Software Technologies

Winstep Nexus

Winstep Nexus 18.12

The Advanced Docking System for Windows
Wikipedia defines a dock as a user interface feature of a number of operating systems that typically provides a user with a way of launching and switching between applications.

The Winstep Nexus Dock is a FREE* professional dock for Windows. With Nexus, your most frequently used applications are only a mouse click away - and Nexus turns working with your computer into a fun and exciting experience.

Nexus Ultimate is an enhanced version of the free-to-use Nexus dock which is available stand-alone or as a component of Winstep Xtreme (a single easy-to-install package featuring all of Winstep's popular desktop enhancement products for Windows).

*Nexus is free for personal use only. For business use, please click here.

System Requirements

  • Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8.x/10
    32 and 64 bit.
  • 500 Mhz processor.
  • 256 MB of RAM.
  • 60 MB of free hard disk space.
  • Screen resolution 800x600 or higher.
Windows Ready

Supported Languages

Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, Farsi (Persian), Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brasil), Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish.

Would you like to receive a FREE Winstep Nexus Ultimate license key and have your name credited? You can by translating Nexus into a language not listed above! Please click here for more information.


Winstep Nexus
Nexus Ultimate
Product Comparison


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Winstep Xtreme

Winstep Nexus

The Nexus dock provides one-click access to frequently used applications, folders and documents.

Winstep Nexus Ultimate

Available from $29.95

Not enough? Nexus Ultimate gives you multiple docks, sub-docks, a Shelf (tabbed dock), and much more!
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Display running applications on the dock with task grouping, task filtering and icon customization options.
Display system tray on the dock as single or grouped icons.
Blur-Behind (7/Vista) and colorization of dock backgrounds.
Built-in modules/widgets: (e.g. time announcing clock, recycle bin, email checker, weather monitor, CPU, Net and RAM Meters and Wanda the swiming 'fortune cookie' fish).
Over 80 special commands such as Sleep, Empty Recycler, CD Control, etc...
Multiple animated mouse over, launch, attention and delete effects: zoom, swing, bounce and many more!
Live icon reflections and animated water-like effects.
Built in support for animated icons.
Quickly change icons of shortcuts and running programs by dropping PNG and ICO image files directly into the icon.
Minimize windows to the dock.
Multi-monitor support.
High-DPI support.
Compatible with skins for all 3rd party docks.
Multiple docks. 
Ability to group shortcuts into an unlimited number of nested sub-docks. 
Instant access to the contents of Folders, Downloads, and more via Grid Stacks. 
Categorize applications into user-defined tabs on Shelves (tabbed docks). 
Increase productivity by displaying folders, the Desktop, My Computer, Control Panel and other virtual system folders on Shelves. 
Reduce clutter by hiding desktop icons and using a Shelf's Desktop tab instead. 
One click theme switching via the special Themes tab on a Shelf. 
Display icons plus the contents of disk and virtual system folders on Drawers (single-tabbed dock with text below the icons). 
Additional modules/widgets (e.g.; calendar, battery monitor, moon phase). 
Additional mouse-over, launch and attention effects. 
Unlimited number of clock alarms and reminders. 
Customize system tray with high resolution icons. 

Features In Depth

Multiple docks and sub-docks (Nexus Ultimate)

Create multiple docks for a variety of customized needs, organize applications within collapsible groups, or 'sub-docks'.

Powerful Dock Manipulation options (Nexus Ultimate)

Create docks from existing Shelf tabs, detach sub-docks, turn docks into sub-docks, duplicate docks, delete docks - all this using simple drag-n-drop and/or context menu options.

Shelves/Tabbed Docks (Nexus Ultimate)

Not only being able to hold shortcuts dragged into it, a Shelf is also capable of displaying the contents of special shell folders such as the Desktop, My Computer, Control Panel, Recent Documents, and so forth... It's even able to display the contents of folders in your hard drive, which can then be manipulated via drag & drop as usual.

A Shelf makes it possible to have a 'clean', uncluttered, desktop with no icons on it whatsoever by having Nexus Ultimate hide the icons on the Desktop - icons that can then be quickly accessed via the Desktop tab. Tabs in a Shelf can also have keyboard shortcuts associated to them to make the Shelf simultaneously come to the foreground and open that particular tab.
You can create as many Shelves as you want with the built-in Dock and Shelves Manager, dock them to the screen edge of any monitor, or even leave them floating on your desktop. You can even add sub-docks to Shelves:

Grid Stacks (Nexus Ultimate)

Stacks are a particulary useful new feature that can give you instant access to the contents of Applications, Documents, Downloads, and any other folders placed into a dock, shelf or drawer. There they’ll then sit until you click on them, at which point they’ll spring out in a grid arrangement.

But Winstep Grid Stacks offer much more than simple access to existing folders in your hard drive: powered by the same technology behind shelves, you can also use Grid Stacks to display the contents of virtual shell folders such as the Windows Control Panel, the Desktop, Recent Documents and Applications, UWP Apps in Windows 10, etc...

Drawers (Nexus Ultimate)

Basically a single tabbed Shelf, a Drawer is a dock/shelf hybrid, merging some of the best features of docks with some of the best features of shelves.
1. Drawers, unlike shelves, automatically expand to show all their content when you click on them (provided it fits the available screen space).

2. Drawers, unlike docks, can have text labels next to the icons so you don't need to mouse over an icon to know what the label says. Labels below the icons are still optional, though, and the Drawer can be configured so that labels appear outside the Drawer only when mousing over an icon.

