RetroUI® Pro for Windows 8

What is RetroUI® Pro?

Thinix RetroUI® Pro is easy to use software that allows you to skip the Start screen in Windows 8, brings back the start button and start menu, makes the taskbar visible from the Start screen, allows you to resize Windows Store apps, allows you to block Windows HotCorners, and includes TabletView. RetroUI Pro makes Windows 8 far easier to use with features like allowing users to press the Windows key to return to the classic Windows desktop at any time. Multiple display users can easily span Windows 8 Apps across more than one monitor. Try a free 7-day trial of RetroUI Pro.

View RetroUI Pro v3 Overview (PDF)


See how it works

RetroUI Pro brings back the features you need in Windows 8

  • Taskbar is always available and visible even when the Windows 8 Start screen and Windows 8 Apps are running.
  • Start Button & Start Menu that match the style of Windows 7 but include integrated features for Windows 8.
  • Pin and Organize your favorites
    • Pin & Launch everything you need: Computer, Documents, classic Windows applications.
    • Pin & Launch any Windows 8 App
    • Pin & Launch your favorite websites
    • Drag & Drop technology allows you to sort and organize your favorites your way.
    • Integrated Search, allows you to search for things you need and quickly pin anything to your favorites.
    • Right Click, context menus and advanced features.
  • Integrated Windows 8 Features
    • Quick access to Shutdown features you need.
    • Optionally block Hotcorners and still access the full functionality of Windows 8.
    • Easy open the Charms Bar, Start screen, Search or Task switcher.
  • Easily skip past the Windows 8 Start screen and login directly to the classic desktop you know and love.
  • Run Windows 8 Apps resizable windows and quickly toggle them between full-screen and resizable.
  • TabletView™ exclusive technology allows you to pin your favorite Apps, software, websites and more, and view it in an iconic App-style similar to iOS and Android.
  • Secure, enterprise class features, Multi-Language, Multi-Monitor but quick and easy to install and use.



Thinix RetroUI® Pro allows you to skip the Start screen in Windows 8, brings back the start button and start menu, makes the taskbar visible from the Start screen, allows you to resize Windows Store apps, allows you to block Windows HotCorners, and includes TabletView. RetroUI Pro makes Windows 8 far easier to use with features like allowing users to press the Windows key to return to the classic Windows desktop at any time.

Windows 8.1 Users: this version of RetroUI® Pro is not compatible with Windows 8.1, Click here a compatible version

RetroUI Pro version 3.2.0
  • Download 32-bit

  • Download 64-bit

Choose the pricing model appropriate for you

Or download the free trial

RetroUI Pro is offered in a version for Windows 8 and a separate version for Windows Server 2012. The consumer licenses are not authorized for use in business, education, government, or military applications. Also keep in mind that the consumer licenses have a lower level of support, without access to email support or upgrades. Only the Windows Server licenses will work with the Windows Server 2012 version of RetroUI Pro.

Payments Accepted - Visa Payments Accepted - Mastercard Payments Accepted - Discover Payments Accepted - PayPal

Consumer $4.95 Consumer $9.95 Business $9.95 Business $14.95 Education $6.95 Education $9.95
Purchase $4.95 Purchase $9.95 Purchase $9.95 Purchase $14.95 Purchase $6.95 Purchase $9.95

1 Activation

3 Activations

1 Activation

1 Activation

1 Activation

1 Activation

Forum Support

Forum Support

Full Support 1 year

Full Support 3 years

Full Support 1 year

Full Support 3 years

Updates 1 year

Updates 1 year

Updates 1 year

Updates 3 years

Updates 1 year

Updates 3 years

Upgrades 1 year

Upgrades 3 years

Upgrades 1 year

Upgrades 3 years

License good for only (1) consumer-use PC. Support is available through forums and knowledge base only.

License good for (3) consumer-use PCs. Support is available through forums and knowledge base only.

License good for only (1) business-use PC. Support is available for 1 Year via email, and indefinitely via forums and knowledge base.

License good for only (1) business-use PC. Support is available for 3 Years via email, and indefinitely via forums and knowledge base.

License good for (1) education-use PC. Support is available for 1 Year via email, and indefinitely via forums and knowledge base.

License good for (1) education-use PC. Support is available for 3 Years via email, and indefinitely via forums and knowledge base.

