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XBStart 2.1.9 stable - navigate Windows 8.1 with an Xbox controller


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Hello, I would like to share with you version 2.1.9 of XBStart

It's a simple app which provides one functionality to Windows 8 about which Microsoft apparently forgot in a hurry.

It allows to use your Xbox 360 controller to open the Windows 8 start screen using the guide button, navigate and launch games, and apps.
It also adds some of the Xbox One's sound effects.
By holding the guide button you can power off the wireless controller.
By holding the back and start buttons for 2 seconds you can add an app which you want to control with XBStart
Up to 4 controllers are supported.

Just download xbstart_setup.exe from my website and run the installer.


In case my website is down here is the direct Dropbox link to XBStart version 2.1.9




07 Mar 2015 - Version 2.1.9 stable released

  • fixed disabling guide button in Steam BigPicture

24 Dec 2014 - Version 2.1.8 stable released

  • fixed crashes caused by some unicode characters.
  • Internet Explorer (desktop and modern) can now be separately activated.

27 Oct 2014 - Version 2.1 beta 6 released

  • improved loading time when Windows is set to boot to Start Screen
  • added active apps manager in settings
  • added assignable global buttons (back button + any other button, customizable in settings)
  • added mouse mode (back button + left thumb, customizable in settings)
  • mouse pointer speed adjustable in settings
  • added Alt + Tab functionality in mouse mode
  • fixed windows showing incorrectly on high DPI settings.
  • many bug fixes

08 Jul 2014 - Version 2.0 beta 2 released

  • bugfixes

16 Jun 2014 - Version 2.0 beta 1 released

  • added navigation of other apps
  • added on screen keyboard
  • added mouse pointer control
  • added volume control
  • added tab, close and menu buttons
  • added option in settings to auto power off the controller on system shutdown
  • added option in settings to disable XBStart sounds
  • added option in settings to deactivate XBStart when Steam Big Picture is running
  • added button in settings to pin Big Picture to Start Screen
  • added installer
  • bugfixes

9 Feb 2014 - Version 1.1 released

  • fixed interference with DirectX runtime installers
  • reduced CPU usage by 90%
  • reduced memory consumption
  • added option to select number of active controllers (1-4), by default controller nr 1 is active
  • added autoupdate

9 Jan 2014 - Version 1.0 released

  • Initial version released




Q) XBStart gives an error during installation "Certificate Failed"

A) Check your internet connection.


Q) How to activate XBStart in a specific modern app?

A) Launch an app, press and hold Back+Start for 2 sec, when notification appears confirm with button "A"

Q) XBStart sometimes crashes 5sec. after startup.
A) Update to the latest version

Q) XBStart crashes or gives access denied errors.
A) Your account needs to be in the administrators group, you may also try to set run as administrator in the XBStart settings. Don't set run as administrator in the xbstart.exe properties or the autorun will fail!

Q) XBStart crashes with an error HRESULT: [0x80040154]
A) One of the DirectX libraries is not properly installed. Try to install a full DirectX Runtime using the link below:

Edited by oomek
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  • 5 weeks later...

Just out of curiosity, try any other current browser you happen to have, or can find to use, even a portable version if you don't want to install another one, 32bit or 64bit shouldn't matter. Any of the Chrome variants, (Chrome, SRWare Iron, COMODO Dragon), Opera, Firefox or Pale Moon, SlimBrowser, even QtWeb, installed and portable, all should work fine.

Cheers and Regards

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stonyi1966, whether the problem is your IP or whatever, the problem is definitely on your end. You might try using a different DNS, I use OpenDNS, check your HOSTS file, your AV, your router settings, whatever else you can think of. Something on your end is blocking things. Is this the ONLY thing that is giving you this problem? It seems unlikely that anything, including your IP, would only effect this one site. Very strange.

EDIT: Link deleted

Good luck in fixing your issue.

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt
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