Software Technologies

Nexus Ultimate FAQ

Here you will find a list of common questions associated with Nexus Ultimate.


Q) How do I download Nexus Ultimate?

A) Upon puchase of Nexus Ultimate, an email will be sent to you with your license key and a link to download the application.

Q) Does Nexus Ultimate contain Spyware or Adware?

A) Nexus Ultimate does NOT contain any Spyware or Adware of any kind.

Q) Will Nexus Ultimate slow down my system?

A) Nexus Ultimate is very light on resources, so any performance hit is usually negligible. You can run Nexus Ultimate without any problems on Pentium II machines at 150 MHz or even less. Note, however, that the amount of processing power used will depend mainly on how many desktop modules you have running at the same time, effects you have enabled, and on the complexity of the theme you are using. A theme that uses a lot of animations will obviously be more processor intensive than one that has none.

Q) Does Nexus Ultimate use a lot of memory?

A) No. Actual memory usage is mainly dependent on the current theme and how many objects you have open at the same time, as bitmaps need to be stored in memory. There is also a trade off between memory usage and performance, since some things need to be cached in memory to improve performance. You can, if you want, balance performance vs. memory usage yourself in the Advanced tab of Nexus Ultimate Preferences by clicking on the Performance Settings button.

Q) Will Nexus Ultimate change my Windows system files?

A) No. Nexus Ultimate runs just like any other normal application and does not change Windows system files in any way, shape or form. It's perfectly safe to run, and easy to operate - you won't get in trouble if you run it, don't worry.

Q) Is it easy to get back to 'normal' Windows?

A) Yes. In fact, all you have to do is exit Nexus Ultimate like you would any other application and you're back to normal Windows.

Q) Can I run Nexus Ultimate as the Shell?

A) Nexus Ultimate is a shell enhancement designed to run on top of Explorer, not a shell replacement. You can run it as the shell if you want (in fact, you can even run Notepad as the shell), but this is not supported. Nothing stops you, however, from running Nexus Ultimate along with other shells - such as LiteStep.

Q) Is Nexus Ultimate compatible with the 64 bit versions of Windows and Vista/7?

A) Yes.

Q) Is there a 64 bit version of Nexus Ultimate?

A) There is no 64 bit version, nor is there any reason that there should be one. Unlike popular belief dictates, the only real advantage 64 bit applications have over 32 bit ones is that the former can use more than 2 GB of RAM. On the other hand, there are a lot of disadvantages: 64 bit versions use way more memory and have trouble living in a world where most applications are still 32 bit.

Q) Is Nexus Ultimate multi-user compatible?

A) Yes, settings are individual to each user and the installed themes are shared between all users. You can even make Nexus Ultimate start automatically at log on for some users but not for other users.

Q) Does Nexus Ultimate work with multiple monitors?

A) Yes, Nexus Ultimate is fully multi-monitor compatible.

Q) How do I uninstall Nexus Ultimate?

A) Why would you want to do that? Now seriously, just like you would any other normal application: exit all Winstep applications first and uninstall Nexus Ultimate from the Add/Remove Programs applet (Programs and Features applet in Windows 7) in the Windows Control Panel.


Q) How do I install new themes?

A) There is a tutorial dedicated to this subject here.

Q) Can I use skins for 3rd party docks in Nexus Ultimate?

A) Yes. Note, however, that only docks are able to use the 3rd party skins - unlike what happens with native Winstep themes, which also skin the Shelf.

Q) How can I apply a skin made for a 3rd party dock to a single dock?

A) Open the Themes tab of that dock's Properties dialog and select the theme you want from the list of available themes. Only that dock will switch to the new theme.

Q) How can I apply a skin made for a 3rd party dock to all my docks at once?

A) Open the Themes tab in Preferences and change 'Winstep Themes' at the top to 'Dock Themes'. You should now be able to see all available Nexus themes, including the skins made for 3rd party docks. Themes applied from here will affect all currently open docks.

Q) How do I apply the wallpaper that is part of all native Winstep themes?

A) Open the Themes tab in Preferences and select 'Wallpaper' from the combo box at the top. This will list all the wallpapers provided by the currently installed native Winstep themes. Now select the wallpaper you want to apply.

Q) Can I use independent themes/backgrounds for the Shelf and docks?

