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Author Topic: How to Tidy-up Vista's "Un-tidy" Start Menu.  (Read 10244 times)

oldfogy

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How to Tidy-up Vista's "Un-tidy" Start Menu.
« on: March 27, 2008, 01:47:24 AM »

How to Tidy-up Vista's "Un-tidy" Start Menu.
Which unlike XP is not so easy, (unless you know how)

If you only have a few programs then there is probably not much to tidy-up,
but if like some people who have lots of different programs loaded and maybe a few similar type programmes, such as Games, Paint, Audio/Music etc.

Then instead of just having them all in alphabetical order and having to scroll down a long list looking for the one you want you can create your own folders to group the same or similar type programs into.

Now, Windows Vista has two "Start Menu" folders, one of which is the default All User folder, the other is a Current User folder, but when you install a programme it can actually end-up in either or both folders although you only see just one entry on the Start Menu.
First of all you need to locate these folders by following the path/s below.

To find the default folder go to:
C:\ > Programdata > Microsoft > Windows > Start Menu > Programs.

To find the other folder go to:
C:\ > Users > "YOUR NAME" > Appdata > Roaming > Microsoft > Windows > Start Menu > Programs.

If you can't locate the folders, then you will need to enable "Show Hidden Files and Folders"

Now because these folders are not very close to each other the best thing to do is to individually select the "Programs" folder from each,
then create a shortcut to the desktop and probably re-name them as  "Default Menu" & "Other Menu"
To start with keep these shortcuts just to the right off centre of your screen, (you will see why in a minute)**

Now open the "Default Menu" shortcut and narrow the open window to the left of the screen so it only show in a long narrow strip. **
Now open the "Other Menu" shortcut and narrow the open window to the right of the screen so it only show in a long narrow strip.

What you should have now is two almost identical looking  windows side-by-side showing both of the Start Menus'
For later convenience as most programs actually get loaded into the default menu, just make any new folders under that "Program" section and name them whatever you want.
Now you can "Drag and Drop" any of the other existing programs (shortcuts) from either of the "Programs folder" into there individual new folders in just the main default Program section.

First of all the usual caution, if you don't know what you are doing, you are best to leave it alone.
Although, these are only shortcuts so if you should lose any of them by dropping before you are ready your programmes will still work.

Finally:
Don't go at it like a Bull in a china shop, take your time, create a folder then check the start menu by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard
(no need to close the windows)

If all is well, then carry on with any others that you would like to move.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2008, 02:03:31 AM by oldfogy »
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soms

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Re: How to Tidy-up Vista's "Un-tidy" Start Menu.
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2008, 01:59:57 AM »

Some good advice OF  :)

M$ seemed to changed and moved a good many previously familiar things in Vista, the start menu folders being one of them.

XP also has two start menu folders on the same principle, one for all users and one for each user profile which also leads to confusion sometimes where different users are presented with a different selection of entries.

The common cause is software installers creating icons in the users specific start menu folder rather than the all users one, although sometimes this is by choice.

The same technique of sorting works well in XP also for sorting it all out, the only difference being the folder locations which I expect most people know are:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu and C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Start Menu
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oldfogy

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Re: How to Tidy-up Vista's "Un-tidy" Start Menu.
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2008, 02:14:58 AM »

1.  one for all users and one for each user profile which also leads to confusion sometimes where different users are presented with a different selection of entries.

2. The common cause is software installers creating icons in the users specific start menu folder rather than the all users one, although sometimes this is by choice.

3. The same technique of sorting works well in XP also for sorting it all out, the only difference being the folder locations which I expect most people know are:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu and
C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Start Menu
1. Actually I should have mentioned that this mainly is for a PC either where there is only one person using it, or else everyone sees the same programs.

2. Yes it's a pity they all don't give the option where to put it when being installed.

3. This can even be changed for the XP start menu by selecting properties "on a blank part of the task bar" then selecting (Start Menu > followed by "Classic Start menu, then select "Customize" followed by "Advanced")
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 02:25:39 AM by oldfogy »
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