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    The Windows Start menu super guide — Part II




    WOODY'S WINDOWS

    The Windows Start menu super guide — Part II


    By Woody Leonhard

    In my Feb. 23 Windows Secrets Top Story, I took you through the intricacies of pinning apps, folders, and files into Windows 7's start menu.

    In Part II, I show you how to change the Start Menu's frequently used–programs list and also modify the essential All Programs menu.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/woodys-windows/the-windows-start-menu-super-guide-part-II/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Thanks, Woody, for the information on the Start Menu; you've pointed out the reason for my problems. Now can you suggest a solution?

    My laptop has two hard drives. C: is frozen by the IT department so I can't install anything on it, and D: is thawed so I can install programs. Is there any way to have the programs installed on D: appear in the All programs list? You note that the programs in All Programs come from two folders on C:. Is there any way to say to include folders on D:?

    Rick

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    rgee:
    I have software installed on my D: drive. I right-click on the executable and "pin to start menu."
    They don't wind up in All Programs, but they show right above All Programs in my Start Menu.

    Maybe this will help you . . .
    Dick

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    No discussion of the FUP list is complete without a mention that you can disable it. Right click a vacant area in the start menu and select Properties. Under the Start menu tab, click Customize. Set the Number of recent programs to display to zero. Now you have more room to pin 10 more items that you really want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rgee View Post
    Thanks, Woody, for the information on the Start Menu; you've pointed out the reason for my problems. Now can you suggest a solution?

    My laptop has two hard drives. C: is frozen by the IT department so I can't install anything on it, and D: is thawed so I can install programs. Is there any way to have the programs installed on D: appear in the All programs list? You note that the programs in All Programs come from two folders on C:. Is there any way to say to include folders on D:?

    Rick
    1. Right click on All Programs and select Open
    2. Windows Explorer will open at something like C:\Users\<rick>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
    3. You should see a folder called Programs, double click on it
    4. You should see various program folders that your IT guys have set up for you - leave them alone
    5. Now create a new folder with File->New->Folder, name it something like "Ricks Programs"
    6. Now double click on that folder.
    7. Open another Windows Explorer window and go the the folder where you keep the programs you've installed there
    8. Now create shortcuts to your programs on D in the Ricks Programs folder you just created
    9. To create a shortcut, select a file with right mouse down, drag the program to the Ricks Programs folder, release the right mouse button, select Create shortcuts here

    Now when you go to Start Menu->All Programs you should see your Ricks Programs folder, inside which will be your programs.

    Hope that helps

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to northwood2222 For This Useful Post:

    Lugh (2012-03-08),Woody (2012-03-05)

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    Is there some way to get rid of the "Shut Down" button on the Search Results box. I've often clicked it inadvertently, my brain wants it to be a Cancel, Save or Show More button. Doing a search and then wanting to IMMEDIATELY do a shut down seems to be an unusual requirement to me - especially as there's no "are you sure".

    nw

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    Thanks Northwood
    I take this much further. To sensibly organize the All Programs list, I follow your instructions, but rather than "Ricks", I create folders for Design, Games, Internet, Utilities, Office, the computers brand, and so forth as required. I then drag and drop all the misc program folders into those new folders per their type. Its all just shortcuts so it doesn't matter where they are, as long as it makes sense so they can be found later.

    I pin those programs I use all the time to the Task bar and the ones I use regularly to the Start menu. Woody didn't mention the pinned programs can be dragged to the sequence of your choice in both places. Then all the other stuff I use occasionally are easily found in All Programs as above. No having to remember obscure names or dig through the maze I see in so many Start menus, sorted meaninglessly by date of install. No hassles with a long scrolling list either.

    Of course, such a folder structure is only needed if you use lots of software of different categories. You can also go into the 2 folder locations Woody mentions. That may be a faster way to do an initial cleanup.
    Last edited by DavidFB; 2012-03-01 at 22:41.

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    re: shutdown button - Interesting question Northwood. It's there in all versions of the Start menu so I doubt you can turn it off. But you can change it's default action by R-clicking the Start orb and selecting Properties. There's a pick list to change the default. Sleep would be quick to wake from. You'd then have to use the callout for an actual shutdown.

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    On a slightly different aspect - my "all programs" contains the list of folders and files in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs (I have emptied C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Window s\Start Menu\Programs). OK - but I would like them listed strictly alphabetical, regardless of whether they are folders or files. Any way of forcing that?

    Also the height of the start menu window when it opens is only about half my screen height. Is there any way of forcing it to use all the available height?

    PS I followed Woody's "Uncheck the box marked Store and display a list of recently opened programs in the Start menu. Click Apply. That clears the list." - and in my case it did not clear the list - I had to delete each item manually - which was not too bad.
    Last edited by petermat; 2012-03-01 at 23:52.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rgee View Post
    Thanks, Woody, for the information on the Start Menu; you've pointed out the reason for my problems. Now can you suggest a solution?

    My laptop has two hard drives. C: is frozen by the IT department so I can't install anything on it, and D: is thawed so I can install programs. Is there any way to have the programs installed on D: appear in the All programs list? You note that the programs in All Programs come from two folders on C:. Is there any way to say to include folders on D:?

    Rick
    Rick -

    Does Northwood's approach work? In other words, does IT let you get into the folder?
    Woody

    For Dummies book author, Senior Contributing Editor for InfoWorld, and long-suffering Windows victim. Check out the latest at AskWoody.com.

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    "Oddly, FUP is more likely to list apps you launch through All Programs or via a desktop icon, but less likely to list apps you’ve pinned to the taskbar."

    That seems perfectly logical to me; if a program is already pinned to the taskbar you really don't need it being automatically added to the start menu.

    Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    "Oddly, FUP is more likely to list apps you launch through All Programs or via a desktop icon, but less likely to list apps you’ve pinned to the taskbar."

    That seems perfectly logical to me; if a program is already pinned to the taskbar you really don't need it being automatically added to the start menu.

    Bruce
    I'd prefer the FUP list do what the advertising says it does - list programs based on their frequency of use. Windows should increment the usage counter irrespective of how a program is started - start menu, task bar, search, file association, from another program, double click the .exe or a shortcut, voice command, angry gesture, cat walks on keyboard etc.

    Or change the name to the WASABI (WhAtever Seattle wAnts to Be In there) list

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    PawSense prevents FCUPs.

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