How to get back the Windows 7 Start Menu in Windows 8


edit : only worked on the Beta of Windows 8. Now, please install Windows 8.1 to recover the start button.

Yesterday, Microsoft released the first preview (not a beta!) of the next version of Microsoft Windows. This version, optimized for computers/tablets, enabled to support different kinds of processors (x86, x64 or ARM) offers a new UI experience with a built-in “Metro” interface.

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In my case, I prefer the old menu and I’d like to keep the new start menu screen (with the widgets) but to be allowed to use the classic menu with its lovely finder as well.

To do that, you just need :

  1. to open a command prompt (Win + R)
  2. to type “regedit”
  3. To go to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  4. To change the value of the key RPEnabled from 1 to 0

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The change is applied without having to restart the computer. To display the old menu, you just have to click the Win key once to display the Metro menu, then to click the Win key again. And voilà!

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Comments (9)
  1. Steve says:

    thanks!

  2. David says:

    When I tried it the entire Metro start screen became unresponsive as well. I could see the tiles but not select any. Be warned.

  3. We tried it on a dozen of devices (laptop thinkpad, dell tablet pc, custom desktop), it works for all. you should check your configuration/VM

  4. Oliver Feng says:

    Thank you for sharing this, I have been looking for this for a long time, 3 days. 🙂

    There are 2 registry keys

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer

       for start menu

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer

       for logon screen

  5. Cammel says:

    Cant you make a system backup, put in the Win 7 CD rom and restore?

  6. You want to restore a windows 7 over a windows 8 ?!

  7. tushar nene says:

    i'm using the windows 8 pro RTM and the value doesn't exist

  8. saeen says:

    I am on RTM and there's no RPEnabled entry. :S

  9. With a few simple end user tweaks a fully empowered conventional desktop can be established in under 5 minutes. blog.nigelgibbons.com/…/windows-8-desktop-prioritisation-guide  

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