Windows 7 Start Menu Registry Settings

Do you use Microsoft Windows operating system in your PC? Then you must be using the Start Menu quite often. Did you know that you can customize the way your Start Menu displays links to documents and applications simply by modifying a few Registry settings? The process is quite simple, as long as you don’t mind tinkering with the Windows Registry a bit.

Note that for customizing each of these settings, you will have to access the proper keys using Regedit. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Click on Start button to open the Start Menu.
  2. Click on Run.
  3. In the box named “Open”, type “regedit” (without the quotes). Hit Enter.
  4. Once the Regedit window opens, you will see a tree named “My Computer”, with 5 branches listed under it, namely, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, HKEY_CURRENT_USER, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, HKEY_USERS, and HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG. For customizing Start Menu, you only need to work with the key named HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
  5. Click on the “+” sign beside the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER to expand it.
  6. Keep expanding the following keys: Software, Microsoft, CurrentVersion, Policies, and Explorer.
  7. Right click on the key named Explorer.
  8. In the pop up menu that appears, click on New, and then on DWORD Value. (You will have to change the name and Value Data of these DWORD Values in order to customize the Start Menu.)

In the window that pops up, you can enter a range of values, depending on the setting you wish to modify. For instance

  1. Hide the “Find” option on Start Menu: Enter the name of the DWORD Value as “NoFind”. Double click it and enter the value of the Value Data as 1.
  2. Hide the option “My Recent Documents”: Just like the first entry; simply change the name of the DWORD Value to “NoRecentDocsMenu”, and change the value to 1.
  3. Hide the option “Run”: Change the name of the DWORD Value to “NoRun”, and set the value to 1.
  4. Hide the option “Taskbar Settings”: Change the name to “NoSetTaskbar”, and change the value to 1.
  5. Hide the option “Log Off”: Change the name of DWORD Value to “NoLogOff”, and the value to 1.
  6. Hide the Start Menu Subfolders: Change the name of the DWORD Value to “NoStartMenuSubFolders”, and the value to 1.
  7. Hide the button named “All Programs”: Change the name of the DWORD Value to “NoStartMenuMorePrograms”, and change the value to 1.

In each of these cases, you can later undo the settings by opening up Regedit, navigating to the respective keys, and changing the values to 0. Alternatively, if you’re interested to read more about the benefits of registry cleaner software, you can visit this website too.

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Posted in Windows Registry

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