A) Yes. Open the Themes tab in Preferences and change 'Winstep Themes' either to 'Shelf Themes' or 'Dock Themes'. The theme you select will only be applied to that object.

Q) I'm using the Leopard dock theme and I noticed that when I want to make the dock icons smaller than x pixels, the table starts to bend. Is there a way to fix it so the table doesn't distort?

A) The Leopard theme features a 2D dock background bitmap trying to represent a 3D background. As such, the background will distort when proportions are not correct - try increasing or decreasing the size of the icon reflections. This is an issue with every dock, obviously, as docks are not 3D renderer programs.

Q) I'm using the Leopard dock theme and there is a large gap between the dock and maximized windows.

A) To maintain the 3D proportion, the Leopard theme background bitmap features a large transparent area which makes it look like there is a large gap between the dock and maximized windows. You won't have this problem if you use another dock background.


Q) Is there a manual or User Guide available for Nexus Ultimate?

A) While most Windows customization programs don't have anything that could be even remotely called a manual or User Guide, the one for Nexus Ultimate is still under construction, which is why the Help button currently displays the help file for the free version of the Winstep Nexus dock (writting documentation is a huge pain, which is why most programs will skip having one if they can get away with it).

If it helps, have a look at the old v9.5 User Guide for the WorkShelf/Nexus component of Winstep Xtreme, which you can find online here. Obviously, a lot of what is written there will no longer apply.

Q) Is there a way to backup all my Nexus Ultimate settings?

A) Yes. Open the Advanced tab of Preferences and click on the Backup Button.

Q) Is there a way to backup all my Nexus Ultimate settings automatically?

A) No, you have to do it manually. See above.

Q) I did something wrong, how do I go back to the default Nexus Ultimate configuration?

A) If you previously used the built-in Backup feature, you can use it to restore your settings to a stable configuration, otherwise you can reset them to installation defaults in the 'Troubleshooting Options' dialog available in the Advanced tab in Preferences.

Q) How do I disable the sound effects?

A) Check the 'Disable all sounds' setting in the Sounds tab in Preferences.

Q) How do I make Nexus Ultimate automatically hide the icons on the Desktop at startup?

A) Open the General tab in Preferences and select 'Hide desktop icons'.

Q) How do I access the Desktop after hidding Desktop icons?

A) You can do that from the Desktop tab in the Shelf. The Desktop tab also accepts drag & drop operations into and from it.

Q) How do I make the docks and the Shelf auto-hide as soon as I mouse away from them?

A) Docks and the Shelf may only auto-hide once you click on another window, so they remain open and available for as long as possible, or they can be made to auto-hide as soon as you mouse away from them. You can change this behavior by clearing the 'Hide or collapse automatically only when other windows have the focus' setting in the Advanced dialog of the Behavior tab of either the Dock Properties or Shelf Properties dialog.


Q) What does the Nexus control icon do?

A) Right clicking the control icon gives you quick access to the dock's settings menu, and double clicking it allows you to manually hide the dock. The Nexus control icon can also be used to quickly delete a dock, by dragging and dropping it into the Recycle Bin module, or to turn a dock into a sub-dock, by dropping the control icon into another dock or the Shelf.

Q) Can I remove the Nexus control icon from a dock?

A) Yes, just like you would any other icon: right-click on it and select 'Remove from dock'.

Q) How do I disable a dock?

A) Open the Docks & Shelves tab in Preferences and uncheck the 'Enabled' setting for the dock you want disabled. Disabling the dock will NOT cause its contents to be lost. Deleting the dock using the 'Delete Dock' button at the bottom of the same Preferences tab, however, will.

Q) Is there a way to prevent a dock from overlapping the desktop icons?

A) Yes. Enable the setting that prevents maximized windows from overlapping the dock in the Dock Properties panel of that dock.

Q) How do I move a dock when it's floating on the screen?

A) Press the ALT key and then left click anywhere on the dock and drag. If you don't use the ALT key, you will have to click on an empty space of the dock or you will initiate a drag & drop operation for the clicked icon.


Q) How do I disable the Shelf?

A) Open the Docks & Shelves tab of Nexus Ultimate Preferences and uncheck the 'Enabled' setting for the Shelf. Disabling the Shelf will NOT cause contents to be lost, and you can re-enable it later.

