Use the Explorer Window to Edit the Start Menu

Another way to reorganize the All Programs menu and any of its submenus is to use a Windows Explorer window. When employing this method, you simply perform Explorer file management as you have countless times before when using previous Windows versions. Like the Start Menu itself, the files you manipulate with in Windows Explorer discussed in this section are just shortcut files. The actual program executables (.exe files) are stored elsewhere, so you can't inadvertently damage programs this way.

You display the Start Menu folder in a Windows Explorer window by right-clicking the Start Menu and choosing Open or Explore from the context menu, which brings up the Explorer window shown in Figure 5-15.

Figure 5-15. The Start Menu contents in Windows Explorer.

It is vitally important to know the difference between two similarly named context menu options. You will have two choices about what to edit:

  • On the upper section of the context menu are the Open or Explore options.

  • The choices in the bottom section are the Explore or Open All Users options.

When you select the first section, you're making changes to the Start Menu, and these changes will be specific to the account of the user who's currently logged on. When you select Explore All Users, though, any changes you make to the folder that is opened will affectthat's rightall users of the computer. Be sure you know which you are working with before beginning to move, delete, or rename the shortcuts.

The Start Menu and its contents are more than just regular folders. For example, you can move the Programs folder out of its original location, and you will still see the All Programs menu on the Start Menu. I'm mentioning this for informational and entertainment purposes only, and I'm not in any way recommending that you actually change the location of the Programs folder. It can cause problems that aren't very amusing to fix. (Well, not unless you're the sort who really goes for that kind of computing self-torture. I mean, you can delete Registry keys, too, and whittle away the hours recovering from that I suppose, but that isn't something I recommend, either.)

Spring Into Windows XP Service Pack 2
Spring Into Windows XP Service Pack 2
ISBN: 013167983X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 275
Authors: Brian Culp © 2008-2017.
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