StartFinity Pro: the "real" Start Menu for Windows 10, 8, 8.1

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When we installed Windows 8 in our office, the first thing we noticed was the absence of the familiar Start button in the lower-left corner of the desktop. Our reaction was like, "Did Microsoft forget something, or what?" After spending the better part of the previous two decades getting used to the Start button and the Start Menu, it felt like a significant part of our body was missing. We tried to get used to the new Start screen interface of Windows 8, then tried again, and finally decided to do something about it and created StartFinity, the Start Menu software for Windows 8 desktop!

After you download and install StartFinity Pro on your Windows 10, 8, or 8.1 computer, your desktop gets a new Start button, located usually in the lower-left corner of the screen:

StartFinity Start button for Windows 8.
The Start button created by StartFinity Pro (click to enlarge)

Click the new Start button, and the Start Menu will appear, offering you a quick access to the familiar places such as Documents, Pictures, Music, This PC, and so on:

Clicking the Start button brings up the Start Menu.
StartFinity Start Menu (click to enlarge)

What about Windows 10 or Windows 8.1, don't they come with their own Start menus?

Windows 8.1 comes with a Start Button, but no Start Menu. (Well, there is a very limited menu displayed when you right-click on the built-in Start button of Windows 8.1, but it's not the Start menu that you used to.) Windows 10 comes with a better Start menu, that is actually a Start Screen accessible on your regular desktop. In any case, when you install StartFinity on a Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 computer, it adds the real Start Menu to the Start button:

StartFinity brings the real Start Menu to Windows 10.
StartFinity Start Menu on a Windows 10 computer

Will I lose the original Windows 10 Start Menu?

No, it's still there: all you need to do is depress the Shift key while clicking on the Start button, and you will instantly get the Windows 10 Start menu on the screen, without StartFinity getting in the way:

Windows 10 comes with its own Start Menu.
Windows 10 Start Menu

You can also use StartFinity Settings screen to reverse this behavior: you can choose the display the original Windows 10 Start menu when you click on the Start button, and display the StartFinity menu when you press the Shift key while clicking it. The choice is yours!

Will I lose the original Windows 8/8.1 Start Screen?

No, of course not! The Start Screen is still there, and you can switch to it at any time by clicking the Start Screen command at the very top of the new Start Menu, and get immediate access to all its colored boxes and stuff. (Previously, you had to move the mouse to the very lower-left corner of the desktop to be able to switch to the Start screen.)

Does the new Start Menu give me quick access to Control Panel ?

Yes, it does, and you can choose how to display the Control Panel items: as usual in a window, or as a list right next to the Start Menu itself:

StartFinity Start Menu can display Control Panel as a list.
StartFinity Start Menu gives access to Control Panel (click to enlarge)

Does the new Start Menu let me run programs installed on my computer?

Of course it does! Just like the original Start Menu from the previous versions of Windows, the StartFinity Start Menu contains the Programs menu that you can use to launch the programs:

StartFinity Start Menu contains the Programs menu.
The Program menu of the StartFinity Start Menu (click to enlarge)

Can I remove from Start Menu some of the items that I don't use?

Yes: you can choose which items should or should not appear on Start Menu using the Settings command. (This command appears when you right-click the Start button.)

StartFinity Start Menu for Windows 8 is customizable
Customizing the Start Menu (click to enlarge)

You can use this window to hide the items you don't use, as well as change the way each item is displayed: as a link, or as a menu. For example, if you select the Display as a link option for to the This PC item, then clicking on the This PC item will open the This PC folder in a separate window. However, if you select the Display as a menu option, then clicking on (or even just pausing the mouse over) the This PC item on the Start Menu will show the contents of the This PC folder as a menu:

StartFinity Start Menu lets you browse the Computer folder without opening a separate window.
You can browse the Computer folder right from the Start Menu (click to enlarge)

Of course, you can still open the Computer folder in a window, as before: all you need to do is right-click on the This PC item and choose Open from the shortcut menu:

StartFinity Start Menu supports the standard right-click menu.
StartFinity Start Menu supports the standard right-click menu, too. (click to enlarge)

Does it come with a search box to quickly find programs to launch?

Yes, StartFinity Start Menu comes with its own search box, where you can type a few letters of the name of the program you are looking for and it will display the matching results right there for you:

The Search box on StartFinity Start Menu for Windows 8.
The Search box (click to enlarge)

Does it show the programs I use frequently?

Yes, StartFinity Pro keeps track of the programs you launch from the Start Menu, and displays the list of the most frequently used ones on the left:

StartFinity Start Menu for Windows 8 displays the frequently used programs on the left.
The frequently used programs are displayed on the left (click to enlarge)

In addition to programs, there is also the Recent Items button on the Start menu that displays the documents you opened recently via the Start Menu. This way, you don't need to spend a lot of time navigating to the documents or programs you use most often.

What about the Shut Down button?

It's there, too! You can sign off, sleep, restart, or shutdown, it's all there for you:

StartFinity Start Menu for Windows 8 comes with a shutdown menu.
The Shut Down menu (click to enlarge)

Does it support languages other than English?

Yes, it does! StartFinity Pro automatically detects and displays the commands and the folders in the primary language that your computer uses. For example, if the primary language is Ukrainian, the StartFinity Start menu looks like this:

StartFinity Start Menu for Windows 8 automatically uses the primary language
StartFinity Start Menu in Ukrainian language (click to enlarge)

Can I change the size of the items on Start Menu?

Yes, you can select either small or large size. You can control the size by right-clicking the Start button and choosing Settings from the menu.

Can I use the Windows key to bring up the Start Menu?

Yes, that's another option available: you can choose the Windows key to either activate the Start Menu, or to switch to the Start Screen (as it does by default). The choice is yours!

I don't like the blue color, can I get a different button?

Yes: right-click on the Start button and choose the color of the button that better matches your preferences:

You can choose a Start button of a different color for your Windows 8 desktop
The Start button is available in different colors (click to enlarge)

What else can it do?

Another option that StartFinity offers is to automatically switch to the desktop mode after you sign in to Windows 8, bypassing the "colored boxes" Start Screen altogether. This way, if you really don't like the Windows 8 Start Screen, you will only see it for a couple of seconds at most. Of course, if you change your mind, you can turn this option off any time!

Can I use StartFinity to replace the start menu on my Windows 7, Vista, or XP computer?

No, sorry, StartFinity is for Windows 10, 8, or 8.1 only. (It can also be used with a Windows Server 2012 in the GUI mode.) It cannot be installed on any earlier version of Windows.

Can I use StartFinity on my Windows tablet?

If your tablet runs Windows 10, 8, or 8.1, and supports the desktop mode, then yes, you should be able to install and use StartFinity, just like on any other Windows desktop or a laptop. If, however, your tablet does not support the desktop mode, then no, StartFinity won't help, sorry.

Can I see the End User License Agreement for this software, please?

Definitely: StartFinity End User License Agreement.

OK, how do I get this software on my Windows 10, 8, or 8.1 computer?

Get StartFinity:
Free Download

StartFinity is now FREE, no purchase required. Simply download it to your computer and run it to install. If you don't like it, use Windows Control Panel to uninstall it (no hard feelings!)

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