Q) What is the quickest way to access the Shelf Properties dialog?

A) Right click on the Shelf's left mini-tab to pop up the Shelf's control menu and select 'Shelf Properties'. Note that left clicking the left mini-tab opens Nexus Ultimate Preferences.

Q) How many different types of tabs does the Shelf support?

A) Currently there are 18 tab types available and the names are pretty self-explanatory - some of the tabs are set up by default when you start Nexus Ultimate for the first time:

Regular tab, Desktop, Recent Documents, Control Panel, Active Tasks, RAS Connections, Drives (My Computer), Startup, Send To, Printers, Network Connections, Templates, My Documents, Recycler, Show Folder, Quick Launch, Themes and System Tray.

Q) How do I add more tabs to the Shelf?

A) Either right click on a tab title and select 'Add/Insert New Tab' or open the Shelf Properties dialog and do it from the Content tab, which gives you further options.

Q) How do I add a tab to the Shelf that shows the contents of a folder in my hard drive?

A) Follow the instructions in the previous question to add a new tab to the Shelf and, in the configuration dialog, change Tab Type from 'Regular' to 'Show Folder Tab'. You can now type in the path to the folder you want associated with that particular tab.

Q) Can I re-arrange tab items?

A) Yes, but only for Regular and Active Tasks tab types. The Shelf is able to display several different tab types, but you can split those into two main groups: 'Regular' Shelf tabs, in which the tab acts like a dock and where you can re-arrange items at will, and tabs which show the contents of folders/virtual folders on your PC. The latter group, being a 'window' into a folder in your hard disk or a virtual shell folder, cannot have the content re-arranged, and its contents are always displayed in alphabetical order.

Q) How do I re-arrange tabs in the Shelf?

A) Left click and drag the tab title to the new position. You can also do this from the Contents tab of the Shelf Properties dialog.

Q) How do I delete a tab from the Shelf?

A) Right click the tab title and select 'Delete This Tab'. You can also do this from the Contents tab of the Shelf Properties dialog.

Q) How do I rename a tab in the Shelf?

A) Right click the tab title and select 'Rename This Tab'. You can also do this from the Contents tab of the Shelf Properties dialog.

Q) How do I make the Shelf always display more than one row of icons?

A) Open the Appearance tab of the Shelf Properties dialog, click on the Advanced button and change the number of icon rows the Shelf should display when open.

Q) Can I make the Shelf display the full content of a tab without having to scroll?

A) Yes. Double click the tab title - the Shelf will automatically expand to show all the icons in that tab, provided they all fit on the screen at once, of course. Double click the tab title again to make the Shelf return to normal size.

Q) How can I temporarily prevent the Shelf from auto-collapsing?

A) Manually uncollapse the Shelf by clicking on the right mini-tab. The Shelf will remain open until you click on the right mini-tab again.

Q) Can I use a keyboard shortcut (hot key) to open a specific tab in the Shelf?

A) Yes, and the keyboard shortcut will automatically uncollapse the Shelf (if collapsed), bring it forward and open the associated tab. You can associate a keyboard shortcut to a tab by right clicking on the tab name and selecting 'Tab Properties'. You can also do this from the Contents tab of the Shelf Properties dialog.


Q) How do I prevent the clock module from announcing the time every hour?

A) Right click on the clock module and select 'Disable Time Announcement'.

Q) How do I get the Weather module to report weather conditions in my city?

A) The Weather module, by default, displays the weather conditions in New York City, United States, but is able to report weather conditions for over 39,000 cities all over the world. Right click on the Weather module and select 'Weather Module Settings'. In the dialog that pops up, select your country and then the city or location closest to you.

Q) How can I make the Email Checker module work with Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo?

A) You can find most of the settings you need in this page here. Don't forget to enable SSL encryption, which is required by all these email providers. Yahoo mail also requires a paid account.

Q) The Email Checker is displaying the wrong number of messages?

A) The Email Checker is not a full blown email client. The Email Checker simply asks the server how many messages are pending retrieval, and, if there are any, that's what it reports. It also keeps a counter of the number of messages in the server so it will only notify you again when more mail arrives. The notification, however, will tell you the total number of messages still in the server, not the number of messages that arrived between the new and previous notifications.

