How to Change or Customize Start Menu Look-n-Feel in Windows XP?
This tutorial will assist you in customizing Windows XP Start Menu appearance. After following this tutorial, you'll get the Start Menu look like following screenshot:
Following are the required steps to change Start Menu UI in Windows XP:
STEP 1: You can change the text of various Start Menu entries like Control Panel, Connect To, Help & Support, Run, Search, etc. To change them, you'll need to edit %windir%\Explorer.exe file in Resource Hacker and then edit String Table section. Following are a few locations, where you can find such interesting strings:
String Table -> 439 -> 1033
String Table -> 440 -> 1033
String Table -> 515 -> 1033
STEP 2: Other strings like My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, My Computer, etc. can be changed in String Table section of %windir%\System32\Shell32.dll file. Just search for them in the file. Most of them will be present in:
String Table -> 577 -> 1033
String Table -> 794 -> 1033
String Table -> 1900 -> 1033
String Table -> 1906 -> 1033
STEP 3: Sometimes you'll not be able to see the changes in Start Menu. It happens because Windows registry maintains a cache for these entries. So you'll have to clear this cache to make the changes visible. Just type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:
In right-side pane, delete all existing values except Default & LangID.
STEP 4: If you want to add your own entry, like an application shortcut or a folder, you can follow this tutorial:
STEP 5: This one is our favorite. You can use this trick to remove "All Programs" menu from Start Menu and then change "Favorites" entry to point to the "Programs" folder. In this way, you can access all program using Favorites menu.
Simply follow these steps:
A. First disable "All Programs" menu from Start Menu. Open regedit and go to:
In right-side pane, create a DWORD value NoStartMenuMorePrograms and set its value to 1
B. Now change "Favorites" path to "Programs" folder. In regedit, go to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\Shell Folders
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\User Shell Folders
and change value of Favorites to:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs
NOTE: Change C: to your system drive letter where Windows is installed in your system.
WARNING: Above trick will replace "Favorites" menu with All Programs list in Internet Explorer as well. If you use Favorites in IE, you should not apply the above trick. Also note down the default values of above mentioned 2 registry keys before changing them, so that you can restore them if you don't like the change.
C. You can also change the text of "Favorites" to "Programs" or "All Programs" by editing %windir%\Explorer.exe file in Resource Hacker. Just go to:
String Table -> 515 -> 1033
and in right-side pane, change string in 8235 line with your desired one.
D. You can also drag-n-drop important program shortcuts into left-side pane of Start Menu for easier access. Don't forget to disable "Internet" & "E-mail" shortcuts and "Recent Items" list from "Start Menu & Taskbar Properties".
STEP 6: To change the color & style of Start Menu, you can use "VistaVG Ultimate" theme. You can get it here:
NOTE 1: If you are facing problems while saving a file after editing in resource hacker, then make sure you have disabled WFP (Windows File Protection) service using WFP Patcher or use Replacer to replace the file.
NOTE 2: If you get "Cannot create file" error message while saving the file, please check following tutorial:
Posted in: Windows XP
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