Windows Vista Tutorial

Customize the Start Menu search settings in Windows Vista

Searching from the Start Menu in Windows Vista This tutorial shows you how Windows Vista lets you configure the search options for the Start Menu's Search text box. We will explain these possible search exclusion and index behavior available to the Start Menu search.

Customize the Start Menu in Windows Vista Right-click on the Start button and choose Properties to customize the Start Menu's options in Windows Vista.

When the "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties" window opens, select the second tab ("Start Menu") and click the "Customize…" button.


Start Menu search options in Windows Vista

The Customize Start Menu window will open, and its top portion displays a scrollable list of settings and options. Scroll to the bottom of this list to see the search options available to the Start Menu:

Search options for the Start Menu in Windows Vista

The "Search communications" option, enabled by default, determines whether Windows Vista should search inside emails when you type a query from the Start Menu.

The "Search favorites and history", also enabled by default, instructs Vista to include your Internet Explorer favorites and the content of your web browsing history as part of the results returned by Start Menu searches. (Unlike some web browsers' history search, for example, this does not mean that a search is performed on the cached content of recently visited pages.)

The three options available under "Search files" determines how Start Menu searches will handle local files: "Don't search for files" disables searching for local files altogether; "Search entire index" allows Windows Vista to include all the files indexed by Windows Search in the results; the default setting of "Search this user's files" limits the Start Menu searches to one's own profile files (the files you store in your Documents folder, for example).

"Search programs" is also checked by default, and allows the Start Menu searches to pull up matches from program names. Remember from our Pin or unpin programs tutorial how an alternate web browser's partial name was returned as search result by the Start Menu.

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