Start8 1.12 Beta

Stardock Start8 lets you return the Start Button to Windows 8. Microsoft Windows 8 is shipped without the “Start” menu. Start8 brings back Windows 7-style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements. Also you can view and launch installed applications (including Modern apps), All Programs menu. Start8 includes support for “jump lists”/recent documents for recently accessed programs (Devices, Documents, Music, Videos, Photos, Computer, and more). Pin favorite desktop and Metro apps shortcuts directly to the start menu for easy access. Start8 adds searchable Windows 8-style (Modern UI) Start menu options for Windows desktop applications, Modern applications, and documents. It allows automatically load directly to your Windows desktop on login (vs the start screen). In addition, you can also easily shutdown your PC without needing to access another menus.


  • Windows 7-style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements
  • Pin desktop and Modern UI apps
  • Jump list support
  • Unified Search for Apps, Settings and Files
  • Boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop
  • Automatically matches the color of the taskbar
  • Skinnable Start button
  • Windows 8 Start screen accessible from the Start Menu
  • Optionally disable the Windows 8 desktop “hot spots”
  • Adds option for WinKey to show full screen metro desktop
  • Group Policy support


  • Configurable Start menu size
  • Windows 8 Start screen accessible from the Start menu
  • Clean, streamlined UI enhances Start8′s usability


  • Optionally disable the desktop Windows 8 “hot spots”
  • Supports WindowFX 5.1 start menu animations (currently in beta)
  • Choose a custom Start button skin and color

What's new in this version:

  • Added support for bmp start buttons with alpha channels
  • Fix for a possible crash while searching
  • Fix for frequently used apps list not filtering out some pinned taskbar items
  • Assorted tweaks and performance improvements

Download: Start8 1.12 Beta | 5.6 MB (Free to try, $4.99 to buy)
Link: Start8 Home Page

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Indispensable for a Win8 system with a large desktop monitor. Well worth the price, well done Stardock - you must be hoping that "Windows Blue" doesn't fix these much-debated UI flaws and cut off your revenue stream. Wish their UI people would hire you.

From what I've read, it's unlikely MS will remove the leftover Start code that Start8/startisback relies on as it's too heavily embedded in Windows at this point and removing it would break a ton of stuff. It'll happen eventually tho

I thought this was great until I tried startisback,

start8 doesn't let you right click the different libraries on the start menu and choose paste, you have to actually open the folder to paste things in, startisback seems 100% as functional as the original 7 start menu

That is because StartIsBack is the original start menu. It's fully native, which is why it works just like the original start menu.

I agree that StartIsBack is better. It's cheaper, more functional, and simple.

After having used Start8, ClassicShell, Pokki & StartIsBack...i really have to say StartIsBack is the best for me too.