Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Organization

For most people, the Start Menu has a mind of its own. Items are put there when you install them and you're stuck with what the program decides (usually in the order they've been installed, which can be confusing).

The simplest way to rearrange the items on the start menu is to drag and drop them. Find an item and click and hold the mouse button. You can then drag it along the menu. A horizontal line will indicate where it will be placed when you let go of the mouse button. If you have a folder, hold the cursor over the folder without letting go and the folder will open. You can then drag the item into the folder.

But what if you want to create a new folder?

Well, first it helps to know how the Start Menu gets its items. They are all shortcuts, placed in a particular location on your computer. When you click on "All programs," Windows lists all these shortcuts and folders. So by going onto your hard drive and changing these folders, you change the Start Menu.

Warning: Be careful, especially if you delete an item. They're not hard to get back, but it is a pain.
  • Click on "Start."
  • Click on "My Computer."
  • Click on your C: drive
  • If there's a warning, click OK to continue.
  • Find the folder "Documents and settings" and click on that.
  • Find your username. Click on that.
  • Look for a folder named "Start Menu." Click on that.
  • Finally, click on "Programs."

This is your Start Menu. And if you right click and select "New" and "Folder," you can create a new folder that shows up on the start menu. Once the folder is created, you can drag the shortcuts to it, either here or by dragging on the Start Menu.

A few folders here can make the menu that much easier to navigate.