What is the Difference Between the FixMeStick and the StartMeStick?

Since the release of StartMeStick last year, many of our FixMeStick customers have been asking ‘what is the difference between the FixMeStick and the StartMeStick, and do I need both?’

In this article, we will outline the functions of both the FixMeStick and the StartMeStick as well as the difference between the two. This article will help you determine which will best help your computer – you might even want both!

Image of the FixMeStick and StartMeStick USBs.

What is the FixMeStick?

The FixMeStick is the world’s leading virus removal device. With a FixMeStick, you can avoid having to replace a computer that is bogged down with viruses.

Unlike antivirus software, which works only while your system is running, the FixMeStick reboots your computer using a system on the stick, so it’s able to remove the viruses and malware that other antivirus and security programs can’t detect.

By using FixMeStick once a month, you keep your computer, files, and keep your privacy. The FixMeStick finds malware on more than 80% of the computers it scans, even though 99% of our customers run antivirus software as well!

The FixMeStick plugged into a computer.

What does the FixMeStick really do?

  • Scans your computer’s files using an embedded multi-scanner and connects to more in the cloud for up-to-the-second detection and removal of the latest threats.
  • Finds and removes infections that got past your antivirus software.
  • Starts before your system boots to remove infections that won’t come off while your system is running.
  • Does not replace or conflict with antivirus software.

Have more questions about FixMeStick? Check out our FAQ page for more answers!

What is the StartMeStick?

The StartMeStick is a fast, private, and secure operating system on a USB stick. As long as your computer is able to turn on, you can use the StartMeStick to give your computer a second life.

Plug it into a computer that is not functioning as expected, PC or Mac, and it turns it into a fast, secure, and private one for everything you do online e.g. social networks, search, email, video, music, games, business apps, Zoom, etc. Once you’re done, you can pull it out and use it on as many computers as you’d like.

The StartMeStick plugged in. This article explains the difference between the FixMestick and the StartMeStick.

The StartMeStick revives old computers with its fast, private, and secure operating system on a stick by temporarily replacing your computer’s original operating system. The data is never stored anywhere, it exists only in RAM, and RAM is reset each time the computer is rebooted, so it never slows down your computer with unnecessary clutter! It comes loaded with everything you might need to surf the web on a regular computer:

  1. An Internet browser
  2. A text editor
  3. A Solitaire card game

What does the StartMeStick really do?

  • StartMeStick boots your computer into a separate, fast, secure, and private operating system.
  • Gives new life to a computer that is not booting your original operating system, or is extremely slow.
  • Allows you to browse the web safely without storing any personal data.
  • Saves your computer from being slowed down by unnecessary clutter as it never stores any data on the StartMeStick.

StartMeTip: The StartMeStick does not scan your computer for viruses. If you are concerned about viruses on your computer, definitely check out the FixMeStick!

Have more questions about StartMeStick? Check out our FAQ page for more answers!

Do I Need a FixMeStick or a StartMeStick?

Still having a tough time deciding whether you need the FixMeStick or the StartMeStick? We don’t blame you! So we’ve put together a quiz to help you figure out which product is best for solving your computer issues. We’ve also included some scenarios to aid in your decision!

Are You in Need of a FixMeStick or a StartMeStick?

Both the FixMeStick and the StartMeStick are great devices for your computer, but how do you which one is the right product for you? Check out our quiz to see which of our products is the best option for you.

  • ‘I think my computer has viruses that are making my computer difficult to use’ – Use a FixMeStick to scan your computer and remove unwanted viruses! FixMeStick can save you from replacing that computer, and speed up your computer in the process.
  • ‘My FixMeStick scan said my computer is clean, but my computer is still not working properly and crashes all the time!’ Use a StartMeStick to revive an old computer not working properly! It will allow you to boot into the StartMeStick operating system where you can do everything you normally do online!
  • ‘I have antivirus software, but I still think there are viruses on my computer.’ – Use the FixMeStick to remove viruses that slip past your antivirus! FixMeStick removes viruses and malware that other antivirus and security programs can’t detect. It finds malware on more than 80% of the computers it scans, even though 99% of our customers run antivirus software as well!
  • ‘My old computer turns on, but is stuck on a blue screen and I can’t log in.’ – As long as your computer gets power, you can use StartMeStick to breathe new life into it. The StartMeStick allows you to boot into an operating system separate from your corrupted one. You can do everything you need to online, and save yourself from buying a new computer!

