StartIsGone for Windows 8.1

After release of Windows 8.1 I found its Start button useless. Seriously, there are no issues for me if that button is not shown on the taskbar. Sure, I miss the old good Start menu. Menu! Just one button can't restore the classic UX. So I decide to restore the behavior of Windows 8, with blackjack and hookers.


StartIsGone is my latest application which allows you to remove the Start Button in Windows 8.1 and get the extra space on the taskbar.
Latest version is, see the change log.
It is freeware, portable application which does not require .NET Framework or installation.
It is just icon in your tray with few options in the context menu.Tick "Run at startup" and your start button will be removed every time your Desktop shows.

I would like to say big thanks to my friend Tihiy, the author of the opposite "StartIsBack" application for help with WndProc. Many thanks!

StartIsGone in action

Change log

Fixed the issue with empty space at the right side of task buttons.
Bug fixed: if the tray icon was disabled, and Explorer was restarted, the icon reappeared in the tray.
Added multiple monitors support
Added tray context menu option to hide the tray icon.
The first public version.

StartIsGone is available as a separate application for Windows 8.1 x86 and Windows 8.1 x64. The x86 version is not designed to work under Windows x64, it will tell you about this.

Download: StartIsGone for Windows 8.1

Donate options for satisfied users:

dragun | 12 Sep 13

I have tried downloading this abut 8 times and I keep getting unable to download. If I retry, it says it downloaded, but in reality it isn't downloading. The same is true for Lock Screen Customizer.
Any idea what I need to do? I would like both of these.

Guy who likes installers | 12 Sep 13

No installer? Really?

Sergey | 12 Sep 13
Comments: 501

1. download works perfectly here
2. Guy who likes installers, don't act like a troll

Jeremy | 12 Sep 13

Thanks for this. Any chance this'll be updated to remove the start button on multiple monitors?

Bombvis | 12 Sep 13

Great application, too bad it's only working at one screen (my main screen) and not on the second monitor

Sergey | 13 Sep 13
Comments: 501

Jeremy, Bombvis, version with multiple monitors support is in testing.
I will release it as soon as I will be sure that it just works properly

Sergey | 13 Sep 13
Comments: 501


Bombvsi | 14 Sep 13

Thanks Sergey!

None | 14 Sep 13

Can we force the tray icon to stay hidden... not very found of clicking each startup - Hide Icon. It is pointless to hide the start button if an additional icon is present on the other side of the taskbar

Sergey | 15 Sep 13
Comments: 501

But i thought it stays hidden once you hide it. And it will not be shown on next startup.
Wait i will check.
Works like a charm.
I hide it via context menu and icon does not appear on next boot.

Barry | 19 Sep 13

Finally got rid of the useless Start Button. Works great now. Would have been even better if it replaced it with the thumbnail as in the original Windows 8

sevenacids | 25 Sep 13

Why isn't this open source?

Anonymous | 29 Sep 13

I agree with Barry. A Start Button from Windows 8 would be very nice.

stormi | 02 Oct 13

Not really working for me because it creates a 'dead' space left beside the trayicons of the size of the startbutton Oo
Win8.1 Pro RTM x64

Sergey | 02 Oct 13
Comments: 501

Run the app from the another folder.
x64 Windows must use Start is Gone x64

Anonymous | 05 Oct 13

It opens too slow. You can see Start Button disappearing after signing in.

stormi | 05 Oct 13

Of course I'm using the x64 version.
Here is a screenshot:
The space is red marked.

Sergey | 06 Oct 13
Comments: 501

It seems to be a bug!
I will try to repdrocude and fix it right now.

stormi | 11 Oct 13

Great, thanks! Now it works.

SomeDude | 17 Oct 13

There is a program called "Dexpot" that creates virtual desktops on Windows. A part of it does not work right with StartIsGone.

There's a module "taskbar pager" that draws a tiny preview of the virtual desktops inside the taskbar close to the tray icon area. It flickers when you move the mouse pointer onto it. You can't click on it anymore.

gerald | 17 Oct 13

hi, the start icon still shows up if I hover over it in the left corner. Can you make it totally hidden (but keep its function, so it works just like it was in win8)?

SomeDude | 18 Oct 13


You are mistaken. In Windows 8, you got a pretty large preview of your Start screen when hovering with the mouse pointer in that corner. That was replaced with that tiny Windows icon in 8.1. It was never invisible.

Googler | 18 Oct 13

Dear Sergey sir this is a very epic solution for my desire for removing the annoying button on 8.1, and it works good. Thanks for your effort.

However I have found a way where the button got itself up again (on my secondary monitor) and I needed to Exit and Restart your application to make everything hide again. It is:

- Application running fine [Start button hidden on both my monitors]
- With WIN+P the display is changed to either "PC Screen Only" or "Second Screen Only" [Start button hidden]
- With WIN+P again change back the display to "Extend" [Now the button is hidden on Primary monitor, but is shown on Second monitor]

So would an auto-restart of the application when display is being refreshed, be a workaround of this problem? Or may I please request a "restart" button in the right click menu of the tray icon for easier manual reset of your application.

