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Start Menu X Pro Giveaway

Giveaway of the day — Start Menu X Pro

Start Menu X is a replacement of the system menu for power users.
$19.99 EXPIRED
User rating: 543 73 comments

Start Menu X Pro was available as a giveaway on February 21, 2013!

Today Giveaway of the Day
free today
A duplicate file management tool that can help you find and delete duplicate.

Start Menu X is a replacement of the system menu for professionals. Power users are a lot more demanding, and it's not surprising - instead of a petty dozen of programs they have hundreds! This means that they need a solution developed by professionals for professionals. Find out how to find and launch programs without scrolling, extra clicks and moves - this is Start Menu X.


  • Single-click launch. The PRO version allows you to assign a primary program to any folder and start it simply by clicking this folder.
  • Virtual Groups. Group programs by purpose (office applications, graphics, etc) without changing their location on the hard drive.
  • Flexible configuration. Customize the menu to your taste! Change the structure and add tabs.
  • Years of experience. Start Menu X is an embodiment of 7-year experience in developing alternative menu solutions.

System Requirements:

Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8, both x32 and x64





File Size:

13.9 MB



GIVEAWAY download basket

Bring back the Start button and menu to Windows 8.
Developed by Microsoft
Create custom shortcuts for popular programs.
Developed by Stardock Corporation

Comments on Start Menu X Pro

Thank you for voting!
Please add a comment explaining the reason behind your vote.

I did install on my normal system the GOTD Pro version, and liked the program.

Bought the program to install on a secured research system that is not connected to the internet. To my surprise, and not told on the author's order & description web page, an internet connection is needed to run the install program....

Buyer beware.

Reply   |   Comment by Parfumeur  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

After about 7 weeks of using this, I've decided it's not for me. It's just way too slow populating all the folders and programs. I don't need to see every single folder and file when hovering over My Documents or Programs. It does come in handy if you want to try to find a file that way, but mostly I prefer the compactness of the standard start menu. Somebody who is very organized with and wants to customize this to run with a tidy system might love this program. My computer is a giant file-hoarding machine which explains why this program runs so slow on my machine. One thing I'll miss about this program is the Angry Bird that is now my Start Menu Icon.

Reply   |   Comment by Glenn  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Spent ages installing this and setting up the virtual groups and it was working really well ... until today!

All my virtual groups just disappeared. Tried to recreate them and the software would not save the groups.

Not Start Menu X has been uninstalled

Not a happy bunny!!!!

Reply   |   Comment by Annabel  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

Love this program - gives u the start button back - Microsoft always makes products that need to be fixed.

Reply   |   Comment by Don Christopher  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Great concept, however it showed unstable and slowed down the start up time in my PC. Also, it would not show the shut down options when clicking the power control panel button. Had to uninstall it.

Reply   |   Comment by Gachiro  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I haven't even used start menu in years. I made multiple Quick Launch "tool-bars" n shrink them to a popup setting. Then I named each one a letter for minimal intrusion. V for Video, D for Diagnostics, etc.

Anything that doesn't fit in a category goes in the regular Quick Launch. The whole thing is trimmer n more organized than any clunky start-menu I've seen.

Reply   |   Comment by Adam  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

This is a great program. I have been using it on and off now for 3 years but I tend to almost always keep it installed on my systems. My primary reason for this is the timer. This is a huge convenience for someone like myself who frequently performs time consuming tasks on my PC. I can set a sleep timer so the task can finish, and walk away without worrying about all the power my PC will use by remaining on. This program keeps improving as well and has great common sense features, like tabs and a scaling option. I also enjoy the fact that it continues to depend on cascading menus, unlike the vista-style start menu that is built in to Windows. He has revived a great feature and made it look good while keeping it fast and practical. Some features Microsoft just shouldn't ditch! Thanks for sharing this updated version GOTD!

Reply   |   Comment by asilaydyingdl  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Thumbs u from me. Love it!! Installed neatly on Win7 64 bit. Plug n play - works right out of the box. Didn't have to do a thing but will refine settings. Opacity can be fixed using Options. This is a keeper (even if I can fiddle with windows itself to do similar job,this way i don't have to fiddle so much!