We hope this answered any of your FixMeStick and StartMeStick questions! If you still have questions, please contact our support team HERE or leave a comment below!


  1. Anonymous -

    I’m sorry to tell you that l am very disappointed not so much in the fixmestick but in your support. To explain, l purchased a new computer a year ago, had some problems with the hard drive which has been replaced by the store and is working great. l have tried many times with instructions from your support to get it to work on this computer with no results consequently am unable to use my fixmestick and according to our records l am paid up until l believe August of this year without being able to use of it. Because of this l have canceled the automatic renewal feature that was in place. You may respond if you wish. Thank you Teddy Cheryk.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Ted,

      Thank you for reaching out to us today!

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been running into issues getting your FixMeStick up and running. We pride ourselves on offering valuable support for our customers, so we’d like to make sure that you’re getting the most of your FixMeStick.

      I’ve gone ahead and sent you a follow-up email where we can look into troubleshooting steps!

      Let us know if there’s anything else we can do for you.


    Does the Fixmestick work on tablets as well as computers?

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Linda,

      Good question!

      Unfortunately the current version of the FixMeStick isn’t designed to support tablet use, however creating a version for tablets is definitely something we have on our to-do list.

      Currently the FixMeStick for PC works on Windows® XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (10S see Getting Started Guide: Start from BIOS), while
      the FixMeStick for Mac works on Intel-Based Macs from 2006 to 2017.

      Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions!

  3. Gregory Tomazic -

    Do you leave these plugged into your computer all the time?

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Gregory,

      Good question!

      Both devices require to be plugged in for use. For the FixMeStick, you only need to have it plugged it when you’re launching a scan, so it really only needs to be plugged in once in a while.
      As for the StartMeStick, to get the most use out of it we recommend using it more consistently. So in this case, you’d likely need the StartMeStick to be plugged in constantly.

      Let us know if you have any other questions!

  4. Anonymous -

    i have an older fix-me-stick i ordered from-hsn shopping network several years and when i used it it was always the same no problem noted and only runs about 15 minutes at the maximum, my computer went crazy when trying to upload the latest updates to my computer and had to take it to the shop and have everything erased and the technician told me not use the fix-me-stick anymore that this was my problem.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi there,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      I’m sorry to hear that you encountered issues while running your FixMeStick. However, while the FixMeStick is a great virus removal tool, it doesn’t make any changes to your computers original settings. If the computer ran into an error while going through an update, it’s typically a sign of hardware failure, a problem which typically comes with having an old computer.

      If you have any other questions, or would like some clarification regarding a certain issue, you can always email us at support@fixmestick.com where one of our support agents can help you!

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Sandy,

      Thanks for reaching out to us!

      When purchased through our online store, our products are typically linked to subscriptions. After the trial runs out, the orders will renew for a yearly subscription.

      However, if need be you can cancel at any point in time by contacting us at support@fixmestick.com with any question or concern you have!

  5. Robert -

    Confused with the new StartMeStick…. if I have a VPN now, can I discontinue it when I purchase a StartMeStick?

    Can I add a StartMeStick to an android TV box and will it work the same as a VPN and protect me from tracking?

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for reaching out to us!

      The StartMeStick is a bit different than your VPN. A VPN is used to protect your IP address while browsing online, while the StartMeStick revives old computers with its fast, private, and secure operating system on a stick. If anything, we recommend using both a VPN and your StartMeStick for maximum security online!

      Unfortunately the StartMeStick is only compatible with Mac and PC – it won’t be able to run on your Android TV Box.

      Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions! We’re always happy to help.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi there,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      Yes – the FixMeStick is compatible with both laptops and desktops, essentially all PCs using Windows® XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10!

  6. Murray Stephenson -

    I tried your start me stick but did not like it. Forget why. what does thefix-me-stick cost?Is this an annual fee? Is it easy to use? I seem to remember the start-me-stick was not easy to use.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Murray,

      Thank you for reaching out to us today!

      The pricing for the FixMeStick is as follows:
      $9.95 for the 30 day trial
      $59.99 for the 1 year subscription
      $89.99 for the 2 year subscription

      When purchased through our online store, the device is linked to a subscription based service! It’s relatively easy to use, simply plug the USB in, and follow the simple instructions included in the packet to launch the scan!

  7. Judy Myles -

    Sent an email in regards to not being able to use fix me stick because I have a password and it will not reboot.. didn’t make a difference the first time.
    Still no reply


    I read somewhere the StartMeStick (SMS) runs Linux so if I plug it into my old Window XP computers, I won’t be able to use the SW I have on my old Windows computers.

    Also don’t understand why antivirus is not included.
    This is recommended when online, so my computer could be infected.
    It no longer has current antivirus since I stopped logging on w/ an XP computer ages ago.
    Can one use both the FixMeStick (FMS) w/ the SMS?

    Using both sticks would be hard.
    I don’t have a desk & usually have my laptop on my lap!
    I’d probably have to get USB extension cords.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Toniob,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      Yes, both the StartMeStick (SMS)and the FixMeStick (FMS) used a Linux-based operating system. This does mean that while using the SMS, you won’t have access to your previous Windows based applications.

      However, in regards to your concerns about SMS’s antivirus, because SMS is run on Linux, it also means that the number in the wild threats are greatly reduced. With that being said, it’s very, very, improbable (nothing is impossible in computer security, actually nothing in any field of security is impossible) that while using your StartMeStick it becomes infected with a malicious program.

      Going further, the StartMeStick resets upon each session, effectively ridding itself of any potential malicious files. If you are ever concerned that your StartMeStick has somehow been compromised, you simply factory upgrade it from a known clean computer to get it back to its ‘fresh out of the box’ state.

      Hopefully I answered your questions fully! Feel free to let us know if you need anything else.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Sidney,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      The FixMeStick and StartMeStick are only compatible with PC and Mac systems, unfortunately we are not compatible with Kindle.

  9. Anonymous -

    I ordered a fix me stick and a start me stick. Eventually a start me stick arrived. Unfortunately the fix me stick never arrived. I spoke to customer service and was assured a replacement would be sent, however, instead of a fix me stick, eventually a second start me stick arrived. I just gave up.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Laurie,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      Oh no! I’m deeply sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with a situation like this.

      In this case, it would be best to contact support@fixmestick.com once more, and we look into the situation further and help resolve the issue for you.

  10. Maggie -

    Hi there – I have an older computer and got your fix me stick when it first was
    offered on the website.
    I am an old senior and keet the stick in all the time. Do not know now what good
    that did or does. Now you offer that new stuff and I wonder if my stick is outdated
    or whatever. Money is always an object and so I wonder if my fix me stick is now
    obsolete or what.
    Your input with that is greatly appreciated.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Maggie,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      Typically, you’ll need to follow a set of instructions to get the FixMeStick up and running! If you run into any difficulty, you can check out our instruction guide here.

      While we do have a new version of the FixMeStick, it contains the same software as our older FixMeSticks, so there’s no need to purchase a new one if your old one is still working!

      If you run into any questions, you can always reach out to us at support@fixmestick.com

  11. Anonymous -

    I bought my fix me stick a while back I never had any trouble with it but now I can’t get the computer to pick it up

    • Jonathan -

      Hi there,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been running into issues getting the FixMeStick up and running. In this case, the next best step would to try and restore the application.

      If you are using Google Chrome as your web browser, please follow these instructions to download the restore link:

      1. Right-click on the following link: https://app.fixmestick.com/rfms and choose “Save Link As”

      2. Save the link to your Downloads folder

      3. You might see a message that says “cannot be downloaded securely” If so, click on the arrow next to “discard” and select “keep”

      4. Open your downloads folder and open the file that says “fixmestick.exe”

      If you run into any other questions, please feel free to reach out to us at support@fixmestick.com!

  12. James Somerton -

    Bought startmestick on cdn shopping channel. Tried it on my computer I had trouble with. Came on like before, but still no display so I returned it.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi James,

      Thank you for reaching out us!

      I’m sorry that the StartMeStick didn’t end up working for you! While the StartMeStick is a great tool for reviving old and otherwise not working computers, the computer typically needs to be able reach either the Bios or the Boot Menu to properly launch the device.

      However, if you ever want to troubleshoot the issue further, you can always reach out to us again!

