Windows Vista Tutorial

Configure common items behavior in the Windows Vista Start Menu

Common items optionally displayed on the Start Menu in Windows VistaThis tutorial will explain how you can customize the behavior of common Start Menu items in Windows Vista. For example: should you display the Control Panel on the Start Menu? Should it be a clickable link (button), or should it expand as a sub-menu to show all the options and settings available in the Control Panel? Windows Vista lets you customize that type of behavior for the following Start Menu items: Computer, Control Panel, Documents, Games, Music, Personal folder, Pictures, and System Administrative Tools. Windows Vista can display these items as a button or a sub-menu on the Start Menu, or simply not display them at all.


Customizing the Start Menu

Customize the Start Menu in Windows VistaTo access the Start Menu settings and options in Windows Vista, right-click on the Start button and choose Properties.

The "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties" window will open. Select the second tab ("Start Menu"), and click the "Customize…" button.

Configuring common items behavior

Windows Vista's Start Menu displays by default a series of common folders, all of which have an entry in the Start Menu options: all these special folders have the same three behavior options we will cover after explaining the nature of each of these special folders, or places.

Configuring the common folders' behavior in the Start Menu

Display options for Windows Vista's Start Menu Windows Vista gives you the same three behavior options for all the folders/places we just mentioned: "Display as link", "Display as menu", or "Don't display this item". Display as a link makes the item open the folder with a single click; Display as menu expands the item to a sub-menu.

Displaying Start Menu items as links or as menus
The above screenshot shows Windows Vista's Control Panel displayed in the Start Menu as a menu (left, with partial expanded menu), and as a simple clickable link (or "button" - on the right).

Administrative tools display options in the Start Menu System administrative tools are the slight exception: you can either not display them at all (default), show them under the All Programs menu, or show them both on the Start Menu and under the All Programs Menu.

Applying the options you configured for the Start Menu

Don't forget to click Ok to validate all the options and settings you have customized for the Start Menu, and you are done! Windows Vista will apply any configuration changes made to the Start Menu immediately (no restart or logging-off required).

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