| By Woody Leonhard |
The first two installments of this series showed how to pin just about anything to the Start menu. They also showed how to work with (and against!) the Frequently Used Programs list and the All Programs menu.
In this final installment, you’ll learn how to change the right side of the Start menu — plus I’ll toss in a few extra, surprising tidbits.
Wrapping up Start menu customization
As previously noted, the left side of the Start menu concentrates on programs: pinned programs, frequently used programs, and All Programs. You can pin locations — files, folders, and drives — to this side of the Start menu, too, but the emphasis here is on programs.
The right side of the Start menu concentrates on locations and system utilities. Although there are subtle differences in how the left half of the Start menu works in Windows XP and in Vista/Windows 7 (shown in Figure 1), the right side looks and behaves almost identically in all three OSes. So though the examples in this article are based on Win7, most of the steps work in XP as well.
One other distinction between the two halves of the Start menu: the left side is easily customized; the right side is locked down — unless you know how to pick the lock. Here’s how.
Figure 1. The Windows 7 Start menu, showing the three major sections.
More limitations on what you can change
Windows has specific restrictions on what appears on the right side of the Start menu. You can’t change the order of the entries, but you can control whether they appear at all. In some cases, you can specify whether the entry should have a fly-out menu. Here’s how to modify your Start menu via the Customize Start Menu dialog box: