Start Menu Tweak

Logan Albright

Nothing kills me more than seeing someone’s desktop cluttered up with icons and such. I mean, seriously… why bother with a nice background if you’re going to do that?

My desktop is nearly empty barring the recycle bin. Some people see my desktop and say “Where is everything?” This cracks me up. Some people think their desktop is the only place you can have a shortcut!

Whenever I install a new program and it asks “Create a desktop shortcut?”, I immediately uncheck the box. Then I browse to the shortcut under “Programs” and right click it, and select “Pin To Start Menu”.

I have every program In use regularly, or that I need quick access to in my start menu. I mean seriously, how hard is it to click on “Start” to access your program(s)?

Here is a good look at my desktop:

Peter's Desktop

This image was provided to me by my good friend Jeremy Hall and I have to tell you, it’s even better looking at full size (it’s panoramic). He took this photo on his way to work one morning.

Jeremy is a photographer who lives in Utah and is currently on the road with the Osmond family (international trip). Jeremy has a great Flickr account full of interesting shots he’s taken and you can download the background I have for your desktop free right here.

Setting Up Your Start Menu

The first thing you need to do is get rid of the option that adds the most recent programs you’ve used to your Start Menu.. This is annoying. I can’t imagine having a different list of programs in my Start Menu at any given time. I am a person of habit and efficiency.

I hate hunting around for programs when I need them. I want to click “Start” and have my list right there, and have the order the same all the time. You wouldn’t believe how much this little tweak has saved me in time.

OK enough small talk, let’s dig right in. The first step is to right click the taskbar near your Start button. Next, click on “Properties”.Start Menu Tweak

In the pop up Window, make sure you have selected the “Start Menu” tab and then click on the “Customize” button on the right hand side near the middle.

Start Menu Tweak

Notice you have a choice of “Small Icons” or “Large Icons”. Personally I like the small icons because I have a lot of programs and I want them to all show up without having to scroll. Again, this is a personal choice. Play around with it and see which one you like the best.

Here is the important part. You’ll see a place where it says “Number of programs on Start menu:” Make sure this is set to “0”. A lot of people think this will not allow you to place any items in your Start menu. That is not the case. This only prevents recently used programs from being placed there. Also, make sure you click “Clear List” to empty the list.

Next click “OK” and you’re all set to add the programs you want on your start menu. Simply browse through your “All Programs” list and right click on each program you want added and select “Pin To Start Menu”. That’s it! It’s really quite simple.

Let’s all work to keeping our desktop free of clutter!

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