Remove The Windows Start Button

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 7, 2008
Updated • Dec 2, 2012
Software, Windows software

Users who like total desktop conversions might seek methods of removing standard Windows elements like the Windows Start Button to maximize screen estate. Not everyone would want to give up on the Windows Start Menu but someone who is working with an application launcher like Launchy would probably not miss it at all.

But even those users who rely on the Windows Start Menu won't have that many difficulties accommodating because Start Killer, the name of the application, removes the Start button only for the time it is running in the background. It furthermore provides keyboard shortcuts to display the Windows Start Menu even while running.

Start Killer will automatically remove the Windows Start Menu button from the Windows Taskbar once it is running. It works with every taskbar orientation possible which should make users happy who run the Windows Taskbar on the left or right side of the screen.

Windows Taskbar:

Windows Taskbar with Start Killer running:

A few things need to be explained. The Windows Start Menu can be displayed with the keyboard shortcuts [Windows] or [CTRL+ESC]. That opens the Windows Start Menu at the usual position and hides it again once the user has finished the task at hand.

Start Killer adds an icon to the Windows System Tray which provides access to several settings after right-clicking it. The application can be set to load on system startup. It is furthermore possible to disable the System Tray icon in the options.

Start Killer removes the Start button from your taskbar. When you run Start Killer it remove the Start button from taskbar and give you additional space on taskbar, when you close Start Killer the Start button is again shows.

Though the Start Button is removed, you can still open Start Menu using CTRL+ESC or WIN key. StartKiller place icon into system tray. Right-click on icon to close StartKiller or to open Settings dialog. You can remove icon from system tray. In this case use CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+F12 to open settings dialog box.

Computer memory usage of Start Killer is at the low end with about 2.5 Megabytes and barely any virtual memory.


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  1. Ping Nuts said on November 13, 2011 at 8:19 am

    This is a simple and helpful free software. But is it compatible with Windows 7 64 bit system?

  2. venkat said on November 9, 2008 at 6:51 am

    This looks complicated any normal user access any programs especially run and other programs very easily with start button, it being missing is chaos for users.

  3. Noah said on November 8, 2008 at 5:02 am

    I think the amount of virtual memory it uses is more a factor of your current OS context — i.e. loading up lots of other applications may cause the memory a program is using to be swapped to your hard drive. I think this tends to not be a factor the user-application creator can influence (though there are hacks like causing an application to un-block frequently, which effectively games the virtual memory management system into keeping its data in RAM rather than on the HDD).

  4. Sebastian said on November 7, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Dear Martin,

    I just recently posted a method myself to hide the start button with the help of mySB. Have a look:

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