Start is really back!

The missing Windows 8 start menu is back. Get the most useful and authentic start menu for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

Genuine start menu

Your faithful desktop friend which helps you:
  • Launch programs you use frequently
  • Open documents you working on
  • Find stuff you're looking for
  • Go to system places in one click
  • Easily shut down your system
  • Feel at home with Windows 8
StartIsBack fully integrates with Windows 8 and provides original Windows 7 start menu experience, enhanced with many new features as well.

Supports all Windows languages!

Less Metro annoyances

StartIsBack will help you to:
  • Disable 'hot screen corners'
  • Show taskbar on Start screen
  • Remove clutter from Start screen
  • Boot to desktop without 8.1
With StartIsBack, it's possible to achieve the balance between two Windows 8 worlds: Metro and Desktop.

StartIsBack is optimized to deliver best possible experience on classic PCs, tablets, convertibles and notebooks!

Unique experience

Personalize your system as you want it:
  • Choose a skin for start menu
  • Choose start button appearance
  • Choose shortcuts in Start menu
  • Make Start menu work like XP one
  • Set up hotkeys for Start menu / Start screen / Advanced functions
  • Configure translucency for Start menu and Windows taskbar
Whether you're power user or senior citizen, StartIsBack will work for you.

Plus much more!

StartIsBack is lightweight and secure: it does not require administrator rights to install, consumes minimal amount of system resources, does not run additional processes or services.

StartIsBack is actively developed - you can now get all-new StartIsBack+ for the Windows 8.1:

  • New unique "Show everything at once" function which you will instantly love - just hold Windows key on your keyboard (or double-tap Windows logo on your tablet) and access charms, search, your started apps in Desktop and Modern interfaces at the same time, in any app you're using.
    You don't have to run your mouse pointer to the screen corners or perform awkward swipes anymore!
  • Easier, broader Start menu configuration
  • Full integration with Windows 8.1 start button
  • Get shortcuts for Modern apps on your desktop
  • Uninstall Modern apps from Start menu
  • Improved multi-monitor support
StartIsBack+ is a free upgrade for all StartIsBack users!

Lifetime license - just $2.99!

Get StartIsBack Buy it now


Windows 8.1 upgrade

Do I still need StartIsBack as Windows 8.1 has its own Start button?

Yes. The Windows 8.1 still does not have a proper Start menu.

Will StartIsBack work on Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2?

Yes! New version of StartIsBack, called StartIsBack+, is available for Windows 8.1.

I have Windows 8 and StartIsBack. How do I upgrade to Windows 8.1?

Before upgrading to Windows 8.1, ensure you have StartIsBack version 2.0 or above. If you have earlier version you must update StartIsBack.
Once you upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 you must install StartIsBack+. You don't have to uninstall StartIsBack; your settings and license will be kept.

Will I need to buy new key for the program on Windows 8.1?

No! Your license key will work for both StartIsBack and StartIsBack+.

Features

How do I configure Start Menu?

Either right-click Start button and click "Properties" or right-click opened Start Menu itself and choose "Properties" context menu item.

How do I invoke new Windows 8 Start Screen?

Either press Ctrl+Win (configurable shortcut) or click Start button with mouse wheel. If mouse wheel click is not working, you may need to tweak your mouse driver.

If I turn my Start Screen into Apps Screen, will I be able to undo it?

Yes. You can disable this feature at any moment and your desktop shortcuts will return to their places.

How do I rearrange programs in All Programs list?

You can rearrange folders and programs in All Programs list, both in Windows 7 and Windows XP mode, if you uncheck "Sort All Programs menu by name" option.

Can I integrate StartIsBack into my Windows installation?

Yes; the easiest way would be to create image of installation with StartIsBack installed, with tool like RecImg. Download Deployment Guide to find more.

How do I uninstall StartIsBack?

As expected: go to Control Panel - Programs and Features, find StartIsBack and click Uninstall.

Trial, licensing and activation

How trial version works?

There are no limitations in trial version. After installing it runs for 30 days. If you don't activate it with license number you bought within 30 days, it will still work, but in limited mode: Start Menu will be blank and non-customizable; every boot you'll be nagged about evaluation period over. Trial period runs for each user which have installed StartIsBack on one PC separately.

