Start8 1.16 available for download

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:

  • Fixes for inconsistencies with right Windows key handling
  • Resolved blank share with menu and open with menu not showing all the right items (Open With issue)
  • Resolved a problem with jump lists and having a file in the list that was on a network location which was not avail
  • Resolved a problem with search where very rapid searches that only produced results in the files section would show no files found sometimes
  • Start8Tweak updated with setting to tell Start8 not to search inside files for content

Download: Start8 1.16 | 8.0 MB (Free to try, $4.99 to buy)
Link: Start8 Home Page

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It's a bit more integrated with Windows and mimics the original start menu a bit more accurately. However, StartIsBack probably does a better job since it is the real start menu and completely native.

I find I opt for Start8 for customers over Startisback due to load up times. With Startisback installed boot times are noticeably slower (On various specced pc's). Shame as I prefer the skins in Startisback (& it's cheaper).

really? i use startisback because of the instant login to desktop, when i used start8 it showed Start Screen for a second and after the desktop. Did it improve that much?

Yes, I've tried this on at least 20+ Win 8 computers of various specifications. Like I say, shame cause apart from anything else Startisback is cheaper!

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