Does anybody know how to hide this "Start" button in Windows 8.1 so that the task bar looks like it did in "old" Windows 8?
You can't as of current versions, maybe in later version but not currently.
There are at least 2 options out there which will help you hide "Start".
One is StartIsGone, which allows you to remove the Start Button in Windows 8.1 and get the extra space on the taskbar.
It is a freeware, portable application which does not require .NET Framework or installation.
It is just icon in your tray with few options in the context menu. Tick "Run at startup" and your start button will be removed every time your Desktop shows.
It is available as a separate application for Windows 8.1 x86 and Windows 8.1 x64.
Alternatively you can install the free App 7+ Taskbar Tweaker which will allow you to hide the Start button. Once you have installed the app, you can easily hide the start button from the “Other taskbar option” group in the App (shown below).
You do not have to restart or log off the PC to hide the Start button and the process is instant allowing you to unhide it as well.
See also this video: "How to Hide or Disable the Start Button in Windows 8.1".
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Not only does it bring back most of what I missed from the Windows 7 Start Menu, the latest version is built for Windows 8.1 and actually has a "Settings" option which lets you uncheck the box "Show Windows Logo Button".
After that, the Windows 8.1 Start button simply disappears and the Pokki 'Start Button' sits in its place. Pokki also has other features I like. Gmail and Facebook Lite sit in the taskbar and notify you when you get Gmail or updates.
protected by Community♦ Oct 24 '13 at 17:55
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