Thanks GOTD and StartMenuX

Reply   |   Comment by Mel  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

how do we change the start button icon?
all there is is 6 choices.
would like more choices than these.
where do we get the icons.
what kind are they?
png or other?
how do we add icons
where to place them
how to access and change them using this program.
could someone give instructions on how to do this,please.
the computer uses windows xp pro if that information is needed.

Reply   |   Comment by moriart  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

This is good software -- as good as any start menu I've installed on Windows 8 -- but I'm going to uninstall. I have found that simply adding a Programs task to the task bar works as well as anything.

- right click the task bar at the bottom of the desktop
- select Toolbars then New toolbar
- browse to Programs
- clicking Select Folder

You will now see the text Programs >> on the task bar near the Notification Area (where the clock is). Click the >> and what pops up will resemble your beloved start menu.

Reply   |   Comment by len mullen  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

Downloaded and installed without a problem. I like what I see, but maybe I'm missing something......where is the shutdown (and restart option) button?

Reply   |   Comment by richard tarno  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

For me it is unusable on Vista SP2 32bit the notifcation area icon context menu vanishes whenever I try to move the pointer to ANY context menu item at all! And the default start menu x start menu is blank with nothing in it!.. As I cannot access the help via the notification area icon AND I cannot see the original start menu entry for Start Menu X Pro to presumable find a manual help shortcut... It's just not usable! Doing anything in the blank start menu is like a game of wacka-mole as it too vanishes as soon as the mouse pointer is moved to try and do something. Since I don't see everyone else reporting these problems I have to conclude there is some incompatibility between this application and some of the hundreds of applications and drivers etc on my system. I recall I had similar trouble with a previous giveaway of this product.

Reply   |   Comment by TK  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

The white text against the transparent background in this program is hell to read. Is there any kind of option for selecting a text color that can be easily read against a transparent background and light colored wallpaper?

Reply   |   Comment by Reality Check  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

Installed ok on win7 64 bit, but program will not launch? And yes I am the adminstrator on the machine.

Reply   |   Comment by steve  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Ashraf (post #1) - there is NO delay at all when you put the mouse pointer over a folder. You are SO full of it. Why don't you either TRY the software yourself or upgrade your computer....False claims!

Reply   |   Comment by jim sock  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-7)

I tried this out on my older Windows XP machine (where "doctoring" up the start menu does the most good), and I have to say it's definitely not bad. I haven't tried out everything, but it makes everything snazzier. I already have my program shortcuts organized into groups and subgroups (and I prepend a "_" to the main group names so that they always appear at the beginning when alphabetizing the menu), so I'm not sure that the 'Virtual Folder' concept will do much for me, but there is some definite utility in the 'Tabs' concept; I'm sure I'll take advantage of that.

I didn't notice any additional menu-selection delay, as others have complained about, but then again I have the registry key which deals with that tweaked. So if anyone is having excessive delay, fire up REGEDIT and go to
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
and change the key
to a lower value (the number is the delay in milleseconds, from 0 to 4000). I have mine set to 150, I think 400 is the default. See if that helps!

If I have any complaints, it's:
1) There is now a bunch of empty space on the menu panel below my user account icon, where I had my "pinned" program shortcuts. Those pinned items are now gone, and I'm not sure why or how to get them back?
2) I wish there was a way to increase the space between the columns in the start menu, as they are very cramped. There is an option to "Scale" the font/icon size up or down, which proportionately increases the space, but this also can make the text excessively large. I'm going to check the registry to see if there is a key that controls the column spacing, but it would be nice if this was a user option.

My suggestion to anyone here "on the fence" would be to give the program a try. If you don't like it you can simply exit the program, and your old start menu is back, so it doesn't appear that any irreversible changes are made to your system. There may be better alternatives out there, many even free, but I do think this is a nice program which could be just the ticket for someone looking to add some pizzazz or extra practicality to their XP, 7, or 8 system.

Reply   |   Comment by Robert Garofalo  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)

Still keep getting the error message *giveaway period for this software is over* - been like that all week. Can someone help please?

Reply   |   Comment by P.Wallace  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I wanted to say this is the first time I have ever left a comment on a GiveAway. I just finished my nightmare "upgrade" from ol' reliable XP to Windows 7 (still have some regrets). One of the most annoying things I found about Windows 7 was the Start Menu, so I was thrilled to see this. I installed it, tweaked it a bit, and am so much happier now. Great job on this app. I'm wondering if I need to read the manual to see what else it can do for me. :-)

Reply   |   Comment by DaveInTrinity  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Edit. It actually costs $4.99 but thats still $15 cheaper than this offering from GOTD.

Reply   |   Comment by Scott  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Re #19: "although I can’t imagine how today’s offering could possibly be used “commercially” anyhow."

This is very simple to imagine: if you are using your computer for your work, you are not allowed to use Start Menu X, but only Windows Start menu.

If you are using the computer for personal tasks, you may use it.

But only a person standing behind you can check if you are not cheating.

Reply   |   Comment by gergn  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

this is a nice piece of software, but why pay for this function. Stardock have a programs called start8 for windows 8 users that is totally free and can also enable you to boot directly to the desktop without having to go through the atrocious start page. www.stardock.com and look for it

Reply   |   Comment by Scott  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

@Yogesh (#10):

For changing the task bar there is a great free program called ViGlance, here: http://lee-soft.com/viglance/.

Check out the rest of their website for other cool programs which change/manipulate the Start Menu, particularly for Windows 8. I'm using several to make my older WinXP box "7 style". All of their programs are well made and free! And the estimable Giovanni missed them.

Reply   |   Comment by Robert Garofalo  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

The program displays and merges the content of 4 folders:
%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
%programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
%programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

If your deinstaller does not work perfectly, it can happen that an installation program of deinstalled software is still present. If you click on the corresponding folder, that installation program will reinstall that old software. That is NO bug of StartMenu PRO.

If you see unknown software, you should NOT click on that folder from StartMenu PRO, but check it via the explorer.

Reply   |   Comment by gergn  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

I just installed Windows 8 two days ago, and I've been missing my Start menu. Thanks for this program, which installed smoothly and integrated seamlessly with my Win 8 system. It would be worth installing this program just for the privilege of skipping Win 8's stupid tile-happy start-up screen, but it does much more than that.

Thanks for this program, Giveaway of the Day, and thanks, Ashraf, for your review.

Reply   |   Comment by Corylea  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

forgot to add the link to portable start menu : http://aignes.com/psmenu.htm

Reply   |   Comment by Roland  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the free program,"Zenkey" as a preferred alternative to today's Giveaway. I have been using it for years, and I absolutely love it. You can check it out at Softpedia or simply google "zenkey" to go directly to the home-page. This program is loaded with features for the power-user, but can be very easily configured to provide almost instant access to any folder,document,program,email,etc by means of a simple keystroke. It works on Windows 2000,XP,Vista and 7.

Reply   |   Comment by Clint Harris  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Portable start menu in systray. Configurable. Mount also truecrypt disks. Mini program. Works in addition to regular start menu

Reply   |   Comment by Roland  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Once my double monitor desktop was loaded with 420 icons and I had two choices; to clean it up, or look for a shrink for myself. After a few months testing different Start Menu related programs I have settled with an amazing free software...Quick Cliq (also mentioned by our invaluable Giovanni!!!) Now, there are only five visible icons but the rest of them are moved to "unused icons" folder. However, thanks to the smart Quick Cliq multiple menu floating program they are instantly available anywhere by a slight vertical move of mouse. All menus can be customized with a wide range of options.

Here is what they say "
Quick Cliq speeds up your daily computer activities by giving you links to folders, files, programs, URLs and command line operations. It also offers window management, extreme clipboard manipulation, and note taking capabilities. All of this is provided in a compact menu that you can show anywhere and within any application or window through customizable hot keys and mouse gestures..."


Reply   |   Comment by Waldemar  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Used this for years, I like it. I don't have any delays, don't know what I'm doing differently. And "devnullius", thanks for the content-free "Horrible program" comment, that level of detail really helps a lot.

