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Nexus Dock v16.6 Released!

June 27, 2016




The Winstep Nexus dock is a FREE dock for Windows. Every feature you’d expect from a dock, including widgets, mouse-over effects, skins, drag-and-drop, and many others not available in most other docks, such as live icon reflections, in-dock system tray, blur-behind effects, and much more. Completely customizable, with thousands of different backgrounds freely available online, Nexus is fully compatible with skins for all 3rd party docks.

Windows 10 Ready Nexus runs on the 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8.x and 10.

v16.6 is a must-have release, bringing some major improvements to the handling of Universal Windows Apps under Windows 10 and a new fast boot option that will make Winstep applications load so much faster after a reboot that your jaw will - literally - drop!


What's New? Highlighted Features:


  • Universal (UWP) Windows 10 Apps are now handled like normal Windows applications.

  • UWP/Universal apps are alien to Windows. They are so different that Winstep applications previously showed a 'generic' box app icon for any running UWP apps.


    With v16.6, running UWP apps now show the proper icon, can be pinned to the dock, are properly grouped together, can display a customized icon, and will even show a running indicator when pinned to the dock if the App is running.

    In other words, UWP apps are now handled like any other Win32 applications, which makes Nexus the first (and so far the only) dock able to pull this off.

  • New Fast Boot startup option.

  • Enable Fast Boot and Nexus will be there already waiting for you as soon as you see the Windows Desktop. Yes, the difference is that dramatic.


    Nexus is a program launcher and a Windows user interface add-on. As such, it should be available to you at the same time as the Windows Desktop.

    Unfortunately every version of Windows since Vista has been making 3rd party applications take long and longer to start, and Winstep applications were no exception. This is because the OS is cheating to make itself look better: Microsoft makes Windows deliberately delay the loading of 3rd party applications for the Desktop to be displayed faster - thus giving the ilusion that Windows is booting faster too. And no, we are not making this up.


    Why isn't Fast Boot enabled by default? For two reasons:

    First, some security applications such as WinPatrol might prompt the user when this option is enabled. This is because the method used to make the Winstep application start faster is sometimes also used by malware to run at Windows startup.

    Second, although it has no side-effects, we are using a method which was not designed for this purpose. If every application did the same (and some have a truly misplaced sense of self-importance) we would soon be back to square one.

    We therefore feel that this is the type of decision that should be left to the user. The user (NOT the application and NOT Microsoft for them) decides what he wants to boot faster.

  • Now compatible with Stardock WindowBlinds themes and Windows color schemes.

  • Colors on the User Interface of Winstep applications were, until now, hard-coded. Since many Winstep users also run the popular Stardock WindowBlinds skinning application, this could lead to some unexpected results where the Preference dialogs of Winstep applications would only be partially skinned, sometimes with pretty horrific results.

    We're happy to announce this is no longer the case:




    Yes, this last WindowBlinds theme hurts our eyes too, but it proves a point.

  • Wallpaper hot-track now also works with the Windows 10 wallpaper slideshow.

  • In the previous release we got the wallpaper hot-track colorization feature working with the Windows 7 wallpaper slide-show. But we goofed up, sort of. Only after the release did we become aware via user feedback that the feature was still having trouble on some Windows 10 systems. All fixed now.


  • Many additions and tweaks to the User Interface on high DPI systems.

  • With ever increasing screen resolutions and the arrival of 4K monitors, high-DPI systems are becoming a lot more common. Version 15.9 added high-DPI support to Winstep applications and since then we have been constantly improving on it to try to make it as perfect as possible.

    Among the many User Interface tweaks in this release, which you may or may not notice, is the use of Segoe UI instead of Tahoma when the screen DPI is higher than 100%. Although we feel Tahoma is a still a better choice than Segoe UI when running at 100% DPI, it becomes a bit too bulky (almost as if Bold was enabled) at higher DPIs.


    (Previously, Tahoma at 150% DPI)


    (Now, Segoe UI at 150% DPI)

  • Effect and other persistent bitmaps moved from the main EXE to separate resource DLLs.

  • This is not something you will notice now, but you definitely will on the next update as it will reduce the size of future updates by at least half.

  • Fixed major potential memory leak introduced in v16.2.
  • Many other performance and stability improvements! Please see complete change log below...


Nexus v16.6 complete change log:


