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Editors' Review

The Winstep Nexus Dock is a free alternative to the standard Windows desktop, and it can add character to your user experience.


Tons of customization: Winstep Nexus Dock give you a lot of options and a fine degree of control over how the dock looks, moves, and sounds. You could have the dock running on a hundred different PCs, with no two docks feeling exactly alike.

It can completely replace the taskbar: If you're transitioning from Mac OS X or another dock-oriented OS, or if you just want to try something different, the Nexus Dock can be configured to accommodate all the actions of the Windows taskbar, including access to the Start menu and the system tray.

Helpful fallback options: If you end up not liking your customized dock and you don't know how to get back, you can reset the whole thing or individual sections. You can also back up your settings and move them to another device that has the dock installed.


Not clear what user problem it's solving: The Windows taskbar may not be exciting, but it doesn't get many complaints, either. The Nexus Dock is an interesting alternative that can help you personalize your desktop, but it doesn't feel like an essential piece of the user experience.

System tray icons get stretched: System tray icons don't look very good when they are stretched out to Nexus Dock size. Also, it would be nice to be able to set your own icons.

Minimal options for the screenshot tool: The screenshot tool is featured as a default item on the taskbar, but you can't set a quality level or file type, and we'd prefer PNG to JPG. You can only tell the tool which folder to save the image in. For screenshots, we'd recommend Lightshot or Greenshot instead.

Bottom Line

If you think that the Windows user interface is dull and you want to try something different, the Nexus Dock is worth a look. It may also be useful for Mac users who are transitioning to Windows or who must use Windows at work.

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Full Specifications

What's new in version 18.12

  • Grid Stacks (Nexus Ultimate)
  • Folder Grid Stacks (Nexus Ultimate).
  • Open Folders as Grid Stacks (Nexus Ultimate)
  • Detachable Grid Stacks (Nexus Ultimate).
  • Search Filter (Nexus Ultimate).
  • Shelf Transparency (Nexus Ultimate).
  • Proper Tab Alignment in Shelves (Nexus Ultimate).
  • Icon Grid automatic color correction (Nexus Ultimate).
  • Further improved hybrid Win32/UWP app handling.
  • Automatic multi monitor profiles.
  • New dock icon label settings dialog.
  • Faster Network Discovery (Nexus Ultimate).
  • Copying sub-docks (Nexus Ultimate).
  • New 'Downloads' tab type for Shelves, Drawers and Grid Stacks (Nexus Ultimate).
  • Old 'RAS Connections' tab type for Shelves, Drawers and Grid Stacks replaced with 'Connections' tab type (Nexus Ultimate).
  • Folder tab types can now be sorted in Ascending or Descending order (Nexus Ultimate).
  • Auto-hiding Shelves and Drawers can now also be activated with a screen edge swipe instead of a screen edge bump (Nexus Ultimate).
  • Faster thumbnail extraction of document, image and video files.
  • Many other performance and stability improvements.


Publisher Winstep Software Technologies
Publisher web site
Release Date December 17, 2018
Date Added December 18, 2018
Version 18.12


Category Desktop Enhancements
Subcategory Desktop Customization

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/Server 2008/7/8/10
Additional Requirements None

Download Information

File Size 37.52MB
File Name


Total Downloads 2,729,627
Downloads Last Week 225


License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free
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