RetroUI® Server for Windows Server 2012

What is RetroUI® Server?

Thinix RetroUI® Pro is easy to use software that 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 Server 2012 far easier to use with features like allowing users to press the Windows key to return to the classic Windows desktop at any time. Try a free 7-day trial of RetroUI Server.


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.


Easy to Install, Fun to use

RetroUI is designed to be easy to install and fun to use. It's designed to bring back the features and functionality users are accustomed to from Windows XP, and Windows 7, but also allow users to fully utilize the security, Apps and other great features of Windows 8. To make it easy to learn how RetroUI works, we have an on-line tutorial available here: Getting Acquainted with RetroUI Pro | PDF

Skip Metro

With Windows 8, Microsoft replaced the traditional desktop and concept of the Start Menu with a full-screen 'Start Screen'. Normally when you login to a computer running Windows 8, this is the first thing you see. Thinix RetroUI® allows users to bypass the Windows 8 Start screen (Metro UI) and automatically return to a classic Windows desktop* after login. Users can then still return to the Windows 8 Start screen and can run Windows 8 Store (Metro) Apps. RetroUI Pro supports bypassing the Start screen from cold-boot, login from locked computer, automatic login, as well as logins over Remote Desktop (RDP) connections. With RetroUI Pro installed, users see the classic desktop at login.

Block HotCorners & Charms Bar

Windows 8 features hidden features, that are accessed by moving your mouse to the corners of the screen. These features make perfect sense for tablet PC users, but on desktops and laptops, they may not make sense or may be confusing to long-time Windows users. With RetroUI Pro, you can simply check a checkbox in the Settings application and disable the Hotcorners and Charms bar. Even with these features disabled, RetroUI allows you to fully utilize the Windows 8 desktop, run Windows 8 Apps, and use every feature of the Windows 8 computer.

RetroUI Start Menu

RetroUI not only brings back the Start menu, we've enhanced it! The new touch-friendly design works as well with a finger as it does with a mouse, and brings back all the functions you have used in previous versions of Windows. But it doesn't stop there - our reimagined start menu allows you to pin applications and save them as touch-friendly buttons. It also has integrated Windows 8 features allowing you to easily; return to the Windows 8 (Metro) Start Screen, open the Charms Bar, Search, and open Task Switcher (so you can quickly toggle to any running classic Windows application or Windows 8 (Metro) App.

RetroUI Enforce

With the patent-pending technology of RetroUI Enforce, you can now 'force' the Windows 8 Start Screen and Windows Store apps to run in a way that allows the classic desktop, taskbar, and start button to remain visible. Windows Store apps can even run inside of a resizable window! You can easily toggle between full screen and windowed mode by pressing [F12] and can run apps at any size and position you prefer. Window positions are automatically stored and recalled as you open and close Windows 8 Store (Metro) Apps. With Enforce, you take charge of Windows 8, and can easily switch back to the classic Windows desktop anytime by simply clicking the Taskbar from within any App or while the Start Screen is running. This eliminates 98% of the confusion with Windows 8, and makes it Easy & Fun!

Easy Keyboard Shortcuts (Hotkeys)

RetroUI Pro includes hotkey technology which allows you to assign simple keys on the keyboard to make Windows 8 easier. Users can now simply press the Windows key on the keyboard to return to the classic desktop at any time. RetroUI includes many other features which make Windows 8 easier. For example, without RetroUI, in order to close a Windows Store App you need to click the top of the App and drag it all the way to the bottom of the screen. This action makes sense on a tablet PC, but on a desktop or laptop, it is confusing for most Windows users. With RetroUI Pro, you can press the Windows Key + Down Arrow to simply close the Windows Store App. This and many other hotkeys are integrated in RetroUI, and the settings application allows you to easily enable/disable these features or even re-assign the hotkeys so they don't conflict with other software running on your system. Here is a printable reference of RetroUI Pro keyboard shortcuts. Enforce Keyboard Shortcuts Printable Reference