*Updates: Product updates refer to new versions to the existing major (reference release) version of software, and do not include upgrades to newer major versions. Updates generally provide fixes that enhance stability and compatibility. For example, an update would change RetroUI from version 2.2.0 to version 2.3.0
**Upgrades: Product upgrades refer to new versions that change the major (reference release) version of software. Upgrades generally provide new features unavailable in prior versions. For example, an upgrade would change RetroUI from version 2.4.0 to version 3.0.0


Windows 8 version 9200 or later. RetroUI Pro for Windows 8 works with the official release versions of Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8 Enterprise. Please make sure you download the correct x86 (32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) hardware version. Windows 8 RT (for ARM based systems) is NOT supported

Classic Desktop

Microsoft included a traditional desktop which is similar to Windows 7 within Windows 8. However, they designed Windows 8 to require users to first go to the Windows 8 Start Screen (Metro UI) before anything else. RetroUI Pro eliminates the manual process of exiting out of the Live Tiles desktop and returning to the classic desktop every login. However, the classic desktop in Windows 8 does not include a start menu, RetroUI Pro includes and brings back the Start Button, and Start menu, as well as making the Taskbar visible when the Start Screen and Windows 8 Apps are visible.


When returning from a Windows lock screen, if a Metro style application is running, RetroUI Pro will not close the Metro app. RetroUI Pro is designed and tested to work with Windows 8 RTM version - 9200.win8_rtm.120725-1247, and later. RetroUI Pro will not work with Windows 8 RT (for ARM processors). RetroUI is not compatible and does not work with the developer and consumer previews of Windows 8. Registered users of RetroUI Pro will be able to download updates (commercial, educational, and non-profit licenses will also receive upgrades for 1 year) to RetroUI Pro. However, in the event that Microsoft removes the ability or somehow completely prevents RetroUI Pro from functioning by releasing future builds, service packs or patches, Thinix cannot control these things and therefore doesn't assert that RetroUI Pro will be compatible with other future versions of Windows 8. RetroUI Pro supports multiple users on a single machine and supports individualized settings for each user on the system.


Version 3.2.0 (Released on June 13, 2013)

  • Update Modified Start button icons and associated corresponding graphics within the configuration application

Version 3.1.9 (Released on May 14, 2013)

  • New Release now supports RetroUI Free
  • Fix Fixed analytics bug
  • Fix Fixed string parsing bug in analytics for RetroUI Free

Version 3.1.8 (Released on May 7, 2013)

  • Note RetroUI Pro v3.1.8 corrects a few small bugs in the settings application which were introduced in v3.1.7, and corrects a minor issue with search. v3.1.8 is mature and stable
  • Fix Fixed visual bug in Settings app where scroll bar was off the page in Windows 7 Start Menu Settings. This bug did not permit users to modify all Start menu settings because the settings were not visible within the settings application.
  • Fix Fixed visual bug in Settings app where scroll bar was off the page in Enforce Keyboard Shortcuts. This bug did not permit users to modify all function keys because the settings were not visible within the settings application.
  • Fix Fixed bug where search results cache was not updating when new software is installed.

Version 3.1.7 (Released on April 24, 2013)

  • New Search optimization now allows searching for file names such as CMD (cmd.exe), or other file names that do not correlate to the application name
  • Fix Corrected bug where Enforce did not start when Modern UI Start menu was selected.
  • Fix Corrected bug where deselecting ‘Show Metro Apps in the Start Menu’ in the settings application did not fully disable Metro App enumeration.

Version 3.1.6 (Released on April 5, 2013)

  • Fix Correct minor icon alignment issue. If the taskbar was docked left or right and the taskbar icon size was set to small, improper padding caused the icon to be incorrectly centered.
  • Fix Correct minor text justification issue. When start menu was docked right, shutdown options in the Start menu were aligned right, instead of being aligned left.

Version 3.1.5 (Released on April 4, 2013)

  • New Includes LogonAnimationTool.exe which allows users to easily turn-off the Windows 8 tutorial which runs each time a new user logs in
  • Update Functionality related to Enterprise deployment of RetroUI Pro
  • New Tightly integrated with RetroUI Enterprise Deployment Tool v3.1.5 which is now available to Business and Education license holders. In Enterprise applications, imaging technology is often used to create a base-image and then clone that image onto multiple PCs. This technology can be used on stand-alone PCs or can be used in the process used to create a master base image which is used on multiple PCs. With this, multiple users on each PC can inherit customized settings and customized pinned favorites
  • New Implemented new technology to prompt each new user on a PC if they want the Start button added to their Taskbar. That functionality was recently removed from RetroUI, to correct a bug that did not allow users to answer ‘no’ to the do you want a Start button question. This fix now fully fixes both issues, and allows RetroUI Pro to prompt new users as they login for the first time if they want a Start button
  • New Added functionality to the Start button to not allow right-click/properties if the configuration is locked
  • Fix Switch-user bug in Windows 8 Standard
  • Fix Close Start menu after sleep was selected from the Start menu. This corrected other issues resulting from Start menu not being closed
  • Fix Issue with Taskbar not refreshing in certain situations
  • Update User experience with the RetroUI Start menu and TabletView buttons open/close behavior. Now, if Start menu is open and TabletView button is clicked it will open TabletView, and vise-versa
  • Update Startup which makes the Start menu available more quickly and addresses an issue with a black-screen freeze that could occur immediately after login if the Start button was clicked multiple times before the Start menu was fully initialized
  • Update Logoff option in the Start menu to close the start menu prior to sending the logoff command
  • Update Addressed and partially corrected an issue resulting in the first Start button click after boot being lost in certain situations