This counter is reset when the number of messages in the server is less than the value in the counter (which means mail has been retrieved in the mean time) or when you tell the Checker to launch the email client.

The Email Checker has no way of knowing which messages have already been read but left on the server.


Q) How do I make context menus open on mouseover instead of having to click on them?

A) Open the General tab of Nexus Ultimate Preferences and click on the 'More Options' button. In the dialog that pops up, select 'Open sub-menus on mouseover'. You can also specify the delay used before automatically opening a sub-menu.

Q) How do I make shortcuts to folders open in a menu instead of a window?

A) There are two ways to accomplish this: you can either left click the folder shortcut in a dock or Shelf and hold (i.e.; not let go of the left mouse button) for half a second, which will pop up a menu displaying the folder contents, or you can change the default left click behavior for folder shortcuts by enabling the 'Always open folders as menus' setting in the Behavior tab of the Dock or Shelf Properties dialogs.


Q) Access Denied error when installing or updating the application.

A) This can be caused by a virus scanner blocking access to the Public Documents folder.

Specifically Bitdefender has an option for protected folders. If Public Documents is in this list, the application will not be able to create files in the Winstep data folder. You'll need to remove Public Documents from the safe files list and possibly unblock the Winstep application.

Bitdefender Safe Files can be found in the Protection Features window.

Q) Under XP some applications don't display properly or create screen artifacts.

A) Nexus Ultimate uses a feature provided by Windows XP to display thumbnails of the actual windows, like Vista and Windows 7 do. However, some applications may not behave properly with this function, resulting in screen artifacts or in the application not displaying properly. With the problem application running, right-click on the application's thumbnail in the dock and, in the context menu that pops up, select 'Add to Snapshot Exclusion List'. Alternatively you can disable windows thumbnails altogether in the Tasks tab of Nexus Ultimate Preferences.

Q) WinDVD 7 and Roxyo Player 2.0 do not display video when Nexus Ultimate is running.

A) This is a problem with the players themselves, not with Nexus Ultimate. You will have the same problem if you run any application that uses layered windows to obtain per pixel alpha transparency. Windows Media Player, PowerDVD and Ulead Player (and certainly most others) do not have this problem, for instance. To fix the problem in WinDVD and Roxyo, you must disable the video overlay mode in Advanced Options and restart the player.

Q) Nexus Ultimate crashes when I open the Control Panel tab in the Shelf.

A) This means one of your Control Panel applets is corrupt.

One thing you can do to work around this and figure out which Control Panel applet is causing the problem, is create an new tab in the Shelf and then drag items from the Windows Control Panel in Classic View, one by one, into this new tab. Once you figure out who the culprit is (and it always is a 3rd party Control Panel applet, never a native Windows applet), you can delete the relevant CPL file from the Windows System32 folder (or drag every shortcut from the Windows Control Panel into the tab except for the corrupt one and then use this new tab to access Control Panel items in Nexus Ultimate).

Q) My PC does not power off or hangs when I select 'Shutdown Windows' from Nexus Ultimate.

A) Open the General tab in Preferences, click on the 'More Options' button, and enable 'Force Power Off'. If that still doesn't work, you might also try enabling 'Force Shutdown'.

Q) Maximized windows open only half screen.

A) Make sure your Windows DPI settings are set to 100%. If they are not, Windows will 'lie' to applications about the current screen size, which interferes with Nexus Ultimate's ability to reserve screen space.

Q) Icons display the default (blank page) image.

A) This is a bug with Stardock's IconPackager. Open the Windows Registry Editor, go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shellex and see if the subkey 'IconHandler' exists. If it does, delete it then reboot.

Q) Nexus Ultimate pops up a red warning box and execution terminates.

A) This is probably caused by your security software interfering with Nexus Ultimate self-integrity check routines, but it could also be caused by a virus in your system changing the executable in some way. Perform a full system scan just in case. If you are running Comodo, removing Nexus Ultimate from the sandbox should cure the problem.

Q) Nexus Ultimate displays the 'Initializing' splash screen and then freezes.

A) This is probably caused by your security software (HP protect tools security suite is known to cause this). Try temporarily disabling your security software to see if this cures the problem. If it does, it's probably time to change to a proper security suite.


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