Start Menu


The central location for your application shortcuts and many Windows features.

To Open

Desktop Start

Press the Windows logo key, if you’ve got one


The Start menu was one of Microsoft’s answers to the growing size and complexity of the Windows operating system when it was introduced in Windows 95. Since then, other features have been introduced to compensate for the Start menu’s inadequacies, such as the QuickLaunch toolbar and the new Windows XP-style Start menu. (See the discussion of “Style” at the beginning of this chapter).

Here is a quick rundown of the items you’ll find in the Start menu. Note that some of these items may be hidden as a result of settings described in Chapter 5. (Also see Figure 3-29.)

Start menu items can be rearranged by dragging and dropping

Figure 3-29. Start menu items can be rearranged by dragging and dropping

Programs (or All Programs)

While the Desktop is commonly used to hold icons for the most frequently used programs, the Programs menu (or All Programs menu, with the new Windows XP style Start menu) is designed to hold icons for every program installed on your computer. See Shortcuts, earlier in this chapter, for details.

Programs (or All Programs) Startup

To have a program run automatically when Windows starts, place a shortcut to the program in this special folder. If you have more than one user set up on your computer, you’ll want to control whether the program starts up automatically ...

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