  • Added new 'Fast Boot' option to the General tab of Preferences. When enabled it should help make the application boot faster forcing Windows to load it before most other applications. Since it does this by adding an entry to the RunOnce key, some security packages (such as WinPatrol) might start prompting the user.
  • Normalized the time remaining shown when downloading updates so it didn't jump all over the place.
  • Running Universal/Metro applications in Windows 10 now display the proper app icon instead of a general App icon.
  • Running Universal/Metro applications can now be pinned to the dock.
  • Multiple instances of running Universal/Metro applications can now be grouped together.
  • Shortcuts to Universal/Metro applications pinned to the dock now behave like other Win32 applications in terms of complying to the current 'Combine dock icons with running applications' and 'Do not launch multiple sessions of the same application' settings.
  • When pinning a running application to the dock, the new shortcut now uses the running application's customized icon (if any).
  • All User Interface bitmaps are now stored internally as high-resolution bitmaps so they always look good even on very high-DPI systems.
  • User Interface is now 100% compatible with the current Windows system colors and Stardock WindowBlinds themes.
  • Effect bitmaps have been moved to an external resource DLL to cut the size of updates by half.
  • Moved some User Interface images to an external resource DLL.
  • Text in the User Interface now uses Segoe UI instead of Tahoma on high DPI systems with Cleartype enabled.
  • Update Manager options are now grayed out if the user chooses not to check for updates, to make it clear that those options only have an effect if Check for updates is enabled.
  • The Item Properties dialog was sometimes showing a blank icon when changing the filename or icon path of an application.
  • The 'Colorize with dominant color of desktop background' feature was sometimes not working with the Windows 10 wallpaper slide-show feature.
  • The 'Lookup IP Address' internal command was failing to get the correct user's location if it only had latitude and longitude coordinates.
  • Fixed huge GDI/memory leak introduced in v16.2 that could eventually crash the application when icons on the left side of the dock representing running applications showed the number of open windows for that application. The original image/icon (without the overlapping number) was not getting destroyed as it should.
  • Fixed many misc.issues on the UI related to high DPI settings.


Nexus Ultimate v16.6 complete change log:


  • Added new 'Fast Boot' option to the General tab of Preferences. When enabled it should help make the application boot faster forcing Windows to load it before most other applications. Since it does this by adding an entry to the RunOnce key, some security packages (such as WinPatrol) might start prompting the user.
  • Normalized the time remaining shown when downloading updates so it didn't jump all over the place.
  • Running Universal/Metro applications in Windows 10 now display the proper app icon instead of a general App icon.
  • Running Universal/Metro applications can now be pinned to the docks.
  • Multiple instances of running Universal/Metro applications can now be grouped together.
  • Shortcuts to Universal/Metro applications pinned to docks now behave like other Win32 applications in terms of complying to the current 'Combine dock icons with running applications' and 'Do not launch multiple sessions of the same application' settings.
  • When pinning a running application to the dock, the new shortcut now uses the running application's customized icon (if any).
  • All User Interface bitmaps are now stored internally as high-resolution bitmaps so they always look good even on very high-DPI systems.
  • User Interface is now 100% compatible with the current Windows system colors and Stardock WindowBlinds themes.
  • Effect bitmaps have been moved to an external resource DLL to cut the size of updates by half.
  • Moved some User Interface images to an external resource DLL.
  • Text in the User Interface now uses Segoe UI instead of Tahoma on high DPI systems with Cleartype enabled.
  • The tree view menu in the System Tray Customization dialog now scales up properly on high DPI systems.
  • Update Manager options are now grayed out if the user chooses not to check for updates, to make it clear that those options only have an effect if Check for updates is enabled.
  • Differences in Shelf transparency from expanded to collapsed were not being properly applied during the Shelf collapse animation.
  • The 'Colorize with dominant color of desktop background' feature was sometimes not working with the Windows 10 wallpaper slide-show feature.
  • The 'Lookup IP Address' internal command was failing to get the correct user's location if it only had latitude and longitude coordinates.
  • Fixed huge GDI/memory leak introduced in v16.2 that could eventually crash the application when icons on the left side of the dock representing running applications showed the number of open windows for that application. The original image/icon (without the overlapping number) was not getting destroyed as it should.
  • Fixed many misc.issues on the UI related to high DPI settings.

Archived News

Winstep Xtreme v16.12 Released!

December 8, 2016

New calendar module, high-quality voice packs in multiple languages, and much more!

Read more

Nexus Dock v16.12 Released!

December 8, 2016

High-quality voice packs in multiple languages, Email Checker module now displays number of unread messages on the icon itself, and much more!

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v16.9 Released!

September 30, 2016

v16.9 is is mostly a maintenance release, fixing some issues in the previous version and restoring the NOOA/METAR Weather feed.

Read more

Nexus Dock v16.9 Released!

September 30, 2016

v16.9 is is mostly a maintenance release, fixing some issues in the previous version and restoring the NOOA/METAR Weather feed..

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v16.6 Released!

June 27, 2016

New Fast Boot option, running Universal Windows Apps in Windows 10 now display the proper icon and can be pinned to docks and the taskbar, and much more!

Read more

Nexus Dock v16.6 Released!

June 27, 2016

New Fast Boot option, running Universal Windows Apps in Windows 10 now display the proper icon and can be pinned to the dock, and much more!

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v16.5 Released!

May 28, 2016

NextSTART taskbar high-DPI support, new colorization options and much more in this new release!

Read more

Nexus Dock v16.5 Released!

May 28, 2016

New colorization options, fixed 3D dock backgrounds distortion at certain icon sizes, and much more!

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v16.3 Released!

March 10, 2016

Maintenance release fixing all the issues we know of in v16.2.

