Organize cluttered Start Menu?, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

Last week, Infopackets Reader Diane M. asked how to organize items in her cluttered Start Menu. In my response, I suggested that Diane right-click over top of the "Program Files" and use the Windows Explorer to "Explore All Users" of the Start Menu to sort her icons.

Shortly after emailing my response, Diane wrote in again:

" Dennis: thanks for your response. I went to Start -> Program Files, right-clicked, and chose to Explore ... but I did not see the 'Explore All Users' option. I am using Windows XP; would that make any difference? All I want to do is take one of the folders listed in the Start Menu and move it to other folder. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated! "

My response:

The instructions I provided in my previous response were based on Windows XP (and 2000) -- although, technically, you could apply the same rule set to Windows 9x (but, as you've stated, the "Explore All Users" may not be available).

Nonetheless, just to clarify --

Windows XP separates programs that are listed in the Start Menu according to the user who installed them.

So, for example: you may install a program like MSN Messenger v7.0 under your user name and it will appear in the Start Menu, but if you log off and someone else logs in on the same machine, they may not see MSN Messenger v7.0 listed in their Start Menu.

Some programs, however, are shared across all users (MS Office, for example) -- which is why you would have the option to "Explore All Users" when you right-click the Program Files folder.

If you aren't seeing "Explore All users" then that means your user account for Windows XP does not have Administrator access... which also means that you won't have access to modify *all* programs listed in the Start menu.

The solution: if possible, login to the computer with a user account which you know has Administrator access, and go to Control Panel -> Users and give your user account admin access. Once you have admin access, log back in under your user name and try the Explore All Users option using the instructions I supplied in last week's newsletter.

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