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IF00139

Shrink The Programs Menu In Windows XP!

 

When you have so many programs installed that you can't even see the new program. What are you to do?

 

One solution is to choose a single-column scrolling menu. Right-click on the taskbar, click on Properties, and choose the Start menu tab. There are two buttons titled Customize; click on the one that's not disabled. If you see an Advanced tab in the resulting dialog, click on it. In the scrolling list of options, check the box titled Scroll Programs. Now your Programs menu will display as a single column, with arrows at the top and bottom to scroll through the options.

 

If your Programs menu is so big that it extends off-screen in multicolumn mode, however, you may find that it takes too long to scroll up and down in single-column mode. Either way, you can benefit by organizing the Programs menu.

 

Right-click on the Start button and choose Explore; this will display the Start Menu folder in Windows Explorer. Open the Programs folder (which directly corresponds to the Programs menu). Within this folder, each subfolder represents a submenu, and each shortcut represents a menu item. Find a group of folders or shortcuts that all fit the same category. Right-click on the right-hand pane, choose New | Folder from the menu, and name the folder for that category.

 

Now drag all of the matching folders and shortcuts into the new folder. Right-click on the Start button again, but this time choose Explore All Users from the menu. Open the Programs folder again and check for folders or shortcuts that should go into the submenu you just created. If you find any, create another subfolder with precisely the same name and drag those folders and shortcuts into it. This is necessary because Windows XP builds the visible Start menu from both your personal items and the All Users items.

 

By moving related items into a submenu, you've reduced the size of the main Programs menu. Repeat the process for more groups of related items until you've brought the Programs menu down to a reasonable size.

 

Note, however, that moving program file shortcuts can have an annoying side effect: When you uninstall a program, it won't remove file shortcuts that aren't in the usual locations. Keep this in mind when you uninstall a program, and double-check to make sure dead shortcuts are deleted.

 

Let me know if you need anything else.

 

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