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Getting an Early Start on Your Christmas Desktops!

Monday, November 29, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News

We hope everyone had a fun and festive Thanksgiving, and now that November is winding down it's time to focus on our Christmas desktops! Christmas is always a fun time for skinning as we have such a wide variety of themes to choose from here on WinCustomize. Some of my favorites for the season is animated wallpapers for DeskScapes. It's always relaxing to have a nice scene of animated Christmas trees on the desktop, and we have plenty of holiday scenes to choose from.

Here are a few of our favorites to get your holiday desktop started. Be sure to post in the comments what your favorite Christmas themes are so we can feature them throughout December.

Xmas Holiday by don5318 (WindowBlinds)


Christmas Tree (DeskScapes animated wallpaper)


Christmas Holidays V.2 (WindowBlinds)


Christmas Lights (Desktop Gadget)


Santa Claus (CursorFX)


Gingerbreads Playing in Snow (Wallpaper)


Thankfulness (AKA: A Sappy Post)

I get to do this once a year on paper, but I feel it year-round.

Thursday, November 25, 2021 by Tatiora | Discussion: Stardock Blog

The weather in Michigan has started to turn colder, though for the time being we've dodged any real abundance of snow (I know, I know - I just cursed us). As we enter into the holiday season, I find it impossible not to reflect a bit on how fortunate I am to have become friends and share so many experiences with my inredible colleagues at Stardock.

The last two-ish years have been a bit strange, to say the very least. The pandemic forced us all into remote work and kept us from seeing each other for a long while - but, we managed to get around the loneliness by holding frequent online game nights. One night, we even organized a trivia competition, which turned out to be quite a lot of chaotic fun.

Since we've added several remote coworkers to our roster lately also, we still find time to run online game nights so that we can spend time with them, too! Of course, I'm not sure how effective it is as a team building activity when you're betraying each other in Among Us for hours on end...

Anyway, as vaccines started rolling out, we slowly and surely started returning to doing things together in the office. Our first big in person event was - surprise, surprise! - a board game night in our studio's cafe. It was the first time I had met a lot of our new hires at the time, and the energy in the room was joyful and excited as we got to connect with each other in person for the first time in ages.

What followed was a slew of other fun activities together - it's almost like we crammed a year's worth of gatherings into the month of October alone! Our annual chili cook-off was hugely successful and ended with us trudging back to our desks with bellies full of chili and smiles on our faces. The competition was fierce, but only three of us could take home the coveted prizes while everyone else plots on how to overthrow us next year.

We also had a trip to a local Cider Mill for some cider and donuts - plus a really toasty bonfire! - followed by our big Halloween party at the end of the month. Everyone here at Stardock loves Halloween and our array of costumes this year definitely didn't disappoint!

We may have burned the candle at both ends that day, since later in the evening we held our first ever Stardock D&D night. Most of us didn't leave the office until close to 1am - but it was more than worth it. Our adventure went off without a hitch and everyone had an amazing time.

We have a short break for Thanksgiving today and tomorrow, and then it's back for a couple of weeks so we can wrap up projects before our holiday! Stardock will be closed from December 24th - January 2nd so we can have a little vacation before we start ramping up for all of the great stuff we've got planned for 2022. 

I hope your holiday season is safe and filled with joy. Thanks for reading!

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Monday, November 22, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News

The Thanksgiving holiday is this week for many of us in the community. We wanted to take a moment and send out a big thank you to our community and to send a big Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who is celebrating this week with family and friends. We appreciate everyone in our various Stardock communities, and we hope you have a great holiday!

Do you have any plans for this week or the weekend? Are you cooking anything good? Let us know in the comments!




November Taking Off with New Desktop Wallpapers!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News

We're halfway through November and the galleries are getting a nice stream of uploads over the past couple of weeks. There's lots to look at but today I just wanted to take a moment and feature some of the fantastic desktop wallpapers in the gallery.

You can check out all the latest desktop wallpapers here, and in the DeskScapes app.

The Surfing Whale


Teleported to Metaverse


Space Station


Climbing Up the Walls Blu


NOW AVAILABLE: Beta 1 for Fences 4 is here

Sunday, November 14, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News

Fences 4 Beta 1 Available Today with New Peek Feature
Fences Peek and Desktop Display will improve your workflow
Get into the Beta Now

Fences 4 Beta - Peek

Stardock has released the first beta of Fences 4, a program that allows users to automatically organize files, folders, and applications on their PC desktops into custom-sized spaces called fences. Fences 4, designed to work with Windows 10 and 11, introduces Peek, a new feature that will streamline your workflow while keeping your desktop organized. 

