Nowadays, Windows 8 classic start menu and Windows 8 start button are no longer exist for Windows 8 system, which are replaced by the full-screen or metro style start screen. However, if you prefer the Windows 8 classic start menu, this article will tell you how to switch Windows 8 start menu to the classic type.

At the very beginning, in the Developer Preview of Windows 8, you can remove Metro through deleting the shsxs.dll file. However, if you are using the Consumer Preview, removing Metro through deleting the shsxs.dll file is unavailable, because metro is baked into Explorer.exe itself now.

How to switch classic start menu back in Windows 8 by creating a Start Menu Toolbar

Creating a start menu toolbar is not a well-known feature among Windows users, but Windows can create toolbars which can show the contents of a folder on its taskbar. With this feature, you can create a pseudo-Start menu without installing any other software on Windows 8. Now come to create a new toolbar that points at the Start menu’s Programs folder by following the tips below.

Step1.On the desktop, right-click the taskbar, find Toolbars and choose “New toolbar.”

Step2. Type or copy and paste “%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs”path into the Choose a folder window.

Step3. Tap the “Select Folder”, then you’ll get a Programs menu on your taskbar.

Step4. You need to right-click the taskbar and uncheck “Lock the taskbar” if you want to move the new Programs menu around.

Step5. In the toolbar, try to drag and drop the grip at the left side to place it somewhere else on the taskbar, like at its left side — the Start menu’s traditional location.

Step6. If you want to change or hide its name, right-click the “Programs” text. Then right-click the taskbar again and select “Lock the taskbar.”

How to switch classic start menu back in Windows 8 by program shortcut 

Actually, there’s a catch with this method, which won’t actually show all your programs. You can grab shortcuts from 2 different places via Start menu. In addition to the system-wide ProgramData location, there’s a per-user Programs folder at the following location, which is also a general path for Windows users to use:
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

As what it shows in the screenshots, the Windows Defender shortcut — and other shortcuts — won’t show up in the toolbar menu.
Actually, you could create a second toolbar to list programs from this folder, or move shortcuts from the %AppData% location to the %ProgramData% location. You can also choose to create a custom folder full of program shortcuts and using a toolbar that points at that folder instead.
What`s more, when you update or download Windows 8, the third party Start button replacement is your available back to back download choice to switch Windows 8 start menu into the classical one.