The Windows XP start menu
The Windows XP start menu is one of the most important menus in
Windows. But is seems to have a mind of its own.
Don't you agree that YOU should decide what goes on this menu ? The Most Frequently Used (MFU) list
Did you notice that it has a "most frequently used" list ? This
list keeps track of how often programs are used. It is the portion of
the start menu between "All Programs" and the horizontal line under the
The population of your MFU list may seem strange at times. Maybe
you see programs that you haven't used in ages. Maybe you don't see
programs that you'd expect to see. And even if the content seems
logical, the list "lives", so you can never count on a program to be
To make the content of the start menu more reliable, it may be a
good idea to decrease the size of the MFU list a bit and make more room
for the "pinned" list.
The programs, documents, web sites, ... that you put on the pinned
list are there to stay. Once you put them there, you can count on them
to be there. Your default web browser and e-mail program are on the
pinned list by default, but you can remove them if you want. How to put a program on the pinned list ?
Click on the start button and navigate to the program that you
want on the pinned list
Right-click this program and select "Pin to Start menu"
Voila. A document that you use often on the pinned list ?
Open Windows Explorer, navigate to that document, right-click and
drag that document to the Start button and release the right mouse
button when your mouse pointer is on the Start button. An often visited web site on the pinned list ?
- Fire up your web browser and make sure that it's not maximized
so that you can also see some of your desktop
- Go to the web page that you want to pin to the start menu
- click and hold the pictogram next to the url in the address
bar and drag the icon to your desktop
The icon that you need to drag to your
Windows puts a shortcut on your desktop. Click this shortcut and
drag it to your start button. The shortcut is now on your pinned list
and you can safely remove it from your desktop to tidy up. More room for the pinned list
If you put too many icons on your Windows XP Start menu pinned
list, Windows may start to worry about the start menu real estate and
bug you with messages. By decreasing the number of items on the "most
frequently used" list, you make more room available for the pinned list.
- Right-click the start button
- Select properties
- Click the tab "Start Menu"
- Click the button "Customize"
- In the "Programs" section, decrease the "Number of programs
on Start menu"
- You might also want to select the radio button "Small icons"
in this dialog to have more space on the Start menu
- Click ok
- Click ok once more