Fences Peek lets users instantly view their fences by pressing Windows key + space to make accessing your content much faster. For example, while working in a program like Adobe’s Premiere or Photoshop, users can bring up a folder portal filled with their source footage and images to the surface of their desktop by pressing the assigned hotkey. This eliminates the need to minimize the application and go searching for the required asset in File Explorer. 

Fences 4
Fences 4

With the enhanced Desktop Display feature, users can configure Windows key + D to be either toggle or press-and-hold. This refinement makes the hotkey easier to use and allows users more control over how they manage and access their desktop content. 

"Fences 4 is designed to meet the needs of today's PC user," said Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock. "Fences has always been a great way to organize your desktop, and the new ‘Fences Peek’ and ‘Desktop Display’ features we have coming in the beta are perfect not only for organizing, but also optimizing your workflow in most applications." 

Along with new features, Fences 4 has been optimized so that it loads before the desktop when a PC is booted up, making Fences 4 not only more functional but also more performant. 

Coming soon, Fences for Business introduces new features for business users to make it easier keep their fleet of PCs organized and desktops standardized.  

The Fences 4 beta is available for $9.99 or through Stardock's Object Desktop
For more information, visit the Fences 4 website here

What ho, a quest? It's a Stardock D&D Night!

Thursday, November 11, 2021 by Tatiora | Discussion: Stardock Blog

I have long known that I work with plenty of people who love games - that's not news to me, and if you've been reading these blogs at all, it isn't to you either! What did surprise me, however, was just how many of my colleagues actually love Dungeons & Dragons and other table-top RPGs.

About two months ago, we were coming off the high of having a fantastic in-person game night. Raeann - a member of our amazing operations team - said in one of our chats "Stardock D&D night, when?", two of us game masters (GMs) raised our hands, and the rest is history.

What commenced after that conversation was about 6 weeks of careful planning and plotting. We could have just grabbed any old module and run it, but we had grander ideas in mind. I pitched the idea of running a Stardock-inspired adventure, Jacob (the other GM) suggested we run two tables and play with some cross-table meta stuff, and we went running from there.

The three of us met frequently to design the adventure, which is called a "one-shot." This means that the entire thing, start to finish, should be contained within a single night of play. We had 12 of our awesome coworkers sign up and split them into two teams of six. Since we had a mixture of experienced players and people who were brand new, we hosted a character creation night at the office to get everyone prepared!

Each encounter and aspect of the adventure was designed to be evocative of life and culture at Stardock in some way. The brave adventuring parties were sent to investigate some strange going-ons at an ancient temple. When they arrived, they discovered that the temple was devoted to a six-headed dog god that we called Astracanum ("Star Dog" in Latin). We have an amazing dog-friendly culture here and we know our players were delighted to see some of their beloved dogs referenced in the game.

The mid-boss fight was actually designed after the little Roomba that vacuums the carpet downstairs in the "pit" - which is the nickname we have for where most of our developers sit. It is affectionately called "Doomba" and is known for causing minor inconveniences like running into people's desks or pulling their headphones out of their PCs.

The players also had the pleasure (some of them would tell you misfortune) of interacting with Yargen the Goblin, an NPC that, I will admit, Jacob and I didn't really want to include at first. In the end, Raeann's insistence that he be added won out and Jacob and I had to admit that we were wrong to have ever been in doubt. The interactions our players shared with him were hilarious and only added to the greatness of the game.

The final fight was against Ceresa, the Fallen Enchantress - who, lo and behold, was twisting and shifting the dimensions between worlds and trying to merge one world into another in order to invade it with undead armies. If you've been playing our games for a while then you'll know exactly who she is and why this was an exciting surprise to everyone at the table.

Because I can't help myself, I wanted to make props for this adventure - and thankfully, Raeann and Jacob were both on board for doing so! I think the potions that Raeann and I made turned out perfectly. We filled them with Gatorade and luster dust, which meant they were 100% edible and that our players could drink them when they used them - which they did!


We had so much fun crafting together - and Jacob even took the first test drink of our concoction. Success! Our players were beyond delighted when these hit the table.

The adventure was designed to run simultaneously so that both groups would unknowingly interact with each other to solve some certain puzzles. Eventually, they figured out that the mysterious "person" they were communicating with via the magical tablet was the other party, and there were definitely some antics that ensued after this discovery. Their actions at each table even affected the final boss - we had designed her with a dimensional rift ability that allowed us to zap players to the other table for the duration of the fight.

