Add a Start Button to Windows 8

The most common compliant that I hear from people running Windows 8 is the lack of the traditional start button on the desktop.

Some of the functionality of the old Start Button is available using a key combination on the Windows 8 Metro START screen. To access this press the keyboard Windows key and the X key together…

WIndows X - StartThis will result in the a list of options being displayed some of which were available via the old Start button.

Windows X options  The full list of commands are shown in the image to the left and you will recognise many from the old Windows Start button, especially those in the lower section.

The upper section is system administration tools. Some of these tools are very powerful, so don’t ‘play’ with them unless you are sure what you are doing.

You can access the Control Panel from here as well as tools for managing the various aspects of your computer.

The traditional Run and Search are also offered.


In addition to the Windows X option there are a number of third-party (i.e.; non-Microsoft) apps that can be installed and which will add a Start button to the Windows 8 desktop, returning the familiar functionality that was removed by Microsoft in Windows 8.

These apps vary in cost, complexity and quality but a FREE one that I can recommend is Pokki.

Pokki can be downloaded from

PokkiPokki will modify your Windows 8 taskbar and will add a new Start button (on the left)

Once added Pokki provides the following…

win8x002List of Favourites

List of All Apps

Links to Control Panel

Links to Common user areas

A familiar log off/shutdown/restart menu

An icon to return to the Windows 8 Metro Start Screen


Why Microsoft chose to remove the Start button from Windows 8 is a mystery.
I applaud their efforts in producing the Windows 8 Metro interface as it does offer a ‘new’ method of interfacing with your devices but they have got things very wrong by shoving this out without having a familiar Windows 7 style desktop behind it. The vast majority of my clients, especially those in their later years, are struggling with Windows 8 and would benefit from a higher degree of familiarity. Seems a little like change for changes sake with no true benefit for users unless they are on a touch screen device.


Taff Lovesey

About taffybach

Author of the young adult fantasy novel series, The Portal Chronicles, including The Spider Gem and The Shimmering Gate. When not writing and promoting Taff runs a small IT support company, LITES PC based in Bourne UK.
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