What is activation and why is it needed?

Activation is a process of validating your license online. It ties your computer to your license via online service. It is required in order to make sure license use is not abused. One license key allows you to activate a limited number of computers.

How my computer is identified?

Your computer is uniquely identified by motherboard unique number and hard disk physical serial number OS is installed to.

What if I change hardware configuration of my PC or replace it?

If you change both hard disk and motherboard, you will need to activate your license again as modified PC will count as new. You can activate your license on new PC after 30 days since you used license on the old PC, so you may need to wait while trial period is over.

Does StartIsBack "phone home"?

No. StartIsBack does not collect information about your PC hardware or software. It does not use Internet connection for license validation purposes except the moment you activate it. Online activation service does not collect your IP address or any other information which could identify you or your computer. Computer unique identifiers are transferred in hash form, which does not allow anyone else to view it.
Note: automatic new version checking functionality requires Internet connection.

How many times can I reinstall / reactivate StartIsBack?

There is no limitation on how many times you can activate an installation on the same PC.

Does my license expire?

No, your license will never expire and is valid for all future versions of StartIsBack.

Choose your Windows version

Windows 8 StartIsBack 2.1.2
Windows 8.1 StartIsBack+ 1.6

Download program for Windows version you're using now.
Hint: if your Windows comes with Start button, it's Windows 8.1


StartIsBack is digitally signed by STANISLAV ZINUKHOV with identity check provided by StartCom© Certification Authority. Do not download StartIsBack from untrusted websites. Before downloading, installing or using this program you must read Personal License Agreement and agree to be bound by it.

English, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, French, Danish, Greek, Italian, Turkish, Spanish, German, Polish, Czech, Croatian, Slovak, Finnish, Korean, Dutch, Norwegian, Serbian, Slovenian, Bangla, Hungarian, Swedish, Simplified Chinese, Indonesian, Arabic, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Farsi, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Latvian, Japanese, Romanian.

StartIsBack / StartIsBack+ Deployment guide and group policy template

    Version +1.0.5 8 November 2013
  • Default start button selection covers whole taskbar edge
  • StartIsBack DLLs are now digitally signed too
  • Fixed: running search items with parameters didn't work
  • Fixed: minor issues with right-button-drag on start menu items
  • Fixed: userpic could display wrong on domain-joined machines
    Version +1.0.4 31 October 2013
  • Flat selection is used for flyout menus with flat styles
  • Search shortcut is not shown in All Programs menu
  • Better Modern UI icons in high contrast white mode
  • Tap & hold-ing shut down button on touch screen shuts down without 'slide to shutdown'
  • Trial & updates are also checked when you unlock your session
  • StartIsBackCfg and StartScreen commands can be executed from Run dialog
  • Start button and user picture are rejuvenated when video driver crashes (CloverTrail)
  • Fixed: can't remove pinned shortcuts of deleted games
  • Fixed: programs can't be dragged into start menu from XP styled All programs
  • Fixed: start button did not close start menu on touchscreen
    Version +1.0.3 26 October 2013
  • Fixed: return to last used environment didn't work properly in some configurations
  • Fixed: start menu issues with NVIDIA surround
  • Fixed: high contrast theme became transparent
  • Fixed: wallpaper on start screen could be shifted
    Version +1.0.2 21 October 2013
  • Updated and new translations
  • 'Resize to fit taskbar' when adding orb is off by default
  • Fixed: PuTTY jumplist issue
  • Fixed: uninstall folder security bug
  • Fixed: Start screen screenshot could be offset
  • Fixed: Start screen animation did not play first time
    Version +1.0.1 16 October 2013
  • Support for Win7 userpic animation tweaking
  • Fixed configurator error on some rare PCs species
    Version +1.0 10 October 2013
  • First public StartIsBack for Windows 8.1 version. Read what it brings.

