mStartEX: Windows 8 Style Start Menu Replacement for Windows XP, Vista and 7

We are pretty much aware of the new Start Screen introduced by Microsoft in its upcoming OS Windows 8. Start Screen is a Start Menu replacement for Windows 8 which shows live tiles of installed programs and built-in tools in Windows. According to Microsoft, the use of big square tiles makes it easier to navigate through installed programs and launch them.

We have shared many free utilities which bring Windows 8 look-like Start Screen feature in earlier Windows versions such as Windows XP, Vista and 7. Some of them are Omnimo, Windows 8 Start Screen Full and Mosaic.

Today in this topic, we are going to share another utility for Windows XP, Vista and 7 which is a little bit different than others. You can consider it as a Start Menu replacement for Windows.

"mStartEX" is a free utility for Windows created by our friend "Solodev" which shows all Start Menu programs and pinned items in tile view similar to Windows 8 Start Screen.

By default it sorts them alphabetically but you can disable the sorting using its Settings. Its highly customizable. You can change background color, transparency level, tile mode, screen position and much more.

It also allows you to show a metro style clock on Desktop similar to Windows 8. You can enable it from its Settings.


If you want, you can customize the tile background and icon style from the "Tiles" tab of its Settings page. You can also change Start ORB image using Settings page.

It also shows user avatar in the Start screen which launches Control Panel upon clicking. You can customize avatar look using the Settings page.

To access the main screen simply move your mouse cursor to the bottom-left corner of screen similar to Windows 8 and the Start Menu will appear on screen. To close Start Menu, click on the shut down icon given at the bottom-left corner of Start Menu.

Although its a free utility but it also comes with a paid version which can be activated by purchasing the product for a very small amount of $1.25 only. The paid version comes with a few extra features such as more tile effects, full screen mode which makes it look-like Windows 8 Start Screen, invisible mode to remove background, random background color similar to Windows 8 Start Screen, skinned icons, no sorting, etc.

Currently its under beta testing and more features will be added in future releases such as plugin system.

You can download it using following link:

Download Link (No longer available...)

Feel free to share your feedback about this software in your comment. Also check out our exclusive tutorials to transform Windows XP and Windows 7 into Windows 8:

Transform Windows 7 into Windows 8 without using Customization Pack

Transform Windows XP into Windows 8 without using Customization Pack


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Posted in: Software, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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  • Fullscreen mode on the paid version?

    Sounds like the Start Screen to me.

  • Classic Shell Menu Rulez... and it's free.

  • I understand you feel the need to offer this, your site being what it is, but in truth, why in God's name would anyone want it? Only the die-hard Microsoft sycophants are singing the praises of the Win8 start screen (and Metro); everyone else is clued in to what Microsoft refuses to understand, that Metro and the start screen on the desktop s**ks copious amounts of rancid pond water. In other words, why, after 30 years of UI refinements, would we want to go back to the glory days (ahem) of Windows 1.0?

  • VG

    ^^ I understand your points completely. I also posted 2 articles covering these points in past:

  • Buggy. i keep getting handler errors despite running it as admin, despite having all the updates, and despite having all the .Net frameworks.

    ALSO..THIS FROM THE BLOG of the developer!

    Reviewers Link to Files

    Ok, if your a reviewer, please don’t link directly to the files. Link to the web page/home-site.

    I ask this because i had to re-do file names three times today because i left up on the server the old zip file, and i just forgot to remove it. However, with the new update, i have removed some elements and such, so i had to go in, edit the html and re-name the files, AGAIN, just so that hot linking works for those that reviewed the app.

    I am thinking of setting up, somehow, a no-hot linking.. thing. i don’t know how, but yes, if your downloading the app, please send them to the site. it is very small, loads up super-quick, and even dial-up users should have no issues with it.

  • Hey vishal bro..i want real metro UI..............With no / BUGS
    Which 1 i try

  • LOL it froze after switching it to classic view. XD

  • Very ugly. Slow and unresponding every 3 minutes. Not my cup of tea.

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