3 Tips for Using Stardock's Start8

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 by Island Dog | Discussion: Personal Computing

Start8 from Stardock has made computing life much easier for users of Windows 8 since it was first released. Start8 brings back the start menu to Windows 8 along with other functionality that gives users a more familiar and enjoyable user experience.

Start8 is very easy to use, but I always like to write about tips that maybe some people might not know about, but should.

Get Start8 for just $4.99


Start8 Works with WindowBlinds

WindowBlinds is another application from Stardock that most will probably be familiar with. It gives users the ability to apply one of thousands of skins available that change the look and feel of your Windows desktop. The topic of Start8 and WindowBlinds working together has come up several times recently, so I wanted to detail how they work well together.

A WindowBlinds skin will typically include a skinned start menu and start button to match the overall skin. Using both of these apps you can have a completely skinned and customized desktop with a full start menu on Windows 8. You can also choose in the WB settings to either use the start button provided with the WindowBlinds skin, or use the buttons in Start8. Either way, you have control over the look.



Use a Custom Start Button

As I mentioned above, Start8 has the ability to use custom start buttons. There are several already included, and there are many available to download from the Start8 gallery on WinCustomize.com. In the Start8 configuration, under Style, just click the ‘Custom Image’ box and you can select your custom image to use.

Creating your own start button is super simple. We even have a free tool available to easily create them. Download it here.



Use Advanced Tweaks in Start8

This is probably something a little less known, but Start8 also has an Advanced Tweaks setting which gives you some additional features. Some of these include enabling/disabling for different users, showing hidden items in the Programs list, limited the scope of search results, and more.

You can access these by opening Start8Tweak.exe which is in your Start8 application directory.


Island Dog
Reply #1 Friday, January 24, 2014 10:09 AM

Reply #2 Friday, January 24, 2014 11:20 AM

Reply #3 Friday, January 24, 2014 11:22 AM

Reply #4 Friday, January 24, 2014 11:54 AM

Oh, and if you use WindowBlinds and Start8:

One should mention that Start8 will only allow you to change start buttons if a setting is first made in WindowBlinds.


You have to set WindowBlinds to always use the OS start button. Otherwise, in Start8, the option to change start buttons will be greyed out, inaccessible.



 Didn't know about the advanced tweaks!  Sweet!




Reply #5 Friday, January 24, 2014 12:35 PM

Thanks for the tips, Island Dog!



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