    Version 1.3.3 18 Jan 2013
  • Fix: StartIsBack could fail to work on some systems with DEP enabled
    Version 1.3.2 12 Jan 2013
  • Fix: new program highlighting errorneusly fired for new users and roaming profiles
  • Fix: orb unhides when hidden taskbar is shown (IrfanView)
  • Fix: icons could fail to show in program list
    Version 1.3.1 5 Jan 2013
  • Fix: program highlighting could work incorrectly
  • Fix: moving metro apps between monitors didn't update hot corners
  • Windows 7 start menu pinned items are migrated on first install
  • Startup programs are launched without 10 second delay
  • Shortcuts for newly installed games are created in Games start menu subfolder
  • New translations
    Version 1.3 26 Dec 2012
  • Fix: MFU app list could contain duplicate item
  • Fix: Start orb could be moved by rogue programs
  • Fix: license activation for all users could fail on some systems
  • Fix: shortcuts created by Windows Installer didn't show 'Pin to Start Menu'
  • Hot corners are enabled for Modern apps only for monitor where they're open on
  • Newly installed programs are properly highlighted
  • Right-to-left Windows languages are now supported
  • License key is no longer stored as a plain text
  • Improved start menu performance
  • AeroByDesign skin updated
  • New translations
    Version 1.2.1 7 Dec 2012
  • Fix: user frame could be incorrectly placed for bottom taskbar
    • Version 1.2 6 Dec 2012
    • New: skins! StartIsBack now supports start menu skins without third-party tools; two beautiful ones included
    • New: option to combine start button menu with Win+X menu
    • New: option to hide user account picture
    • New: shortcut for configuring Start menu in Control Panel
    • Fix: hibernate shutdown option could fail to show in configurator
    • Fix: high contast themes start menu issues
    • Installing for all users no longer requires log off
    • New translations
    • StartIsBack is now digitally signed
      • Version 1.1 20 Nov 2012
      • Fix: opening start button context menu did not prevent autohide
      • Fix: uninstall could fail to remove settings / license
      • Fix: taskbar unhide didn't work in start button area
      • New: silent install (/silent for user install; /elevated /silent for machine install; if machine must be run with admin rights; does not start explorer back)
      • New: option to start with start screen
      • New: option to call start screen with Win key
      • New alternate orb (by PainteR)
      • New translations
      • Less restrictions (same as in Windows 7) on items which can be pinned to start menu
      • Start button context menu shows same items as in Windows 7
        • Version 1.0 9 Nov 2012
        • First official version

Buy StartIsBack Personal Edition

You can easily buy StartIsBack license with PayPal or direct card payment (with Gumroad). All payments are processed securely.

1 PC

for you

$2.99

direct card payment

2 PCs

for you & you

$4.99

direct card payment

5 PCs

family pack


$9.99

direct card payment

You should receive license key to your buyer e-mail address in several minutes after payment. If possible, do not use @aol mailboxes.
Please check your spam folder. If you don't receive email in reasonable time, please contact me

StartIsBack Personal License can be used only for personal purposes. You must agree to be bound by terms of license agreement.

If you're a visual styles (skins) creator and intend to make visual styles for Windows 8 with Start Menu skinned, or you want to promote StartIsBack with review, you can get StartIsBack license key for free. Contact me.

Icons by Icons8

StartIsBack Business Edition license

If you want to use StartIsBack at business environment, you should buy Business License.

StartIsBack is perfectly suited for corporate use: 100% compatible with all Windows 7 start menu group policies and settings + has additional group policies which will help you restrict features as well as customize appearance.

Additional features provided by Business License

Business Edition License Agreement

Mini-FAQ

Does Business license requires downloading special version?

No. Currently, Business license key is applicable to standard StartIsBack version you download.

How can I deactivate computers from my license?

Go to support and query your license information. In the received mail a link to deactivate computers will be given if available. Note: To prevent abuse, you can deactivate computers which were activated at least one week ago. If blatant abuse is detected on your license key, you may lose deactivation functionality.

Can I split, resell my license key?

No. You can't resell, split, sublicense, lease or rent your license key. You may want to resell Personal Edition instead.

Buy StartIsBack Business Edition

PC count
PC count - more PCs

You should receive license key to your Paypal buyer e-mail address in several minutes after payment. Please check your spam folder.
If you don't receive email in reasonable time, please contact me

Sorry, but there are no alternate payment methods now.

Query license information

If you lost your license key, use the form below.

Your purchase email:

General support

If you have licensing or urgent support questions, please email me to

StartIsBack release discussion thread

StartIsBack+ release discussion thread

General community forum