Show the Classic “All Programs” Menu in the Start Menu in Windows 7

There are a lot of new users to Windows 7 who are not happy with the new Start Menu and wish they could revert to the Classic menu. Here is how to at least get back the Classic “All Programs” Menu.

Remember the Classic Start Menu in XP where you could show the All Programs Menu? Let’s take a look at getting that back in Windows 7.

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Note: This trick uses a Registry hack so you’ll want to make sure you back up the Registry before making any changes.

Get All Programs Menu Back

First click on the Start Menu and type regedit into the Search box and hit Enter.

regedit_Start

Now we need to navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders. Double-click on Favorites on the right side…

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Now change the Value data to the following and click OK:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

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Next scroll down a bit further to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders. Double-click on the Favorites entry.

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Again we need to edit the Value data to:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

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After making the changes close out of the Registry Editor and right-click on the Start Menu and select Properties.

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In the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties Window click on the Start Menu tab then click on the Customize button.

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Scroll down and click the box next to Favorites menu, click OK, and reboot your system.

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When you come back from the Restart you will see Programs on the right side of the Start Menu and have a list of All Programs similar to that of XP.

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While it’s not quite the same as the good old XP days, if you’re looking to get the All Programs Menu back, this Registry hack will do the trick without installing 3rd party software.

If you’re not comfortable making changes to the Registry, check out some 3rd party solutions which we have covered…

Editor’s Note: The registry hack at the heart of this idea was originally figured out by our friend Vishal over at his Tweaking with Vishal site. Thanks to him for the original find.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 07/13/10
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