RetroUI Pro is a native multi-language application and currently supports 33-languages. RetroUI Pro now fully supports QWERTY, AZERTY as well as many other keyboard layouts necessary for Russian, Arabic and Asian languages

Software you can trust

RetroUI Pro is a digitally signed application, which doesn't modify the core security settings or violate the security of Windows 8. It contains no spyware, adware, malware or viruses. Software you can trust from a company with 28-years of industry experience

Enterprise Features

We like to say that RetroUI Pro is first and foremost designed around providing a great user experience (Ux) for the computer user. However, it has been architected from the ground-up to include Enterprise class functionality such as inheritance, command-line deployment and management, import and export of pinned favorites, support for multi-monitor installations and much more. RetroUI has flexible licensing to provide the level of support needed for personal, business, government, military and educational applications. RetroUI Pro, is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and supports Windows 8, Windows 8 Professional, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows Server 2012. Note that Windows 8 RT (for ARM processors is not supported.

7-day Fully Functional Free Trial

You can download a 7-day fully functional free trial of RetroUI Pro, and give it a try.


RetroUI is a multi-language application with support for 33 native languages: English, Afrikaans, Bulgarian (Български), Chinese (汉语/漢語), Czech (čeština), Danish (Dansk), Dutch (Nederlands), German (Deutsch), Greek (Ελληνικά), Finnish (Suomi), French (Français), Haitian Creole (Kreyòl Ayisyen), Hindi Hindi (हिंदी), Hungarian/ Magyar, Latvain (Latvain), Lithuanian (Lietuvių), Indonesian (Indonesia), Italian (Italiano), Japanese (日本語), Korean (한국어), Norwegian (Norsk), Polish (Polski), Portuguese (Português), Romanian (Romana), Russian (русский), Slovenian (slovenščina), Slovak slovenčina, Spanish (Español), Swedish (Svenska), Thai (ไทย), Turkish/ Türkçe, Ukrainian (українська), and Vietnamese (Việt Nam).


Is your language missing? Let us know



Thinix RetroUI® Pro brings back the start button and start menu. It also 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 includes pre-pinned tooks that make administering Windows Servers fast & easy. Just install & go, no configuration necessary, but also includes advanced options which allow the configuration to be easily copied and used on multiple servers.

RetroUI Server version 3.2
  • 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) server. Support is available through forums and knowledge base only.

License good for (3) server. Support is available through forums and knowledge base only.

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

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

License good for (1) server. Support is available for 1 Year via email, and indefinitely via forums and knowledge base.

License good for (1) server. 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 Server 2012 build 9200 or later. RetroUI Server for Windows Server 2012 works with the official release version of Windows Server 2012 Standard. Other release editions: Server 2012 Foundation/Essentials/Datacenter have not been tested and are not guaranteed to work.


When returning from a Windows lock screen, if a Metro style application is running, RetroUI Server will not close the Metro app. RetroUI Server is designed and tested to work with Windows Server 2012 Standard RTM build 9200 and later. RetroUI Server 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 Server 2012. Registered users of RetroUI Server will be able to download updates (commercial, educational, and non-profit licenses will also receive upgrades for 1 year) to RetroUI Server. However, in the event that Microsoft removes the ability or somehow completely prevents RetroUI Server from functioning by releasing future builds, service packs or patches, Thinix cannot control these things and therefore doesn't assert that RetroUI Server will be compatible with other future versions of Windows Server 2012. RetroUI Server 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 3.1.7 (Released on April 24, 2013)

  • Note Includes all updates since 3.0.0, and is therefore a major upgrade for server version users. See the update log for RetroUI Pro for more details.
  • 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 3.0.0 (Released Feb 6, 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 2012 Server color pallet.
  • 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 Enabled full multi-user support.
  • Fix Improved multi-monitor support.

These features require the installation of ‘Desktop Experience’ which is an optional feature of 2012 Server which give it the ability to run Metro Apps

  • 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).
  • Note After adding the Desktop Experience, you may make changes to your Windows 2012 server which allow it to skip the Metro Start Screen, but this feature is not directly an option in RetroUI Pro because it requires changing of secure registry keys on the server.