Enable classic start menu on Windows 8

Are you missing the classic start menu in Windows 8? In this post, I will show how to easily enable or disable Widows 7 style classic start menu on your Windows 8.

All of us are impressed with the new Start screen on ,Windows 8. But are you sometimes missing the Windows 7 style classic start menu on your Windows 8? Unfortunately, Microsoft has not given us a way to switch on or switch off the classic start menu easily. If you want to see the classic start menu on Windows 8, you need to sacrifice your new start screen and also do a little bit of work.

The method I am going to explain below is tested with Windows 8 Developer Preview model. Since Microsoft could make significant changes to the release before Windows 8 is available for public, these steps may or may not work for future builds.

This involves editing the registry. Typically, you are recommended to backup the registry before you make any changes, but honestly I do not think this is that big of a deal. As long as you follow the instructions below and do not mess up with other keys in the registry, these tweaks are pretty minor and should not cause any other problems for your Windows 8.

Tool to enable or disable classic start menu on Windows 8

We have developed a small utility that does the raw work for you. It will edit the registry and make the small tweaks required to enable or disable the classic Windows 8 start menu. This is a very easy to use tool and have only 2 radio buttons to choose whether to enable or disable classic start menu.

You can download this simple utility from here.

This is a light weight .zip file (only 6kb size). Extract the zip file to get the executable. This tool is developed by us and be assured that there is no malware in it. It is just a few lines of C# code to edit and update the Windows registry as explained later in this article.

If you don't like to run the tool, you may achieve the same result by following the below mentioned manual steps.

Steps to enable Classic Start Menu on Windows 8

Step 1. Open registry editor. To open the registry editor, open the Run Dialog and type "Regedt" and press ENTER. (To open the Run Dialog, you can follow the instructions given in how to run command prompt in Windows 8.

Step 2. Expand and navigate to the registry key:


Step 3. Look at the right side. You will see a key called "RPEnabled" with the value "1".

The value 1 indicates Enable Start Screen instead of Start Menu. If you like to disable the start screen and enable Start Menu, then change the value to 0.

How to disable classic start menu on Windows 8

Well, after checking out the classic start menu on Windows 8, if you like to go back to the new start screen, the process is pretty much the same. Edit the same Registry key and reset the value back to 0. This will replace the classic start menu with the start screen.

If you mess up with this key or accidentally delete it, don't worry. You can simply right click on the right side area and add a new Value of type DWord.

Do you any other similar tricks on Windows 8? Please let us know by posting a feedback below.


  • Tool to enable or disable classic start menu on Windows 8 (5088-152047-EnableWindows8ClassicMenu.zip)
  • Article by Tony John
    Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.

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    Guest Author: Dingo06 Mar 2012

    Does not work for me on W8CP. The RPEnabled key does not exist so I created it and nothing has changed. I also tried the utility listed above and a few other utility that claim to do the same but still nothing. Looks like M$ may have changed it.

    Guest Author: Pat27 Nov 2012

    This is not working did win shell break it. reg key is there it does change but nothing happens

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