Show all programs in Start Menu?, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

In a previous newsletter, Infopackets Reader Robert G. asked:

" I have Windows XP and use the Classic Start Menu. Is there a way to show all programs, without having to click that double arrow at the bottom of the Start Menu?"

My Response:

In short, I wasn't sure how to do this. I mentioned in the previous newsletter that I tried a few options but nothing seemed to work. Shortly after the last newsletter was mailed out, a few Gazette Readers informed me of a combination of clicks which would rid the Start Menu of the double-arrows. As it turns out, disabling the "Use Personalized Menus" option along with "Scroll Programs" did the trick.

I decided to play with Windows XP to see what a combination of the two options would do. Here's what I found:

  • Scroll Programs: Enabled, Use Personalized Menus: Enabled = shows the most recently used programs in the Program Files folder.
  • Scroll Programs: Disabled, Use Personalized Menus: Enabled = same as above (as far as I can tell).
  • Scroll Programs: Enabled, Use Personalized Menus: Disabled = shows the contents of the Start Menu with single scroll arrows at the top and bottom of the Start Menu if your programs exceed the size of your desktop.
  • Scroll Programs: Disabled, Use Personalized Menus: Disabled = shows a multi-column Start Menu fully expanded.

I also received some other neat suggestions from readers:

Eddie W. says that "in WinME, you can go to Start button -> Settings -> Taskbar & Start Menu, and find the option to disable the collapsible menu."

Dan T. told me of a unique way which helped him cope with the problem:

" I use W98Se, but the same approach may well work in later Win versions. I tackled this problem in two ways:

First, I activated the 'Show small icons in start menu' option. This increases the number of entries that can be displayed in that one column. When I outgrew that solution, I split my start menu in half. In the Win98 C:\Windows\Start Menu, I created a new folder which I chose to name Tools.

Then, I left my most frequently used entries in the Start Menu folder and moved the slightly less frequently used ones to the Tools subfolder. With Tools now appearing in my start menu, I positioned it immediately above the Programs entry.

Now I have a fully visible start menu and, if I click either Tools or Programs, I have a second column immediately to its right. "

Aqua Man mentioned how he modified the Windows Registry to make his Windows 98 have a double-column Start Menu:

" With Win95 (and, I think, in WinME), the Start Menu had two columns if you had a lot of programs listed. On Win98, you have to place the mouse on a little arrow on the bottom of the column and wait for it to scroll down to get to the program you want. I found a way to get Win98 to create the adjacent columns. Here's how:

  1. Click Start -> Run, and type in "Regedit" [enter] (no quotes).
  2. Go to to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ software \ MICROSOFT \ windows \ currentversion \ explorer \ advanced From the edit menu, choose new, then string value Type in StartMenuScrollPrograms
  3. Double click the new value and type FALSE as data.
  4. Exit Regedit and reboot machine.

This fix works with Internet Explorer 5 and 6, but I have not tried it with earlier versions. "

Dawn D. gave directions on how to fix the double-arrow problem with MS Office: open one of the applications, like MS Word, click on View, Toolbars, Customize click on the Options tab un-check 'Menus show recently used commands first'

Thanks for the suggestions!

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