Reply   |   Comment by Bay Area John  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

Update to #44 -- I tried again and I got the $7.99 price. What I noticed is that, somehow, the coupon code changed to "OWNER34" or something similar which gave the price as $9.99. Make sure the code is GOTD and you'll get the $7.99.

Reply   |   Comment by Kelly  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

I actually want to purchase Start Menu X Pro with the GOTD 20% discount (because I know that I am reinstalling this computer soon and I'd also like to support the developer) but I'm very confused. I see it offered to GOTD for $7.99 or for $15.99 depending on which link you click. The second price might be for 2 PCs so I clicked on the first site which shows regular price as $9.99 with GOTD price of $7.99. So, I continue filling out the form and get to the final summary page and it shows up as $9.99 again! Now, I'm not that concerned over the $2.00 but I'm assuming the developer would want to know about this error and correct it. Hopefully, he/she/it will see my comment here...

Reply   |   Comment by Kelly  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

I really like this. Works great with Windows 8. Thanks GOTD and developer!

Reply   |   Comment by Charlie V  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

pokki is a good startup manager for win8


Reply   |   Comment by suja  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

(moderated twice??? :( )

Horrible program, two excellent and free alternatives are reviewed here: http://scforum.info/index.php/topic,7941



Cuisvis hominis est errare, nullius nisi insipientis in errore persevare
All spelling mistakes are my own and may only be distributed under the GNU General Public License! – (© 95-1 by Coredump; 2-013 by DevNullius)

Reply   |   Comment by devnullius  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-25)

I grabbed this program during it's last giveaway and was somewhat pleased with it, however, I too found the long delay in opening up sub-folders annoying. So much so that while I still have it installed, I don't bother using it. In fact, whenever I need to launch something, I typically press the 'Win' button and then start typing the name of the program in the search box and it conveniently shows up in the results and I click it from there ... all from the standard Start menu. The fact is, if you know the name of the file you want to launch you can press 'Win' + R (for Run) and use the run dialog box, (I use this all the time for 'Notepad')

Reply   |   Comment by RoLaAus  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

I remember trying this program when it was offered before but preferred my own solution.

I have many hundreds of programs installed and needed a quick, reliable method to organize and access them. What I came up with only uses standard windows features (right click and drag 'n drop), and is very easy to implement yet has most, if not all, of the desirable features of Start Menu X.

I locate my task bar on the left side of my monitor (simply drag the header). It has to be unlocked to move (right click option). The Start button is now at the top and the SysTray is at the bottom. In between are the active tasks and the Quick Launch Bar. Note that there is nothing special about the Quick Launch Bar other than it has a fixed location on disk. Similarly, "Virtual Groups" are nothing more than folders containing arbitrary links (files), and can be located anywhere. I prefer having all my links together so I create custom Quick Launch toolbars/folders under the \Start\ folder. (Right click in the taskbar area, choose Toolbars|New Toolbar). Populate these toolbars by dragging links to the taskbar or use a file manager (Explorer), to copy link files from the \Start\Programs\ folders to the "Quick Launch" folders.

Right click in your toolbars and select your preferred options and properties. I prefer these: View|Small Icons, Show Text=off, Show title=off, three icons wide (mouse drag), Properties|Always on Top, and Task Bar Locked. With three columns I have instant one-click access to over 100 apps using only about 0.8" of display width. For quick access to less frequently used apps I put their links into a separate folder and add a link to that folder to a toolbar. The result is (at most) two clicks to hundreds of apps that are organized "My Way", in minimal space and without requiring any third party software.

Reply   |   Comment by Art K  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+16)

great software, a real improvement on win 7 64 bit prof. only thing is i can't see how to adjust the opacity and the s/w help function couldn't help. anyone else had this problem and solved it ?

Reply   |   Comment by scott  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

There is and just good app called Linnix an offer many different and free desk-top. You past the code into terminal pompt and than just click enter and in a few min it is new and different. Ok, thank

Reply   |   Comment by Stortch  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-14)

@#17, who says: "You’d think any “power user” would have enough accumen to simply create custom folders in the…
“C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs” folder. Then move your shortcuts into them. Done! Free. No extra resources used."

