Customize: Restore Old Windows 7 Start Menu in Windows 8

Written by: Oliver Krautscheid - Published: Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Don’t like the new Windows 8 Start menu? Too simple? It’s easy enough to restore the old Windows 7 Start menu! Here’s how. Download the registry tweak after the break or get further instructions.
Restore old start menu in Windows 8

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1. Step Let’s take a look at the new Windows 8 Start menu. While it’s definitely nice for mobile OS users, this is not really usable as a desktop Start menu, because it lacks all the features that the Windows 7 start menu made so fantastic:

Windows 8 Start Menu

2. Step Luckily, Microsoft allows us to easily revert back to the old Windows 7 start menu. We can restore it via the registry.

3. Step You can download our registry tweak here:

Download Registry Tweak To Restore Old Windows 7 Start Menu

4a) Alternatively, you can simply add this text into a notepad file, select “all files” from the dropdown when you save it and add .reg as the extension:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]

“RPEnabled”=dword:00000000

4b) Alternatively, you can also open the registry editor in Windows 8 and change the registry setting there (where is the registry editor in Windows 8)

Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

Double-click on RPEnabled and change 1 to 0

The Old Windows 7 Start Menu in Windows 8

And voilà here’s the old new start menu with some pinned programs and the classic Start orb:

Old Windows 7 Start Menu in Windows 8


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Written by: Oliver Krautscheid
Oliver is the founder and lead editor of this site. He is interested in finding new ways to break Windows, find common errors and help others to fix them. Aside from that, he loves to fully customize systems with Rainmeter and Dreamscene, find out more about ancient civilizations like the Chachapoya, sharpen his digital photography skills and create software with a small group of selected developers. If you would like to connect with him to discuss anything, send him a mail!

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5 Responses to Customize: Restore Old Windows 7 Start Menu in Windows 8

  1. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    pbug56 said:

    Guess what – Microsloth broke this fix in the Consumer Preview for Win 8. Once again, the start button orb is gone. Once again, no logoff. Once again, no easy access to all your installed programs. Once again, no easy access to control panel.

  2. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    bellboy said:

    That registry tweak doesn’t work on build 8250.

  3. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    User said:

    restoreoldstartmenu.reg -NOT WORKING(Windows8 Pro Build 9200).

  4. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    mimoso said:

    After installing the final release of windows 8, bought 2 days ago, I tried your tip editing the registry.

    I noticed that the famous RPEnabled did not exist. I decided to create it in vain. it seems that there is no way to get the Windows7
    start menu.

  5. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    oliversk said:

    Hi mimoso, yes that registry tweak only worked in previous versions..

    HOWEVER, there are some apps you can use. Please read this:
    http://windows7themes.net/weekend-feature-2-amazing-tools-to-bring-back-the-windows-8-start-button-and-menu.html

    If you’re on a Samsung device, try this instead
    http://windows7themes.net/samsung-devices-with-quick-starter-app-that-brings-back-the-windows-8-start-menu.html

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