Using the Desktop Toolbar as a pre-Windows 8 Start Menu

When using Windows 8, I found that switching between the Desktop and the Start Screen was visually jarring.  After I updated Windows 8.1, I changed the Start Screen background to match my Desktop background.  Visually, the transition is much smoother.

I do like the Start Screen and Live Tiles, but every now and then, I want to just stay in the Desktop.  Without using 3rd-party software, there is a way to have close to pre-Windows 8 Start Menu.  Here is how to do it.

1. Right-click on the Toolbar followed by a left-click on Properties


A window will pop-up called Taskbar and Navigation properties.

2. Left-click on the Toolbars tab, left-click on Desktop, and left-click on the OK button to add the Desktop to your Toolbar.


3. Adjust the position of the Desktop toolbar to the left right next to the Start button then shrink it down to allow more room for your Taskbar icons.

4. (Optional) Lock the taskbar


The end result should look something like this..

With taskbar unlocked


With taskbar locked