Read more

Nexus Dock v16.3 Released!

March 10, 2016

Maintenance release fixing all the issues we know of in v16.2.

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v16.2 Released!

February 11, 2016

New battery module, clock alarms, 10 amazing new mouse-over, launch and attention effects and much more in this new release!

Read more

Nexus Dock v16.2 Released!

February 11, 2016

Minimize windows to the dock, new internal commands, performance improvements and much more in this release!

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v15.9 Released!

September 29, 2015

High DPI compatibility, Language Bar, Weather module Geo location, better Windows 10 integration and much more in this new release!

Read more

Nexus Dock v15.9 Released!

September 29, 2015

High DPI compatibility, combined dock shortcuts with running applications, Weather module Geo location, better Windows 10 integration and much more in this release!

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v15.7 Released!

July 27, 2015

Winstep Xtreme is now 100% compatible with Windows 10 and much more in this new release!

Read more

Nexus Dock v15.7 Released!

July 27, 2015

Nexus is now 100% compatible with Windows 10 and much more in this new release!

Read more

Windows 10 and Winstep applications

June 27, 2015

With Windows 10 just around the corner, many users have been wondering if Winstep applications (Nexus, Nexus Ultimate and Winstep Xtreme) will work correctly with it.

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v14.11 Released!

November 7, 2014

Restored weather feed for weather forecast and more in this maintenance release!

Read more

Nexus Dock v14.11 Released!

November 7, 2014

Restored weather feed for weather forecast and more in this maintenance release!

Read more

Take back what is yours!

March 23, 2012

In an effort to force you into using Metro, Microsoft stripped the familiar Start Menu out of Windows 8. In the process it also stripped your ability to chose for yourself what is best for you.

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v12.2 Released!

March 22, 2012

This is a monster release, click the Read More link below for a guided tour on what's new!

Read more

Nexus Dock v12.2 Released!

March 22, 2012

This is a monster release, click the Read More link below for a guided tour on what's new!

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v11.10 Released!

November 18, 2011

Weather module working again, new Launch and Attention effects, new Tray tab in Preferences, and more...

Read more

Nexus Dock v11.10 Released!

November 18, 2011

Weather module working again, new Launch and Attention effects, and more...

Read more

Weather feed down!

November 6, 2011

Weather module not working? Find out why and what is being done about it.

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v11.6 Released!

July 6, 2011

Maintenance release of Winstep Xtreme.

Read more

Nexus Dock v11.6 Released!

July 6, 2011

Maintenance release of Nexus and Nexus Ultimate.

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New Winstep Theme: DarkTech

June 24, 2011

Brought to you by the Winstep design team - more in-house themes currently in the pipeline.

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v11.5 Released!

June 23, 2011

System tray icon customization, ability to mix mouseover effects, support for animated icons, and much more!

Read more

Nexus Dock v11.5 Released!

June 20, 2011

Dock mouseover effects can now be combined with magnify effect, support for animated icons, and much more!

Read more

Winstep Xtreme v11.2 Released!

March 14, 2011

New release featuring increased support for Microsoft's High DPI virtualization technology, and much more!

Read more

Nexus Dock v11.2 Released!

March 14, 2011

New release featuring increased support for backgrounds of 3rd party docks, preserving aspect ratio of image thumbnails, and much more!

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Start Menu Organizer v1.5 Released!

March 14, 2011

New release adding more languages and increasing compatibility with 64 bit versions of Windows!

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Winstep Xtreme v10.9 Released!

October 14, 2010

Major release featuring nine new incredible dock mouseover effects, five new menu opening animations, Windows 7 "Superbar" ability with window previews and aeropeek capability on docks, horizontal sub-docks, and much more!

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Nexus Dock v10.9 Released!

October 8, 2010

Major release featuring nine new incredible dock mouseover effects, Windows 7 "Superbar" ability with window previews and aeropeek capability, and much more!

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Nexus featured at Download.com!

October 8, 2010

Nexus featured on the front page of Cnet's Download.com!

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Start Menu Organizer v1.4 Released!

August 9, 2010

Version 1.4 fixes an issue in which the Pro version of the program could stop when expanding the Administrative Tools group and adds support for 23 languages.

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Winstep Xtreme featured at Download.com!

July 18, 2010

Winstep Xtreme has been featured on the front page of Cnet's Download.com, not once, but twice!

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Winstep Xtreme v10.6 Final Released!

July 13, 2010

Roughly 1 year in the making, the official upgrade to Winstep Xtreme v9.5 is finally here!

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Nexus Dock v10.6 Released!

July 13, 2010

Maintenance release of our free popular Winstep Nexus dock.

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Winstep announces strategic alliance with Proxma AG!

July 13, 2010

Proxma AG will market Winstep products in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

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Start Menu Organizer v1.3 Released!

July 2, 2010

New version of the Winstep Start Menu Organizer featuring support for even more languages.

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Welcome to our new web site!

June 15, 2010

The Winstep web site gets a brand new face to match the quality of our products.

Read more