mine does), I encourage you to learn about the new operating system as well as the alternatives. You will get no argument from me about printers. You can either purchase a reliable one with commonly used cartridges or suffer the consequences of short term savings. I lease large networked copier / printer / scanners at work because the service and toner is included and they are automatically replaced every three years. I phased out most of the personal printers on my campus because they are too darn expensive to support.

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