3. Drawers, unlike docks, can be configured to display 'special' content (for instance, the content of the Windows Desktop, Control Panel, Recent Documents, the contents of a folder in your hard drive, etc).

4. Drawers, unlike docks, can be scrolled whenever they have more content than what would fit in the available screen space.

5. Multiple Drawers can be open at the same time and left open, unlike shelves where only a single tab can be active at a time.

6. Drawers, unlike docks that completely disappear into the screen edge when hidden, collapse into a single small tab. This allows you to use the tabs instead of screen edge bumps (prone to accidental activations) to gain access to the Drawers. Drawers can also reserve screen space so that the tabs of collapsed Drawers are never overlapped by maximized windows.

Live Icon Reflections

The first (and only) Windows dock to feature live icon reflections. Reflections update in real time if the icons animate or change. Size and transparency of reflections are also user configurable.

Powerful Object-based Drag & Drop

Object based interface offers "drag & drop" capabilities that make it simple to manage your applications, files, printers, etc... Use Drag & Drop to move/copy/re-arrange objects from one location to another, to both inside and outside of docks. Drop documents onto dock application objects and have them automatically loaded. You can quickly change the images used by Nexus items simply by drag & dropping your favorite .ICO, .PNG or .TIF file onto the chosen object.

Special Effects

Eye Candy is king! Lots of optional special effects such as icons zooming, bouncing, glowing, rocking, swinging, squishing, spinning, exploding, etc, shifting to make room for items about to be dropped, bouncing on application launch, visual feedback for specific actions, incredible 'fluid' effects that make docks and icons behave like liquid surfaces, sound events for when docks collapse and pop up or sub-docks open, and lots more!

Additional Visual Effects (Nexus Ultimate)

With Nexus Ultimate you get even more amazing mouse-over, launch, and attention effects on top of the wide selection already given to you by the free version of the Winstep Nexus dock!

Virtual File System Support

Allows you to drag special Explorer objects, like Control Panel items and the My Computer icon, into docks.

Document Thumbnails

Documents, pictures and video files dragged to a dock show up as thumbnails for easy identification.

Blur Behind

Automatically blurs the background of semi-transparent docks (Vista and Windows 7 only).

Reserve Screen Space

Makes sure maximized windows do not overlap docks attached to screen edges.

Respect Reserved Screen Space

Prevents docked docks from overlaping the Windows taskbar and other screen edge-attached toolbars.

Built in support for animated icons

Nexus features built-in support for animated icons. With no need to install 3rd party docklets and full drag and drop support, animated icons in Winstep applications are as easy to use as any other icons: drop the animated icon PNG strip directly into a dock item and the icon will automatically start animating.

Running Applications

Nexus is a complete taskbar replacement with the ability to display running applications on the dock - with Windows 7 "Superbar" abilities, including Aeropeek, even on Windows XP.

System Tray

Nexus can display the system tray on the dock in one of two modes:
Tray icons can be displayed one-by-one or in grouped mode to take up as little space as possible.

Tray Icon Customization (Nexus Ultimate)

System tray icons are originally small 16x16 icons, and can look very blurry when displayed on the dock at larger sizes. Nexus Ultimate allows you to customize tray icons with high-resolution alternatives to solve this problem, with a set of high-resolution images for system tray icons being included in the application.


Docks attached to screen edges can auto-hide onto the screen edge and pop up on demand.


Floating docks (i.e. docks not attached to a screen edge) can collapse into a single control tile and un-collapse on demand.

Full Multi-Monitor Support

Docks can be docked to any screen edge or left floating on any monitor.

Modules / Widgets

Nexus features eight useful modules (widgets) such as a talking Digital/Analog Clock that synchronizes your time with time servers on the internet, a Recycler, an Email Checker that supports SSL and multiple email accounts, a Weather Module, CPU, Net and RAM Meters and Wanda, a 'fortune cookie' animated fish!
Click here for a full description of Winstep's modules/widgets and what they do.

Additional Battery Monitor, Calendar and Moon Phase modules (Nexus Ultimate)

Nexus Ultimate offers you an additional UPS/Battery Monitor, a Calendar and a Moon Phases module, with more modules exclusive to Nexus Ultimate and Winstep Xtreme coming soon!

Internal Commands / Docklets

Internal commands are special commands that you can add to the dock as shortcuts: Hibernate, Power Off Monitor, Empty Recycler, Show Start Menu, Language Bar, CD Control, Lookup IP address and over 80 more! Click here for a full list of Winstep's internal commands and what they do.

Clock Alarms and Task Scheduler

Clock module associated alarms allow you to display pop-up reminders, wake you up with music or run programs at specific times, once or periodically. The free version of Nexus supports a single alarm, while Nexus Ultimate supports an unlimited number of alarms.

Keyboard Accelerators

Docks can be brought to the foreground and dock items launched through user-specified hotkeys.
Full keyboard support makes Nexus the ideal dock for Home Theater users: Nexus is the first - and only - Windows dock that can be fully controled with nothing but the keyboard and remote controllers such as the Logitech Harmony.

PNG, ICO and TIF File Support

Supports the use of PNG as well as TIF and ICO files for object images and bitmaps.

Complete Customization

Virtually every aspect of every dock is customizable: from icon size, to magnification size, to dock behavior.

Quality And Performance Tested

Nexus has undergone extensive testing by thousands of dedicated users. This testing continues as part of our ongoing efforts to provide top quality software to our customers.