Change Start Menu

Dear Computer Lady,

In previous versions of Windows I was able to organize my Start menu programs and shortcuts into folders that I created. However, in XP, when I open Windows Explorer/Start I do not see all the programs. Therefore, it seems impossible to organize. Do you know how I can change the folder settings to allow me to see everything that is in my Start menu? I would love to organize the programs by categories. 

Thanks, Shannon


Dear Shannon,

In Windows XP, there is a way to view all items in your start menu.

1. Right click on a blank spot on your taskbar and click on “Properties” in the menu that appears.

2. In the “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties” window, click on the “Start Menu” tab, and click on the first “Customize” button.

3. In the “Customize Start Menu” window, click on the “Advanced” tab and look at the middle section labeled “Start menu items:”

4. Scroll through the list of start menu items until you find the item that says, “Scroll Programs”. Remove the check mark from this item and click “OK” in both windows to close them.


Now your start menu will be listed in several columns instead of one scrolling column.

If you want to view all the items in your start menu in Windows Vista, just follow these directions:


1. Right click on a blank spot on your taskbar, and click on “Properties” in the context menu that appears.

2. In the “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties” window, click on the “Start Menu” tab and then click to select, “Classic Start Menu”.

3. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the dialog box to save your changes and close the window.


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    • snapshooter
    • May 21, 2009

    Dear Computer Lady.
    In today’s issue 21 May, Shannon asked about organizing folders into workable groups in her self created Folders. I think I know what she wants.

    1 – Drag or Create Icons for every program you want to organize
    to Desktop
    2 – Create and Name Folders for the specific icon/program
    3 – Drag the appropriate Icons into their newly created folders.
    4 – Now, Drag the Folders individually into the Quick Launch
    Bar, directly in front of the 3 chevrons(>>>).
    5 – They will create a vertical column of the Newly Created
    folders (HIDDEN), directly above the (>>>)Quick Launch
    6 – Clicking on the chevrons will present the column of
    folders in alphbetical order, and mousing over a folder
    produces the shortcut icons/titles for everything in that

    It’s very efficient and can accommodate unlimited programs, eliminating the need to go to the Start button and
    accessible with just a click of the Quick Launch chevrons.

    Hopefully you can find time to give her this option.
    All the best.

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