  13. John Feist -

    In answer to your question, which is better, I would have to answer: whichever one works; the fixmestick never has, and tech support hasn’t either.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi John,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with issues getting the FixMeStick up and running. I can see from previous emails that we’ve been in contact in the past, however it seems that are requests for contact were left unanswered.

      In this case, we’re still more than happy to continue troubleshooting with you! I recommend sending us an email at support@FixMeStick.com where we can look into the issue further.

  14. Gilbert M. Wright -

    I ordered the fix me stick and never received it. When I called customer service I was told it had been delivered. Apparently, the package was stolen, and all they kept saying it was delivered. I was very disappointed that I never received it and the support was awful in my opinion. The worst thing to me it was my very first time ordering anything online so I haven’t ordered anything online after this experience. Seems to me ordering online is apparently either a scam or just plainly a ripoff in my opinion.

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Gilbert,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      I’m so sorry to hear that you haven’t received your FixMeStick. I can see that you’ve been in contact with us early in the year regarding the order, and it seems that one of our representatives had sent a few emails concerning the situation! In this case, the next step is the simply confirm your shipping address so we can make sure we’re sending the replacement to the correct address.

      I’ve gone ahead and sent a followup email!

  15. Matt -

    If using Startmestick, can you still copy files on the old computer to a thumb drive and/or e-mail files that are on the computer?
    Love the Fixmestick!

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Matt,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      Yes, if you’re using the StartMeStick you can still potentially access old files and transfer them! Once you’re using the StartMeStick, you can access the “Files” application, and through there you can view and access the files on the computers drive.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

  16. Anonymous -

    Sorry the fix me stick did nothing to my computer ?? It stated to slow down, so I bought the stick. It showed nothing wrong with the computer? Month after month my computer got slower and slower and the stick showed nothing was wrong – Not one little thing – I would think that a 3 Year old computer would have at least one little thing ? – After about 6 months the mouse started to skip on the screen – Still nothing from the fix it stick – I brought it to a computer shop and was told that the PCU. Was showing 95% usage with hardly nothing on the computer at all – They told me it was time to get a new computer that it was not worth fixing – Just a note – They do not sell computers – They only fix them – Fit it stick was a big wast of money –
    Michael J. Soares of Soares’y Tenor Guitars – And yes you can post my email address as well – Please do so –

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with so many issues when using the FixMeStick. If there are viruses on your computer that are causing a slower performance speed, running a FixMeStick scan can definitely help speed up your computer’s activity.

      However, if your scan results show that your computer is clean of viruses, then the speed of your computer is more likely caused by an issue unrelated to viruses. Contributing factors could be how long ago the computer was purchased, the number of programs and files you have on your computer, and your computer’s memory.

      I’m sorry for the inconvenience that we caused, but if you run into any questions, please feel free to let us know.

  17. heather kotowski -

    having trouble can you please let me know your united kingdom, telephone number. i can not find the info contact card you sent me please could me have a copy of the one you sent me ihave purchased thank you heather

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Heather,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been running issues with your device. In this case, it would be best to contact us through email first, and we can try to troubleshoot through there. You can contact us through support@fixmestick.com

    • Jonathan -

      Hi George,

      Thanks for the feedback. It’s always good to hear why customers are no longer interested in continuing with our product and service.

      I’m sorry to hear that the FixMeStick wasn’t exactly what you were looking for. We try to make sure that all of our customers have a great experience with the product as well as with the support, and I can see in your situation that this wasn’t the case.

      If you ever change your mind in the future, you can reactivate your FixMeStick by plugging it into your computer and following the directions on screen.

      For now, thanks for giving the FixMeStick a try!

  18. Emeric -

    I am sorry it dose not work on this computer I try it it. Did not work I put in it did not work

    • Jonathan -

      Hi Emeric,

      Thank you for reaching out to us!

      I’m sorry to hear that the product didn’t work properly for you! If you’d like a hand in troubleshooting the issue, you can always reach out to us at support@fixmestick.com where we can help out!

    • Keegan Anfield -

      Hi Carmelo,

      You can check out the FixMeStick and StartMeStick on our website here: http://www.FixMeStick.com! Let us know if you have any other questions.

      The FixMeStick Team

Comments are closed.