The Start menu -- the essential navigational tool that has graced the Windows UI from Windows 95 through Windows 7 -- is missing from Windows 8. Rather, the new Start screen is the go-to spot for finding apps and files. Longtime Windows users may struggle with the new paradigm, however, particularly if they decide to spend most of their time in the comfortable confines of the Desktop UI. One of the more annoying aspects of using Windows 8 is the need to switch back and forth between the Desktop to the Start screen to do simple stuff, such as searching the hard drive for a file or tracking down a legacy Windows program.
The solution: Install a third-party utility such as Classic Start 8, which brings a Windows 7-style Start menu to the Desktop. In addition to providing fast access to programs and files, it offers a faster way to shut down your PC than the multi-step Windows 8 method, which is a bit confusing.