Many of us may have noticed that several hacks and registry tricks that worked in earlier versions of Windows 8 no longer work in versions after the developer preview. However, that does not mean that you can't have a start menu in Windows 8! Here are a few ways to customize Windows 8 quickly, painlessly, and perhaps most importantly, freely. Start menu: Even in the RTM, you can still get a start menu. The hacks no longer work because the very code for the start menu has been removed, so in order to get a start menu, you need to install a new one rather than change a registry setting. Installing a new start menu is a very easy thing to do. There have been programs to get the Windows Vista and Windows 7 start menus in previous generations of Windows as well as install much more customization-friendly start menu alternative programs for several years. Many such programs still work in the RTM and all other versions of Windows 8. Installing a start menu with Classic Shell: This is as easy as going to win.softpedia.com, searching for Classic Shell, downloading it, and installing it. I'll make it even easier by showing a link strait to it: http://www.softpedia.com/dyn-postdownload.php?p=194993&t=0&i=1 Classic Shell is also one of the few programs that can let you bypass Metro at log in so that when you log-in, you go directly to the desktop. There are many other programs that can give you a start menu such as ViStart/ViOrb, Start8, and more and a few of them also let you bypass Metro at log in too. There are many other features among these programs and Classic Shell is one of the most feature-rich of them all with dozens of other settings that you can customize if you choose to. How to get the quick launch from Vista and XP in both Windows 7 and Windows 8 This one is easy because the quick launch functionality was never removed and is actually made easily available by MS. You don't need to install anything nor even make any registry hacks. For this, you simply right-click on the task bar, hover the mouse over "Toolbars", click "New toolbar", and choose a folder for the short-cuts of your quick launch bar to include. In order to make it look like the quick-launch, you next right-click on the text of the new quick-launch and un-check the "Show title" and "Show Text" options. Congratulations, you now have a quick launch again. In order to get more programs in it, you can either put a short cut into the folder that you chose for the quick-launch or you can simply drag and drop a short cut into the quick-launch toolbar. In order to get the quick launch like in previous versions of Windows that is recognized by programs that send short cuts to the quick launch, do the above, but use this as the directory path: "%AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch" If anyone has comments/questions/requests for other such tutorials for other things in Windows 8, feel free to leave a comment.