Bring Order To Start Menu Mayhem

Dear Fred, Thanks for a great newsletter. I wonder if you can suggest an answer to this problem which I think many people must have. When I go to Start-Programs (I am running XP SP2) the programs are displayed but as I have quite a lot of programs many of them are out of sight to the right of the screen. I’m sure there must be a way to overcome this but I have been unable to find it. There does not seem to be a way to scroll through the programs to see the ones out of sight. I have searched the Help and looked on the Internet and on the Microsoft site but no success. Can you please tell us how to overcome this problem which I think must affect many people? Thanks and kind regards, —Mark Digby

We’ve covered this before, but it comes up often enough in reader mail that it bears a fresh take. Let’s start by referring you to two of the most recent LangaList items that directly address what you’re trying to do:
http://langa.com/newsletters/2006/2006-06-22.htm#7
http://langa.com/newsletters/2006/2006-03-30.htm#5

The root cause of this problem is the inconsistent way Microsoft and other companies design software install programs, and the near-universal result is that we all end up with Start menus that are disorganized and bloated. Rather than— or in addition to— configuring the menu to scroll through all this stuff, why not clean house?

A typical Start menu is a nightmare of inconsistent categorization and needless bloat. Looking at just the Start/Programs menu, some items are organized by software type— "Accessories," "Administrative Tools," "Games," etc. Most are listed by software company name, often with submenus organized around specific products. Some installation p

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Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.