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Program LauncherLaunchy is a popular example of an Open Source free Program Launcher.
Windows Links (right pane)
Search Box (lower left)
Power and Lock Buttons (lower right)
Start Menu Customizations
Start Menu customizations can be reached by right-clicking on the Start button, selecting Properties, then the "Start Menu" tab. The Privacy options are on this tab and other customization options are available by clicking the "Customize" button.
Add or Remove Windows Links
ToDo: add images
Windows Links in the right pane can be added or removed in the Customize Start Menu window. Some items only have a checkbox, so they can either be present or absent. Other items have three choices:
- Display as a link
- Display as a menu
- Don't display this item
When "Display as a link" is chosen, the link will open the item in a new window and close the start menu. When "Display as a menu" is chosen, the item will open a sub-menu off of the start menu when clicked.
The following items can be present or absent based on a checkbox setting:
- Connect To
- Default Programs
- Help and Support
The following items have three display choices, link, menu, or not displayed:
- Personal Folder
- Control Panel
Prevent Applications Being Listed In Recent Programs
Todo: add screenshots and clean up
It is possible to prevent individual applications from showing in the XP Recent Programs list or the Vista MFU list on the start menu. This requires a modification to the system registry. An example of how to prevent Internet Explorer from showing is given here:
- Always backup the system registry before making changes to it. Use a stand-alone utility such as ERUNT, create a restore point, or export the registry from regedit.
- Optionally, clear out the Recent Programs / MFU list, then run some apps, including IE, to make it show up in the list again.
- Use regedit.exe to find the key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\iexplore.exe and create an empty string named NoStartPage there (see below). Exit regedit.
- For the change to take effect, it is necessary to log out and back in or restart the system. Note that IE will still be on the list until all users log out.
- After logging back in, IE will be gone from the Recent Programs / MFU list. IE can be run from this point on and it will not show in the list.
To prevent other applications from showing in the Recent Programs / MFU List, add the NoStartPage key to their registry entries at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\<appname>. To allow an application to again be displayed on the list, delete the NoStartPage key in the registry.
- Microsoft Windows Help: Start Menu (Overview)
- Enable "Pin to Start Menu" for Folders in Windows Vista / XP
- Clear Recent Documents in the XP Start Menu
- Enable Run Command on Windows Vista Start Menu