note: Just click on the small images to view the
full size version.
The Start Menu has been redesigned for Windows
XP. We presume this is for usability. So far we have liked
note: We make extensive use of shortcut menus to
edit the Start Menu. If you are unfamiliar with
shortcut menus read:
What Is A Shortcut Menu?.
Divide and Conquer
If you are upgrading (Microsoft's definition) to
Windows XP then some parts of the new Start Menu
will be familiar. The All Programs menu was the
Programs menu on older versions of Windows. My Recent Documents was Documents. Control Panel, Connect
to..., and Printers and Faxes was part of the Settings
To better understand the Start Menu we divided
it up into three sections. Programs, Data,
and the All Programs menu. We chose this division
because you need to go to different property sheets to
make changes to each section.
Since you can't change anything about Log Off or
Turn Off Computer it will not be discussed
To edit the Start Menu properties right-click the Start Button and select Properties.
Since we are working with the Windows XP Start Menu
the bullet next to Start
will be selected. If it isn't then do so. Now click
the Customize button for the Start Menu.
In general, no pun intended, the The Windows XP Start
Properties works with items on the left side
of the Start Menu [Programs
Section] and the Advanced
Properties works with items on the right side
Section] of the Start Menu.
The Program section is divided into two zones. The
upper zone list all programs Pinned to the Start Menu. The
lower zone is a list of most frequently used programs.
Programs pinned to the Start Menu stay there until you
unpin them. You can add a program to the pin list from the
Most Frequently Used Program List from it's shortcut
You probably already have Internet Explorer and
the Pinned list. Once a program is pinned to the Start Menu it can be removed at
any time. Removing a program from the pin list is done through it's shortcut
Internet Explorer and Outlook can be removed from the Pinned Programs List
through the shortcut menu. You
can also go to the Start Menu Properties - General tab
to do this.
Most Frequently Used Programs
you start an application or program it will be added to the Windows XP Start Menu
in the Most Frequently Used Programs List section.
If you prefer you can Pin that program to the Start Menu or remove
it from the Most Frequently Used Programs List.
Removing a program from the Start Menu's Most Frequently Used Programs List doesn't
delete the program from anywhere else.
To remove a program in the Most Frequently Used Programs List select the program
to get the shortcut menu. Now you can either remove (Remove from This List) the
program from the Most Frequently Used Programs List or Pin the program to the Start Menu.
Start Menu General Properties
From the Start Menu tab click Customize button for the Start
Menu. From the General tab you can select: Large or Small Icons -
Change the number of
Last Used Programs that will appear on the Start Menu - You can also clear the
Most Frequently Used Program
list - You can remove the browser and the e-mail program from the Start
Menu's pinned programs.
note: When you remove the browser or e-mail programs from the Start
Menu you are not uninstalling either program. This option only
removes them from their special location on the Start Menu.
The Windows XP Start Menu Advanced Properties allows users to decide
how items on the right side of the Start Menu behave. My ... Items
can be set as a link, as a menu, or don't display. Others, such as Help and
Support, can be on or off.
If a My ... item is set to a link then it will open that item in Windows
Currently My Recent Documents is the only item that is set to work as
a menu. note: Menu items will have the small right arrow on the right.
Try setting My Computer to a menu item.
The Advanced Properties is also the place to clear your Recent
documents list. Seems like a long journey just to clear a list.
To add a shortcut to the All Programs menu or Classic
Start menu right-click the Start button, and then click Open.
Locate the menu folder where you want to add an item. On the File menu,
point to New, and then click Shortcut. Follow the instructions in
the Create Shortcut Wizard.
You can also move/copy/delete any item as you would any
item in Windows Explorer. That's because you are using Windows Explorer.
Edit All User's All Programs
Windows XP Administrators can add a shortcut to
the All Programs menu for all users. Actually Administrators can do just
about anything they want to any users Start Menu. So be careful who you give Administrator
Right-click the Start button, and then click Open All
Users. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Shortcut. Follow the
instructions in the Create Shortcut Wizard.
The only difference between today's tip and yesterdays
is Open All vs Open. You must also be logged on to an account that has
I Want My Classic
There are three locations where you can change the look of Windows XP
to the Windows 9x Classic view. The first is the
general look and feel of the desktop.
The second is the Start Menu.
And the third is the Control Panel.