Version 3.1.4 (Released on Mar 26, 2013)

  • Fix Corrected issue with TabletView icon in the Taskbar being clipped (cut-off) when the taskbar is located on the left or right sides of the screen.
  • Fix Corrected a sorting issue in the All Programs view in the Start menu. This caused applications with upper case and lower case names to be sorted independently. This update corrects the sorting issue.

Version 3.1.3 (Released on Mar 21, 2013)

  • Fix Implemented a critical fix, which affected the performance of RetroUI Pro. In certain situations such as, screen mirroring, some gaming software, or conferencing (GoToMeeting) was active would result in poor frame-rates and/or choppy graphics. This issue made the screen capture erratic. This correction makes the RetroUI Start menu more responsive & fully corrects a key issue that affected system stability. For this reason, we recommend that users upgrade to this version when possible.
  • New Implemented new technology allowing RetroUI Pro to start faster from a cold boot.
  • New Users can now right click the Start button or the TabletView icon to open the RetroUI settings application.
  • Fix Corrected an issue when switching between a local user session and an RDP session where the shutdown options in the Start menu would not refresh.
  • Update RetroUI Icon used for the Start button changed to button-style.
  • Update Windows 8 Store App technology.

Version 3.1.2 (Released on Mar 13, 2013)

  • New Added a new feature allowing the user to set the default shutdown action. Options include: Shutdown, Restart, Log off, Sleep, or Lock. These settings observe group policies and also change dynamically within an RDP session just as they do within Windows 7.
  • New Added a new feature which allows the user to specify the number of pinned items to show in the start menu. This option can make the Start menu taller to accommodate more pinned items in the Start menu on high resolution monitors. For example on a 1920x1200 display – (30) items can be displayed without needing to scroll up/down to find pinned favorites.
  • New Added caching technology to the Start menu, allowing the Start menu to start, up to 80% faster than v3.0.x. This setting helps even low power devices with large numbers of applications to load in just seconds.
  • Fix Adjusted Search settings within the Start menu to wait before initiating auto-search. This allows users more time to complete typing their search query before the search is automatically initiated.
  • Fix Help balloons within RetroUI Settings app to be more consistent.
  • Fix Corrected an issue in Enforce, where opening a Metro App then closing the App, then re-opening the same Metro App caused the App not to be properly resized by Enforce.
  • Fix Corrected transparency issue in the Start menu where clicking the whitespace next to an item in the all programs view didn’t open the application.
  • Fix Corrected issue where the Start menu was appearing in Alt-Tab list.
  • Fix Corrected minor issue where task-switcher was not activated correctly by the button in the Start menu.

Version 3.1.1 (Released on Mar 6, 2013)

  • Note RetroUI Pro v3.1.1 features an internally redesigned Start menu which loads faster and consumes fewer system resources. It also allows users of slower computers to disable showing Metro Apps, but still allows those apps to be pinned – making it faster when used on slower hardware. Enterprise customers will also be interested that Metro Apps can now be disabled if Metro Apps are not needed by end users.
  • New Enterprise customers can now edit the Start menu configuration file and can set a state of ‘locked’ which prevents end users from adding, removing or rearranging items in the Start menu.
  • New Features significant internal improvements and optimizations in the Start Menu which is now faster & uses up to 35% fewer system resources.
  • New Splash screen which indicates Start Menu is loading to the end-user.
  • New Adding blank buttons in TabletView, user experience improvement.
  • New Added configuration file option for debug/logging.
  • New Changed .ini file values to allow splash screen maximum on-screen time to be specified if desired.
  • New Added ability to not show Metro Apps within the Start Menu. This allows users who do not wish to enumerate or pin Windows 8 Store (Metro) Apps to disable this feature. This feature is useful on some devices where App enumeration causes the Start menu to load slowly. Apps which are pinned before this feature is disabled, will remain pinned and can be used as normal. Using this feature, Enterprise customers can control which apps are available to end users in the Start menu.
  • Fix Enhanced enterprise feature of locked configuration files that allowed users to unpin items from the Start menu or TabletView even if the start menu was locked from the all programs view.
  • Fix Corrected visual bug switching between Start Menu and Tablet View.
  • Fix Minor issue with Enforce where hotkey to save window position was not enabled.
  • Fix Speed issue enumerating Metro apps, now 50% faster.
  • Note Who should upgrade to v3.1.1? - We recommend all users of RetroUI Pro to upgrade to v3.1.1 when they have time Users who are using RetroUI Pro v3.0.x who haven’t experienced any performance issues don’t need to immediately upgrade, but should know that v3.1.1 uses up to 35% fewer resources and loads up to 50% faster. It also provides a new feature that allows you to turn off Metro App enumeration in the Start menu, so if you are not interested in having Metro Apps in the Start menu you can easily disable them and still have full access to ‘All Metro Apps’ via the Start Menu.