In Vista, you also have to go into ProgramData>Microsoft>Windows>Start Menu>Programs and do the same thing to get everything properly foldered. So, an additional step

But then again, "power users" know how to do lots of things with their computers that "regular" users never learn to do or even know they can do with their computer. This program helps to solve an annoyance that every PC owner faces - Windows' penchant to screw up and complicate its Start menu in their never-ending quest to make it "intuitive" with each succeeding OS.

I've owned the Pro versions of this software under its various name incarnations for many years now, and recently bought the version currently being offered here today. I'm running it on Vista HP and this version opens up the sub-menu levels much faster now (speaking as someone who has about 700 game shortcuts in my Games folder) than its previous version did; it's really noticeable to me with the sub-menus I have which have 100+ items in them.

One thing I would like with this version is finer control over the size of the font used - the zooming control needs more increments because the smaller size is a little too small and the next step up is a little too large.

Reply   |   Comment by DownTheShore  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+12)

The website claims the program can be portable. How does one install portable version?

I have used this for a year and like it but miss the pinned function in XP. Too, clicking the icons for a few of my programs opens my explorer program in the Windows Programs folder with the folder associated with the icon clicked in start x showing. Thus I have to open the program from the explorer program using the program's I exe file . The XP start menu works just fine for these programs.

Reply   |   Comment by Anne  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

This is really a great addition to a Windows 8 installation. Especially for those of us that kind of miss the old start menu. Heck of a giveaway! It was a little delayed to appear the first time, but is just as fast as can be after that. I wonder if some folks have older machines??

Reply   |   Comment by Joe The Videographer  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

Several tested and the one definitely adopted : ExeGO> http://scalpsoft.free.fr > Freeware, Small, Portable, in FR and EN.

Reply   |   Comment by scopic  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Note to #28: I find it works to install GOTD programs in Safe Mode. Annoying holdup, but, as you say, straight installation does not work.

Reply   |   Comment by Brian  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-6)

WOW , Thanks , Works great in windows 8 64bit . A must for windows 8 users :-)

Reply   |   Comment by Gerhard Nell  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

What is the difference between this software and Start Menu 7 Pro (www.startmenu7.com) which was offered here previously?

Reply   |   Comment by Ron  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-4)

Like the program for Win 7 64 bit. It took away my win live mail folder but was easy to search for and just shortcut to desktop. This is a keeper thanks guys. Will show this one off to people to get them to buy the prog.

Reply   |   Comment by nomadss1  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-3)

Would love to try this, but the GOTD installers haven't worked in months. Since going to this GCD format, none of my 5 computers running Windows 7 work. Please get your stuff fixed. Whatever you did to combat exe/serial leaks has caused some application compatibility issues.

Reply   |   Comment by Necrodiety  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-21)

I've been playing with Win8 since the early pre-release versions and found that I much prefer a start menu. Tried most of them. The free version replacements that are out there are OK, but I was never totally satisfied with them. The biggest thing that I missed in almost all off them was that I could not get a Download and/or Network button (they all had very limited options). I ended up with StartIsBack, the paid version is only 3 bucks for 2 licenses and has the most realistic Windows start menu.

But this pro version giveaway is a good one if your looking for one. I was just to cheap to buy it.

Reply   |   Comment by GarryS  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

Start Menu 8 from IOBIT (free) works well for Win 8 bypassing the start page.

Reply   |   Comment by Wildcat  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+7)

I've used its predecessor, Start Menu 7 (freeware) for years and absolutely love the program. I have it set to alphabetize all of my 117 programs, so that everything I own shows up when I click the Start button. Its one of the first customization programs I install on any PC.

I do agree with the dotTech reviewer about the default skin being hard to read; mine is set to "Classic Vista". The only drawback to the 'old' version I use is that the Control Panel icons are no longer visible, so clicking on Control Panel brings up the Windows Control Panel applet, from where I can click on the individual icons.

I'm upgrading to today's version asap. Thanks GOTD, much appreciated.

Reply   |   Comment by BearPup  –  10 years ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+7)
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