Adding A Powerful Start Menu in Windows 8

One of the biggest complaints Windows 8 users have is that there is no way to get the Start Menu back. Microsoft took away one of the most used features of previous versions and gave users no way to get around it. With programs like Power8, you can get the Start Menu back in Windows 8.

You can get Power8 here. The installation is no fuss and when complete, an arrow will point to the familiar Start Menu to let you know where to get started.

Power8 will be a rough Start Menu to start with that you will be able to tweak to your liking. For now, you can open your most commonly used apps and programs, you can open a more traditional Start Menu by clicking “Start Menu” at the top and you can even turn off your PC from here.

using-power8's-start-menu

You can open the settings by right-clicking your new Start Menu to start customizing Power8 to work for you.

right-clicking-start-menu

From here, you can turn on auto-start so that Power8 will start when you boot Windows. You can also have Power8 automatically check for updates.

configuring-start-button

Configure Start button allows you to change how the Start Menu button looks. You can change its aspect ratio to make it larger and you can select an image to represent it as well.

The Web search engines area of the settings shows you the shortcuts related to the search feature of Power8. Power8 can search your PC, Windows and the Internet.

Power8-settings-web-search-settings

In order to search the Internet in Power8, in the search box, type the letter corresponding to the search engine and then your query, like this:

g maketecheasier windows 8

You can add search engines by selecting on an empty box and copying the format from the other search engines, like this:

"http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query={0}"

Block Metro features is a nifty little tool from Power8 that does just what it says: When enabled, Block Metro features turns off the Metro UI. You will no longer have any access to the Start screen in Windows 8. You will open anything, even apps, from the Start Menu you create with Power8. It simply disappears. You can turn this on either by right-clicking the Start Menu or from Power8′s General Settings.

This area lets you choose how you display items in the most frequently used (MFU) list. By default, Use system data will be utilized. This will list the MFUs in the order they are used the most.

customizing-mrus

You can create your own list or even hide certain areas by adding additional strings in Power8. If you are looking to stop an item from being displayed in Power8′s Start Menu, you want to include its location or its EXE file name, like this:

c:\windows\downloads\ms.fresh.exe

or

worldofwarcraft.exe

This is our finished Start Menu from Power8:

using-your-new-start-menu

For some Windows users, eliminating the Start Menu was one of the most devastating changes to Windows 8. With utilities like Power8, you can get your Start Menu back. You can disable the Metro UI completely, then use the above settings to tweak the Start Menu exactly the way you want. What other features do you want to see back in Windows 8?