In few minutes time you will figure out how to get your work done easily and effectively without Start button and start menu in Windows 8.

In this Tutorial I will show you

  • How to launch desktop applications without leaving the desktop (going to Start screen).
  • How to use Start screen launch Metro and Desktop applications quickly.

I want to share some simple but effective Windows 8 tips and show you some good habits you should develop  and bad habits you should try to avoid. When you are just experiencing Windows 8 for first time you probably have had a hard time without the Start button and Start menu. What cause the frustration.

  • First – You feel like something is missing in Windows 8. Where is the Start Button? How can I launch applications without a Start Button and Start Menu?
  • Second –You don’t know the full capabilities of Start screen. What is Start screen?
  • Third – Negative feedback given about Windows 8 Start screen is haunting inside you. Start screen is designed and optimized for touch screen. Why I have to leave desktop and go to Start screen to launch an application.

Worrying about missing features nor negative thought will not help you move forward with the latest technology. Sometimes you need to scarifies some good features to get better features. I am not going to justify Microsoft’s decision to remove Start button completely. However, if that is the case and you like to go with Windows 8, there is no any other option but to learn all the Windows 8 tricks and tips.

Instantly you will start to feel conformable working on Windows 8 by knowing how to access application and folders without using the Start button or Start Screen and not going into Start screen. Windows 8 inherits a powerful taskbar from Windows 7, which can be used to launch frequently use desktop application with one click. Did you notice that you have already saved couple of clicks by not using the Start button. You have saved one click for the Start button, couple of clicks for All Programs and shortcuts.

How to add shortcuts to taskbar

  •  Right click on the application shortcut and if that application is created to add to taskbar, you will see an option to Pin to Taskbar. Otherwise you can drag and drop the shortcut to taskbar. How are you going to find the shortcuts to the already installed applications. Open libraries and follow the path below.
    (C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs)
  • If you are installing a new applications make sure to tick the check box that allow you to pin the application shortcut to the taskbar. However, all the application may not have this option.
  • Also, you can do the same from Start screen. Simply go to Start screen by pressing the Windows key on the keyboard and type the application name. Yes, just type the keyword and it will start showing the search results. Select the desktop application and right click on it. Only if it is a desktop application you will see the option, pin to taskbar.

You only required to do this couple of times or whenever you notice that you are using an application more frequently and not in the taskbar. You don’t have fifty often use applications. Do you? I don’t think so. Then you have enough space on the taskbar to pin all your favorite programs. Now you can launch frequently use application directly from taskbar without going to Start screen. Now you can do half of the things you did with Start Menu without Start button.

Lets see how we going to cover the other half of the Start menu, which is Computer,  Control panel and Libraries. Just like any other version of Windows you can add them to the Desktop.

How to add Computer, Control panel, Network and User’s files Folders to Desktop.

  • Right click on the desktop
  • Click properties
  • Click Change desktop icons
  • You will have option to add Computer, Control panel, Network or User’s file folder to Desktop.

Now you will have one click access to these folders as well.

After us using Windows 8 for couple days, I realized there are easier ways to get things done without using the Start button or Start menu. However, as I was addicted to these two components I missed it. Life is so much easier without Start Button.

Windows 8 Desktop without Start button

How to search for applications and files in Windows 8

It is vital to search applications and files in a modern operating system. Windows 8 optimized the search functionality by moving it to Start screen. It is user friendly and powerful enough to search files, application, Windows settings as well as search application data. In another word you can search everything in one screen.

  • Go to Start screen by pressing the Windows Key
  • Start typing the Keyword

Also, you can still do a file search using Windows File Explorer like previous Windows versions. However, this method is not efficient as searching from Start Screen. Windows 8 Start screen search is the best and most effective way to launch metro and desktop applications as well as to search. Life is more simple and effective without Start button.

Start screen search

I have covered three simple ways to search and launch Windows 8 applications without using Start button and Start menu. May be you are so addicted to Start button and Start menu and wondering if there any way to get this old feature back to Windows 8.  Yes, this is possible. You can bring back the Start button and metro style Start menu using Start8.