One of the benefits of running the game on the day of our Halloween party was that the game masters sort of got (and stayed!) in character. After about 13 hours in that wig, though, I was more than ready to rip it off when I got home! The game ended at midnight and I didn't get home until probably close to 2:00AM, but it was absolutely worth it.

In all, everything went off with barely a hitch. Our coworkers had a blast and the three of us are immensely proud of ourselves. We are definitely going to do some more D&D in the future - just probably not quite as elaborate as this. 

Are you a table-top role player? If you have any fun stories to share, I'd love to hear them!


Thanksgiving Themes for a Festive Desktop!

Monday, November 8, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News

Thanksgiving isn't the most popular skinning holiday, but I wanted to feature a few Thanksgiving themes and wallpapers for those who want a festive desktop this month. The good thing about Thanksgiving is that many of our autumn skins will work perfectly for the holiday, and we have a wide selection of those already.

Check out a few of our favorites!



Scenic IV


Happy Thanksgiving Holiday Spread


Two Pumpkins on a Table

Stardock's Halloween Spook-tacular!

Thursday, November 4, 2021 by Tatiora | Discussion: Stardock Blog

We absolutely love Halloween here at Stardock! Frankly, there are a whole bunch of us who will jump at any excuse to dress up in a costume and have fun - Halloween just happens to be the time when everyone else is doing it, too.  

Our operations team here is amazing and they always make sure that we have everything we need to have a good time! They played Monster House on our big TV downstairs and had lunch catered from a local company - everything was absolutely delicious. We all forgot about work for a little bit as we admired each other's costumes, threw a few jokes back and forth, and fueled up on the delicious goody bags filled with sugary sweets that were provided.

We had some pretty fabulous costumes this year and it was so hard to pick our contest winners! But, these four people ended up going home with our coveted trophies:

Most WTF? Costume: Derek as Cousin It
Scariest Costume: Jay as Cosmic Horror Astronaut
Funniest Costume: Cari as a Magical Unicorn
Most Original Costume: Nathan as a Cthulu Investigator

Later that evening, after our work day was done, we held our first ever Stardock Dungeons & Dragons night - which is a whole different blog that you can look for later! In all, I was at the office in costume for somewhere around 13 hours that day, but I don't regret a single second of it. I definitely couldn't wait to get out of my wig, though!

What did you do for Halloween this year? Share some stories and pics with us!


NOW AVAILABLE: Start11 Brings Customization to the Windows 11 Start Menu Today

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News

Start11 Brings Customization to the Windows 11 Start Menu Today 
Learn more about Start11 at 

Stardock released Start11™, a program that allows users to customize the Windows® Start menu and taskbar, today. As with previous editions of StartX products, Start11 allows users to restore the Start menu to appear as it does in previous versions of Windows, as well as customize and enhance its functionality.  

“Since Microsoft first announced Windows 11, we have been working to optimize Start11 for the new operating system” said Brad Wardell, Stardock CEO. “We make it easy for users to customize nearly every detail of their PC experience, including being able to choose from several new Start menu layouts and repositioning the taskbar, among many other things.” 


Start11 is designed for Windows 11 and Windows 10 and comes loaded with features intended to make Windows more personal and productive. Start11 supports moving the Start button to the middle or to the left, adjusting the taskbar size, re-ordering quick access shortcut lists, options for grid spacing, enhanced classic and modern search experiences, restoring the taskbar context menu, and more. Start11 also fully integrates with Stardock’s Fences app. 

For users who want to personalize their Start menu, Start11 offers robust customization options ranging from aesthetic to functional. The software enables enhanced Windows 10 and Windows 11 style Start menus, a compact Windows 7 design, optional Windows 11 style for classic menus, and additional settings that allow you to configure a personalized Start menu. 


The new UI has been designed to support additional Start menu enhancements, extending support to a host of new Start menu ideas like pages, minimalism, and features for enterprise customers. While Start11 does restore previous versions of the Start menu like Start8® and Start10®, it now provides robust options to create a truly personalized experience. 

Start11 is now available starting at $5.99 through Stardock, with an upgrade option for users of Start8 and Start10. 
It is also included in the 
Object Desktop suite. For more information, visit the Start11 page here. 

Share Your November Desktops with the WinCustomize Community!

Monday, November 1, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News

November is here and we're getting closer and closer to the holiday season! It's not too early to start getting ready for the Christmas season, and I'm going to get to work on mine, and start featuring seasonal skins to for the community to check out. 

But since it's a new month, it's time to share your current desktops so take a screenshot and post to our desktop screenshot thread linked below and let us know what themes you are using this month.

Post your desktops to the monthly thread here:

(This is a news thread and will be locked. Screenshot taken by JanOscar)