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 "pinned" items.

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 there.

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 ?

Address bar

The icon that you need to drag to your desktop

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.

More tips on this :

Return from "Windows XP Start menu" to the other Windows XP tips and tricks.

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