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Metro-Style Start Menu Replacement for Windows 8 & Windows 7: Start Menu Reviver




If you’re looking for a stylish, touch-screen friendly start menu replacement for either Windows 8 or Windows 7, you should try Start Menu Reviver as its design is quite different from the rest of the crowd due to the adoption of the Windows 8’s metro-style concept to its interface. As you can see from the following screenshot, on the middle panel of the interface, the icons of your frequently-used programs are displayed in tiles in varied sizes. Its color scheme can also be changed via the “Settings” window, where you can choose different color for the border, scroll bar, background, text, tile and the interface icon. Moreover, the Start menu size can be changed to medium or small if the default size is rather too big for you.

The big tiles can be splitted into 4 smaller tiles to add as many programs as possible. Right-click on a big tile, choose “add tile”, choose one of the icons from the list, and hit the [Save] button. If you split all of the big tiles, you will have around 32 smaller tiles in which you can add program shortcuts and website links.

There are three ways to move or add a program’s shortcut to a tile:

  • First, display the right panel, which is called as extended menu, by moving your mouse to the right border of the start menu or by clicking the Apps button on the left panel, then choose and drag-drop one of the available items from the list to the tile. If the target tile is already associated with a shortcut, the new shortcut will replace it.
  • Second, you can add a shortcut by dragging and dropping a program directly from Windows explorer.
  • Or, right-click on a tile, choose “add tile”–or “edit tile” when it has a shortcut already–browse to the target folder and choose the target application, and finally hit the [Save] button to add the shortcut.

The third way can also be used to add a website link. Just enter the URL of the website into the Shortcut box to add the link, and then optionally add description and choose an icon or image. However, I found that this adding-website feature is less helpful than it should be since it only uses image to represent a shortcut. It won’t help much even if you add a proper description since the description can only be displayed when you hover your mouse over the icon, which means you cannot find it immediately which icon that you should click to open the website until your mouse cursor points to the correct icon. Surely it can be solved by using a proper picture/icon but then you have to create it yourself and it’s not that easy to create it.

Tips:

  • The default folder that opens when you access the expanded menu is the Start Menu folder. If you access your custom folder more often, you can make it as the default folder from the Settings window.
  • Make the search better – Using search is the fastest way to find the programs that aren’t listed on the shortcut/tiles area, but you might find that sometimes the search fails to find a certain program. In this case, you can add the Program Files folder as the custom folder in the extended menu/the right panel. After you add it, the search should be able to find the program quickly when you do the search again.
    • Here is how to add a custom folder to the extended menu:
      Click the drop-down button and then choose “Custom”. Then, click on “Select a custom folder” that appears below the drop-down button, browse to and click on the folder to add it.

Tested version: Start Menu Reviver 1.0.0.1520 (Download from here)

All in all, Start Menu Reviver takes a different visual approach than other start menu replacements. The interface is well-designed and quite enticing, and don’t forget the custom folder that makes you able to add certain folder to access the contents quicker.


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