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Disable Metro Start Screen in Windows 8

Get back to a Windows 7 Interface with Windows 8 and restore the Start Button

The new "Metro" interface is probably brilliant on a smart phone or tablet but useless on a PCor laptop although some of its features are good as a novelty for about 10 minutes.
The good news is the OS itself is fantastically slick and very fast but Microsoft are insisting everything comes with this silly Metro interface with no easy way back to a Windows 7 type desktop. There are workarounds so it is possible to have a Windows 8 Installation on any PC (and it will run on anything that can run Vista wih ease) with the Windows 7 Desktop and Explorer system back as it should be complete with start buttons. The new Metro Interface is still useable but as a secondry system if you wish.

To restore Start Button and go back to a Windows 7, Vista or even XP Desktop in windows 8 you need to download and install Classic Shell from Sourceforge. This is free open source software, it does not remove Metro it resets Windows 8 to use the desktop not the Metro interface by default and provides skins to get the start menu to look like Win Vista, WinXP or Win7. Metro is still there and useable by moving the mouse into a corner to access the "Charms Bar". The latest version of Classic Shell (v3.6.1) works fine with the RTM version of Windows 8 as at June 2013.

Download Classic Shell from Here

Install Classic Shell then run it, the settings are pretty obvious and if you do nothing else it will give you a start button, desktop and a Windows 7 / Vista type start menu. Mine above has a Classic Windows Start Menu as used on Win 2000.

Modern Mix

From Stardock and costing $4.99 but worth looking at via the full 30 day trial.

If you use Windows 8 on a desktop with a large monitor the Metro Apps become completely pointless as they open full screen. The best you can do is have a dual monitor setup with apps running on one and the desktop on the other which again is not ideal. Also when you click on a link to open a webpage or a photo or something there is no way to tell if it opens in the stock browser or the new metro version of IE which is vastly less functional.

Modern Mix cures this behaviour by firstly allowing you to resize and position multiple metro apps and have them run in windows on the desktop, and secondly it adds back the missing Mimimise/Maximise and Shutdown Icons in the top left of the Metro apps making them useful again on a desktop PC.

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