[Manual Method] Get “Classic Start Menu” Back in Windows 7 Without Using 3rd Party Software

We all know that Microsoft has removed good old Classic Start menu from Windows 7. There are lots of free utilities mentioned here which can bring it back.

We have also posted a tutorial in past which can be used to get a similar XP styled start menu in Windows Vista and 7:

Get Windows XP Styled Classic All Programs List in Windows Vista and 7

Today we are going to share another interesting method to bring back Classic start menu in Windows 7 and the best part is that it doesn't require any 3rd party utility.

This manual method takes advantage of our Get Quick Launch toolbar back in Windows 7 tutorial.

So without wasting any time, here we start our tutorial:

1. Right-click on Taskbar and select "Toolbars -> New toolbar...".


2. It'll open Browse dialog box. Now paste following string in the "Folder:" text box:

%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Press Enter and click on "Select folder" button.

3. It'll immediately add Programs toolbar to Taskbar.


4. It'll add it near the system tray. Right-click on Taskbar and uncheck "Lock the taskbar" option.


5. You'll see a placeholder to drag the toolbar. Click and hold the drag-handle and drop it just after the Start ORB (Start button).

6. It'll move the Programs toolbar near start ORB (Start button) but you'll notice that the children folders under "Programs" toolbar will become visible and will start taking lots of space of Taskbar. No need to worry! Double-click on drag-handle of Taskbar button toolbar (where you see currently running applications icons). It'll automatically move the Taskbar button toolbar and you'll see only "Programs" text in the newly added toolbar which you wanted actually.


7. As you can see in above screenshot, it looks very close to Classic start menu and we are not using any 3rd party software in this method.

Thanks to our reader "Juan C Walls" for this trick...

UPDATE: The path which we set in Step2 contains program shortcuts which were installed for all users in your system. It doesn't include program shortcuts which were installed only for your current user account. If you want to show all program shortcuts, then create a new library of any name such as Start and add following 2 folders in the library:

%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

And then set the Start library as path in Step 2.

Thanks to our reader "Leon Straathof" for this tip...

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Posted in: Windows 7

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