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+.
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
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.
Version +1.7.5 6 March 2015
- Dynamic high-DPI start menu scale adjustment
- Start menu searches in PC settings as well
- Improved compatibility with Windows 10 Technical Preview
- Offline activation for enterprise licenses
- Fixed minor issues
Version +1.7 22 November 2014
- Compatibility with Stardock WindowBlinds
- Experimental compatibility with Windows 10 Technical Preview
- Fixed problems with KB3000850 update installed
- Fixed minor issues
Version +1.6.2 15 May 2014
- Fixed: incorrect start menu position on some multi-mon configurations
- Fixed: problems to install on Windows 2012 R2 Terminal Server
Version +1.6.1 20 April 2014
- Advanced startup shutdown option: hold shift when invoking shutdown options
- Fixed: top edge could be wrongly enabled on desktop
Version +1.6 5 April 2014
- Major update. Read what it brings.
Version +1.5.2 10 January 2014
- Flyout menus use menu font, start menu selection and look better with high DPI
- Updated translations
Version +1.5.1 25 December 2013
- Start Menu is responsive at all times regardless of Windows disk icon cache
- Bottom-left screen edge changed:
- * It's possible again to use both new start button and bottom-left hot corner when taskbar is on bottom (non-default start button orb has to be used)
- * On secondary monitors, turn on 'enable all screen edges on secondary monitors' and turn off 'open start menu on active monitor' to use original start button only
- Fixed: UAC dialog may be invisible with specific UAC settings
- Fixed: Start button may be absent with specific RDP / monitor login
Version +1.5 20 December 2013
- Major update. Read what it brings.
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 2.1.2 30 August 2013
- New: Latvian, Bulgarian translation
- Fixed: minor configuration program issues
- Updated group policy file
Version 2.1.1 26 June 2013
- New: Lithuanian translation
- Fixed: installer could fail to replace files
- Fixed: new version notification could be erroneously displayed
- Restricted installer to not install on Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview versions
Version 2.1 15 May 2013
- Hot: Advanced option - Show taskbar on Start screen. Very useful on tablets!
- Configurator fully supports high-DPI screens and RTL languages
- Desktop toast notification is shown when new StartIsBack version is available
- "Pin to Start menu" is available in all programs context menus, not just in File Explorer
- Excluded shortcuts for system shortcuts available in right pane from MFU
- Multiple license activations are possible on the same Windows installation, same license key, but different hardware
- Fix: 'Start is apps' feature breaking toast notifications
- Fix: closing desktop returns to desktop
- New translations
- NOTE: due to Microsoft request, all start button images containing Windows logo were removed. You can download them separately
Version 2.0.2 12 Mar 2013
- Improved compatibility with non-fullscreen modern apps
- Shortcuts for games are no longer created in Games start menu subfolder. Games can be searched from Start menu search
- Fix: Start Screen shortcut was removed by some cleaners
Version 2.0.1 5 Mar 2013
- Fix: crash in Windows XP style All Programs list
- Updated translations
Version 2.0 3 Mar 2013
What's new in this major release:
- New skin and orb image
- Greatly improved Appearance UI
- Modern Apps (Start Apps) are included into MFU and all programs list (optional)
- Shortcut to Start Screen in Start Menu
- Option to display all programs as multi-column flyout menu (Windows XP style)
- Option to enable Start Screen hot corner on desktop
- Bottom-left hot corner configuration
- Option to configure what happens when Modern app closes
- Advanced Win hotkeys configuration options
- Option to hide Start button
- Option to disable StartIsBack
- Some useful Windows settings at hand
- Group Policy support
- Programs removed from MFU program list could return there
- Secondary tiles for modern apps are excluded from MFU and new program highlighting
- Search no longer finds faux shortcuts (Desktop, PC settings, Windows Store)
- Pinned items are automatically renamed if renamed from shortcut properties
- Shortcuts for games with dot in name could be created incorrectly
- Uninstall could fail to remove installation directory
- Windows key could fail to show start menu on some systems
- Search could be slow to update search results and icons
- Switching users could squish start menu
- Incorrect blending in start button hover animation
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.
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
- Offline license activation (Only licenses for 1000PC and up).
- Priority e-mail support.
Business Edition License Agreement
Does Business license requires downloading special version?
No. Currently, Business license key is applicable to standard StartIsBack version you download.
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.
How do I proceed with offline activation?
Offline activation is possible with StartIsBack+ version 1.7.5 and later and only available to license keys for 1000PC or more. To use it, either:
- Prepare OS image with StartIsBack+ installed and activated online; such image won't be tied to hardware, or
- Save activation response when using 'Activate by web browser' request and use it on another PC, or
- Contact support
Buy StartIsBack Business Edition
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.