Start Menu Reviver feels like Microsoft's unborn Windows 8 start menu

Martin Brinkmann
May 14, 2013

Will Microsoft add a start menu to the Windows 8 operating system when Windows 8.1 comes out this year? It looks as if Microsoft is prepared to take a few steps back this time, listen to customer feedback and re-introduce features that it removed from Windows 8.

The start menu is without doubt the most prominent example as millions of Windows 8 users have downloaded third party start menus to add the functionality back to the operating system.

When you look at the feature set of Start Menu Reviver you may notice that it is not only available for Windows 8 but also for Windows 7.

It looks and feels different than other replacements, like Start8 or Classic Shell for example, which can be solely attributed to its design. Instead of mimicking the Windows 7 start menu, the designers of Start Menu Reviver decided to use a Metro-style design instead.

start menu reviver

A wizard is displayed to you after installation which you should go through once as it explains key concepts. You can control the start menu with the mouse and keyboard, or with touch input. This explains the switch option between mouse and gestures in the wizard.

The following concepts are described:

  • Opening the start menu.
  • Adding tiles.
  • Add a website as a tile.
  • Moving tile.
  • Change apps list.
  • Reset a tile.
  • Access the dashboard.

When you open the start menu for the first time you may be overwhelmed by the icons that are displayed here. The menu takes up most of the vertical space on the screen which is not really a bad thing. It displays a small sidebar on the left linking to often used actions and programs such as the settings, the run box or the search.

Next to that is a selection of tiles in varying sizes. Some lead to core Windows programs such as the Control Panel or the Task Manager, while others to start screen apps. What's interesting in this regard is that you can replace most of the tiles you find listed here.

How that is done? You simply move the mouse to the right border of the start menu. You will notice that a new menu pops up next to it displaying application and file lists. A pulldown menu on top is available that you can use to filter what is being displayed here.  Options include modern apps and desktop apps, the start menu folder or recent items.

You can start programs right from here, or drag and drop them to one of the tiles on the left to pin it to that tile.

The settings of the application contain several interesting options. You can display the expanded menu all the time for example if you prefer that and define which filtered list it displays by default.

I have a couple of issues with the menu. Probably the biggest issue is that I can't use the return key to load a program after search.  I usually tap on Windows, type a search term and hit the enter key to select the first result from the list. With this program, I have to select the result with the mouse.

The tiled display is controversial as well. While it will surely be liked by some, others may prefer a file list instead of icons to save space or divide programs and files into folders. It takes some getting used to time to work with the icons that the application displays in the start menu.

Last but not least, the file listing on the right cannot be edited in any way it seems. I do not really need help files listed here or readme texts as they clutter the available space and do not add value to the listing. An option to delete files here is missing.


  1. You can replace all existing tiles but the link to the Windows 8 start screen with another program link. You can however disable the dashboard tile with a right-click on it.
  2. Large tiles can be divided up into smaller tiles. One large tile can be divided into four smaller tiles so that you can add four program links instead of the one in the same space. A right-click and the selection of add tile helps you with that.
  3. When you add a new tile or edit an existing one, you can select that the program is always run with elevated privileges.
  4. You can change the icon of any tile here, or create custom links by adding shortcuts and icons manually in the tile properties.

Start Menu Reviver is a free program that does things different than other start menu programs for Windows 7 or Windows 8. If you like the Metro style then it is definitely worth a closer look. If you prefer speed over style, an alternative such as Classic Shell may be the better option. (via Freewaregenius)


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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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