Alternatives to the original Windows startmenu

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 14, 2007
Updated • Mar 8, 2013

After a few months of using Launchy and Rocket Dock I realized that I actually did not use the startmenu of my Windows operating system at all anymore. I either use these great apps that give me more flexibility and speed or use icons on my desktop for certain tasks.

Another reason why I'm not using the startmenu anymore is that it really looks and feels messy after a while because every new application adds it's own folder to it. The question that came up for me is whether I needed the startmenu at all.

The answer was a clear 'no'. There is however a much better way than to simply ignore the startmenu. I'm talking about an application that is called JetStart which is a tiny utility which replaces the original startmenu with a cleaner better one. It looks more compact, displays the applications that you use the most plus adds several predefined folders like Internet that can be populated with shortcuts as well.

Jetstart offers another feature which is a fully customizable floating toolbar that allows you to access all categories and launch favorite programs quickly. The main program window let's you not only quickly search for and launch programs but also uninstall them. It is also possible to import items from the original start menu.

Note that the developer is making available a a free and pro version of the application. The pro version supports custom categories that you can create, a startup manager and a hotkeys manager.

Jetstart is only compatible with Windows XP and older versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system and not newer versions of Windows.  I'm not aware of an alternative that compacts the start menu in newer versions of Windows. What you can install however is Classic Shell which adds different types of start menus to all versions of Windows.


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  1. RG said on July 16, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    I am happy with power pro and 8start, trying launchy too :)

  2. Faust-C said on July 16, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    If you want another neat launcher try out gizmo launcher. Its very customizable (or how ever you spell that)

  3. Josh said on July 15, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Doesn’t seem to work on Vista for me. But Launchy and RocketDock are awesome.

  4. Tobey said on July 15, 2007 at 8:00 am

    @African Boy: ^^

  5. African Boy said on July 14, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Its funny, I have visited that site before but never read enough to notice that software. Thanks. Will try

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