StartIsGone for Windows 10 and 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 32-bit versions of Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 64-bit. The x86 version is not designed to work under Windows x64, it will tell you about this.

Donate options for satisfied users:


  1. 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.

  2. Guy who likes installers
    12 Sep 13

    No installer? Really?

  3. Sergey
    12 Sep 13

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

  4. Jeremy
    12 Sep 13

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

  5. Bombvis
    12 Sep 13

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

  6. Sergey
    13 Sep 13

    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

  7. Bombvsi
    14 Sep 13

    Thanks Sergey!

  8. 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

  9. Sergey
    15 Sep 13

    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.

  10. 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

  11. sevenacids
    24 Sep 13

    Why isn't this open source?

  12. Anonymous
    29 Sep 13

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

  13. stormi
    01 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

  14. Sergey
    02 Oct 13

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

  15. Anonymous
    04 Oct 13

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

  16. stormi
    05 Oct 13

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

  17. Sergey
    06 Oct 13

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

  18. stormi
    10 Oct 13

    Great, thanks! Now it works.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)?

  21. SomeDude
    17 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.

  22. 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.

  23. Sergey
    18 Oct 13

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

  24. Googler
    18 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.

  25. Nilsen
    19 Oct 13

    Very nice tool. Thank you!

  26. Anonymous
    19 Oct 13

    good tks a lot

  27. thexile
    20 Oct 13

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

  28. 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!

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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...

  32. 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)

  33. 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

  34. Anonymous
    29 Oct 13

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

  35. 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).

  36. Sergey
    30 Oct 13

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

  37. 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

  38. 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.

  39. User01
    19 Nov 13

    Sorry, forgot to mention,

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

  40. DJShotty
    22 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...

  41. Win1 user
    23 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?

  42. Tom
    08 Mar 14

    doesn't work with W8.1 Update 1

  43. 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?!

  44. Anonymous
    18 Mar 14

    yeah?I have a no start button windows 8.1

  45. 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

  46. Guest
    08 Oct 14

    What time to support the version for Windows technical preview?

  47. ROBIK
    19 Oct 14


  48. 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.

  49. 223
    12 Aug 15


  50. Kuper
    16 Jun 16

    HOW DO I REMOVE THIS FROM MY COMPUTER?? It causes problems with my classic shell... Please tell me how to get rid of it or disable it.

  51. electronictonic
    03 Nov 17

    I use gives the old Vista/Windows 7 start menu and control panel..instead of that tablet crap.

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