Version 3.0.2 (Released on Feb 12, 2013)

  • Notev3.0.2 has only a few minor changes from v3.0.0 / v3.0.1, there is little reason to update to 3.0.2 from 3.0.0 or 3.0.1 unless you are having problems installing RetroUI Pro. The primary reason for this update was to release a patch that corrects issues where some machines were installing to the root of one of the drives, such as c:\ or f:\ instead of c:\program files\
  • Fix Changed installer manifest to correct a rare problem that installed RetroUI to an incorrect location.
  • Fix Modified system service to improve resiliency in registry handling, this automatically detects and corrects erroneous registry entries created when RetroUI incorrectly installed to the wrong path.
  • Fix Modified file system monitoring algorithm to prevent rapid triggering of Start menu refresh events. Increasing performance.
  • Fix Tweaked Enterprise lock functionality, so that the Start menu will recognize and enforce a locked status. This allows enterprise deployments where end-users are prevented from modifying the start menu.

Version 3.0.1 (Released on Feb 8, 2013)

  • Note v3.0.1 has only a few minor changes from v3.0.0, there is little reason to update to 3.0.1 from 3.0.0
  • New Add recent items button to start menu and add to settings app (default on).
  • New Add ‘homegroup’ button to start menu and settings app (default off).
  • New Added option to unpin a program from all programs view.
  • New Re-order items in start menu to exactly match the order of the Windows 7 Start Menu.
  • Fix Eliminated two somewhat obscure bugs with start menu item pinning.
  • Fix Correct a one-pixel positioning gap when start menu is docked-left or docked-right.

Version 3.0.0 (Released on Feb 1, 2013)

  • New Added Windows-7 Style Start Menu with integrated search, right click context menus, drag and drop.
  • New Added RetroUI SuperSize feature that lets Apps span across multiple monitors.
  • New The Start Menu adjusts its color to your Windows 8 color pallet.
  • New Entirely new Metro App launcher allows all Metro Apps to be launched from the Start Menu and TabletView.
  • New You can now set the starting size of a Metro App as a percentage of the desktop.
  • New Added feature that provides Aero-snap like capabilities to Apps (snap to half-screen).
  • New Automatic update checking is now integrated into RetroUI.
  • Fix The Start Menu and Enforce features have been improved to run faster.
  • Fix Pressing the Windows key on the keyboard returns user to classic desktop from anywhere.
  • Fix The Start Menu and Enforce now works with all Taskbar configurations.
  • Fix TabletView's look has been enhanced.
  • Fix Visual enhancements in Enforce.
  • Fix Skipping the Start Screen is now faster at login.
  • Fix Improved multi-user support.
  • Fix Improved multi-monitor support.

Version 2.3.0 (Released on Dec 21, 2012)

  • New Added support for the Windows keyboard key to open/close the start menu and return to the classic desktop from within the Modern UI.
  • Fix Multiple enhancements to the Start menu, making it perform even faster.
  • New Added support for (10) new languages, bringing the total to (33) supported languages.

Version 2.2.2 (Released on Dec 10, 2012)

  • Fix Fixed bug in drive detection algorithm causing high processor utilization, mouse/keyboard freezes, and frequent pauses in systems with certain removable drives including some floppy disk drives and Blu-ray drives.

Version 2.2.1 (Relased on Dec 5, 2012)

  • Fix Corrected issue where Hotcorner setting was not being saved or read by the RetroUI Settings application (this was a minor bug which caused a major problem in that the block hotcorners feature did not work in v2.2.0).
  • Fix Corrected Enforce algorithm related to saving App window positions. Window positions were not saved in certain situations in v2.2.0.
  • Fix Corrected/Enhanced Enforce to dynamically adjust the file search window, and settings search window in all prior versions.
  • New Added support for Small icon mode in the Taskbar.
  • New Added support for: Slovak (sk) – slovenčina Language.
  • New Added the ability to customize/reassign the Enforce Hotkey assignments via the RetroUI Settings application.