Previously I had posted several easy ways to add a Start button to Windows 8 urtech.ca/2012/10/solved-solved-solved-oh-joy-solved-how-to-add-the-start-button-into-windows-8/ but this is an ENTIRELY different approach… run Windows 7’s EXPLORER.EXE (i.e. the entire Windows 7 DESKTOP) in Windows 8.
I have not tried this yet, but several notable tech staffers have with no complaints after more than a month of use.
Ex7ForW8, or “Explorer 7 for Windows 8”, is a wrapper created by a developer named Tihiy which basically allows Windows 7’s explorer.exe to run on the new OS. Once installed and activated it will take users straight to the Windows 7 desktop upon boot up, and when I say “straight to” I mean it. The new UI doesn’t load at all. The wrapper doesn’t modify any system files or system protected registry entries, and you can switch back to the Windows 8 UI at any time.
Ex7ForW8 lets you enjoy all the benefits of the new OS — faster boot up times, better security, SkyDrive integration and so on — and new Explorer features, such as the ribbon interface, and enhanced file copying/moving are all still available. Only the Start screen formerly known as Metro is missing. And because the tool loads the Windows 7 shell, you’ll get the Start button and Start menu back.
Of course disabling the Start screen also disables any Windows apps you might have installed, but you’d expect that, right?
I’ve actually been using this tool since the latest version was released in the middle of November, and so far I’ve experienced no problems at all.
You might as well get the process and right from the developer: see forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/35189-Windows-7-explorer-for-Windows-8