Thanks again.

Sergey | 19 Oct 13
Comments: 501

Thanks for this useful bug report. I promise to fix the app ASAP.

Googler | 19 Oct 13

Thanks for the quick reply. By the way I have found that by resuming from a "Close-lid triggered sleep", the same thing happens to my second monitor. (Button on primary monitor is still perfectly hidden)

Not sure about the mechanism difference between "Close-lid triggered sleep" and "Software-triggered sleep" (from the Charms bar), but I couldn't reproduce it by telling my laptop to sleep with the lid opened, and resuming.

Nilsen | 19 Oct 13

Very nice tool. Thank you!

Anonymous | 19 Oct 13

good tks a lot

thexile | 21 Oct 13

Thanks for this wonderful add-on. It is working beautifully on single monitor. Can you make it work for multiple monitors?

heyjohnboy | 21 Oct 13

Can someone show me how to find the "Hot This Week" playlist in the 8.1 revised version of Xbox Music? Thanks!

Alexander | 28 Oct 13

On double monitor horizontal setup...
right monitor is main monitor...
taskbar on the left of left monitor and right side of right monitor respectively...
Start button appear again after... not sure after what exactly... should after display went to sleep...

will post updates later when find it

Alexander | 28 Oct 13

yes... confirmed...
on the left side of monitor start button coming back after wake up after display time out...

only one way to rid of that start button is to exit the software then start it again

Alexander | 28 Oct 13

hmm... one more update...
after pin it to start menu... then start it from start menu... seems button is not coming back after display time out...

Alexander | 28 Oct 13

yep... confirmed again start button appears on the left top corner of the left monitor's taskbar after display time out (mine is on 15 minutes)

Alexander | 29 Oct 13

Find out the reason...
My left monitor wakes up little bit longer than right monitor... so... there is a moment when only one monitor in the system...
...then when left monitor comes back... it comes along with start button...

so... setup same as mention above:
On double monitor horizontal setup...
right monitor is main monitor...
taskbar on the left of left monitor and right side of right monitor respectively...
Start button appear again after...

turn off two monitors then power on tight one... then power on left one...
no start button on the right one... but it comes on the left one... confirmed... tested...

would be good option to hide start button on any monitor setup change... an option would be to check if need to hide start button with some timer interval e.g. 15 second

Anonymous | 29 Oct 13

The start button disappears for me, but its space remains empty, so no much use

Weslee | 30 Oct 13

Great app! Thank you so much!

I only found one little bug.
After i execute it, it works great then. My systray icons are hidden so when i then open my systrays it puts the empty space of where the start button used to be back. (not the start button just some empty space).

Sergey | 30 Oct 13
Comments: 501

Try to update to the latest version.
The "empty space" issue was fixed.

Pidol | 14 Nov 13

I'm running the x64 version on 8.1 pro x64, as administrator. If I double click on the exe file, it works fine.
Even with "run at startup" selected, after a reboot the program won't start by itself. I can see it from the startup tab in task manager but it simply doesn't start. What should I do? tnx

User01 | 19 Nov 13


The hide icon is very buggy, right clicking it will make my entire taskbar disappear and my whole system to be laggy and glitchy. Even when I edit the properties via right clicking the task bar instead of the icon, and setting it to hide all icons and notifications from StartIsGone, the same problem ensued. Problem is solved every time I restart my computer, which brings us to another problem, run on startup doesn't work (which is good in this case considering how it sends my taskbar to oblivion)

Anyway, the main purpose that I use this program is because the new Windows 8.1 update overrides my customised Windows icon, which brings up the classic Windows 7 menu (I use the software called Start8). Thankfully, StartIsGone works brilliantly together with Start8. Now I have my Windows 8 icon which opens the classic Windows 7 menu isntead of the default Windows 8 start screen which resembles the Windows Phone.

User01 | 19 Nov 13

Sorry, forgot to mention,

I'm running on a x64 machine and used the program from the folder x64.

DJShotty | 23 Nov 13

So happy to donate US$5 for this, wishing Microsoft would wake up to themselves and not fix something that was never broken...

Win1 user | 24 Feb 14

It used to work perfectly for me. I tried Classic shell for a few days, and now when I uninstalled it, Startisgone works fine at first when I run it. As soon as I click anything on the taskbar, the plaeholder of the original start screen is blank. So now, the space of where the start button would be is still there, just blank. Any advice on how to fix this?

Tom | 08 Mar 14

doesn't work with W8.1 Update 1

Blu | 17 Mar 14

It doesn't completely get rid of start button since the new update! is there any way this can be fixed?!

Anonymous | 18 Mar 14

yeah,I have a no start button windows 8.1

guest | 30 Mar 14

Would be great to have a command line switch to hide the taskbar button, so we can put it in a scheduled task

Guest | 08 Oct 14

What time to support the version for Windows technical preview?

ROBIK | 19 Oct 14


Dmitry | 19 Feb 15

I can not uninstall this program. I delete all files of it, but windows button work how with this program. help me.

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