A simple start menu for Vista

Monday, January 7, 2008 by Fuzzy Logic | Discussion: Tutorials

Many people find the new style Vista start menu awkward and clumsy to use, much preferring the old style fly-out menu. Well, you can add a fly-out start menu to your taskbar in a few simple steps!

Firstly you need to unhide system files. This is necessary so you can see the start menu folder. Go to Windows Explorer and select Tools > Folder Options > View and uncheck 'Hide protected system operating files (recommended)' > OK. This can be reversed after we have our new start menu.

Now right click the taskbar and select Toolbars > New Toolbar, as shown below:

From here, browse to the start menu folder and click 'select folder':-

The folder you need is under your user name. You may also need to copy any shortcuts from 'All Users' which don't appear in the start menu under your user name.

When this is done, you should see 'Programs' on your taskbar. When opened it should look something like this:

This is a direct link so you can move and arrange items the same as any normal start menu.

It's so neat and simple I also have another toolbar which is linked to a folder containing all my shortcuts. I find these two toolbars are all I need to access anything on my pc.

Reply #1 Tuesday, January 8, 2008 5:00 PM
Using toolbars on taskbar in XP and now in Vista, i agree a lot that's really useful
Reply #2 Sunday, March 2, 2008 12:26 PM
This looks like it would be VERY, VERY useful!!! I keep getting access "denied when" when I try to access the Start Menu folder. I am an administrator (this is my home computer). I have activate the Administrator account on my computer and thought maybe I could use that but it doesn't show me the Start Menu folder for my user account. I turned off UAC as well. Same result. I can't get to the New Toolbar process by activation of the "Run as administrator" check line (at least I can't see how). Dunno what to do.....HELP! TIA
Reply #3 Sunday, March 2, 2008 1:03 PM
I keep getting access "denied when" when I try to access the Start Menu folder.

the correct path is c:\program data\microsoft\windows\start menu.
That did it for me.
I.R. Brainiac
Reply #4 Sunday, March 2, 2008 3:52 PM
While not as eyepleasing as opening a cool start menu in XP,it would certainly piss me off less than the scrolling programs list in Vista.  

I use similar toolbars in XP...at a rez of 1920 the taskbar has gobs of room.

Still wouldnt have though of using them for this in Vista...nice call Fuzzy.  
Reply #5 Sunday, March 2, 2008 9:07 PM
Phoon, thanks for the shot but I don't have a "Program Data" subdirectory and the "Add New Toolbar" says "Path does not exist". Was I clear? I am using Vista Home Premium. I'm not cracking wise. I want to make sure my OS is clearly stated. I am feeling very stupid this weekend, I can't even figure out how to get Right Click to start. I can't find it anywhere now that I have downloaded it from SD Central.
Fuzzy Logic
Reply #6 Monday, March 3, 2008 3:34 AM
You might need to change the permissions on the folder. Vista has a habit of including a group called 'everyone' with permission set as 'denied'.

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