Software Technologies

Winstep Nexus

Winstep Nexus 24.4

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/7/8/10/11
    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, Danish, Dutch, English, Farsi (Persian), Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brasil), Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish.

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
Nexus Ultimate Upgrade Policy


View more screenshots

Related Products

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!
Buy Now
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, attention and delete effects. 
Unlimited number of clock alarms, scheduled tasks 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 and Grid Stacks 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.

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.

Search Filter (Nexus Ultimate)

Shelves, Drawers and Grid Stacks are able to display folders containing thousands of files - so sometimes finding what you want is the problem.

All you need to do is start typing, and contents are automatically filtered according to what you just typed. You can press Backspace to delete a character or ESC to clear and dismiss the search filter.

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, attention and delete 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 "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.

Full Windows 10 UWP (Universal) App support

Nexus is the only dock currently capable of handling UWP apps in Windows 10 like normal Win32 applications.


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 and High DPI 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 Navigation

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.