Get Windows XP Style Classic “All Programs” List in Start Menu of Windows Vista and Windows 7

IMPORTANT: This method will also replace "Favorites" list in Internet Explorer with "All Programs" list.

Many people complain about Windows Vista and 7 start menu. They want Windows XP styled "All Programs" list. Windows Vista and 7 show the All Programs list within Start Menu on the other hand XP shows it in a new expanded column outside the Start Menu.

Recently we received an email from "James Phillips":

Dear Vishal, I am contacting you as a last resort (I have already stated my problem in various forums and blogs with no success whatsoever).

My problem is with Vista's start menu, specifically the way it displays the All Programs list. Instead of showing the list within the start menu itself, i would like it to expand out into a new column, just like in XP.

I know this function is available using the classic menu, but i actually like all of the other features in the normal menu (search etc...) so I would prefer not to use classic.

thanks for any suggestions you may have.

Actually there is a way to enable XP styled All Programs list in Vista, 7 and Server 2008.

Long time back, we posted a tutorial to customize Windows XP start menu:

Change Look-n-Feel of Windows XP Start Menu

We'll use the Step 5 mentioned in above tutorial to implement XP styled Programs list in Vista and 7. We'll replace "Favorites" menu with "All Programs" menu.

1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to following keys one by one:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

2. Now you'll need to change the value of Favorites string value in right-side pane to:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Change C: to your system drive, where windows is installed in your system.

3. That's it. Log off or restart your system and now "Favorites" link in start menu will change to "Programs" and will show all program shortcuts installed in your system just like XP start menu does.

NOTE: If you can't see the new menu in Start Menu, you'll need to enable "Favorites Menu" from Taskbar Properties -> Start Menu -> Customize.

4. You can also disable the All Programs button in start menu. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

In right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoStartMenuMorePrograms and set its value to 1

Now log off or restart your system and the final output will look as following:

XP_Styled_Programs_List_in_Vista.png

As you can see, the new Programs menu shows the program shortcuts very similar to XP and "All Programs" button is no longer there.

PS: If you want a ready-made registry script to do the task automatically, then download following ZIP file, extract it and run the extracted REG file. It'll ask for confirmation, accept it. Restart your system to take affects:

Download Registry Script

NOTE: If you want to restore the default settings, Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to following keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

In right-side pane, change value of "Favorites" to:

%USERPROFILE%\Favorites





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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows Vista


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