Jump to content

Usable Start Menu on Seven


Recommended Posts

Hello the experts!


I use Windows' start menu with the keyboard to open within a decent time folders, applications... like many people here I guess, adding my own tree of shortcuts.


This works naturally on W95 to W2k, and on Xp with the option "classical start menu".


Trying Seven shortly, I didn't find such an option. Is there any possiblity to make the start menu usable? Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi! I'm not an expert, totally new to Win7 myself and just as baffled as you over the Start Menu. Then I stumbled across Classic Shell.


Wow! Does it make a difference - way to go. Give it a try, I doubt you'll regret it.

Edited by Radish
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure Classic Shell is a great program and the best choice for most people.

I followed this guide (or a repost of it somewhere) to make the Start menu appear as a cascading tree, without using any 3rd party software.


The process involves relocation and renaming of the MSIE shell folder Favorites, filling it with links to programs and adding that to the Start menu. I've forgotten the exact steps. It seems that Microsoft has a function for creating a cascading menu, but has chosen to disable it for Programs. No doubt to guide users into using their computers the right way™.

And Microsoft eventually succeeded, same as they have made most people like the Flat UI by now. Related thread with a bit of drama, when people disagreed about which Start menu was the best.

Disadvantages of this method are that the contents of All Users and current User menus don't combine into one list (we must copy over common shortcuts manually), and programs chosen from this menu do not get added to the recently used list in the big box. I also ran into an issue where the modified Favorites folder became "associated with Internet" (I think this occurred when I did something in Internet Explorer, which I normally don't use), and I started seeing a warning every time I started a program from the menu. I recreated the folder from scratch to solve this problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

+1 for Classic Shell, set to Classic mode.


An advantage Classic Shell brings to the party is that it works in Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.  Learn it once, and you're done.  And it's still actually a better implementation than any of Microsoft's own, IMO.


Shown here on Win 10 as an example...





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all!


So there are at least two solutions. Nice, since without the start menu I'd just eliminate Seven.


For what it's worth, a lot of us thought that when they eliminated the cascading menus.


I take it Win 8.1 is not a contender for you right now.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yet another way, we can create this shortcut:

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

Then right-click on this shortcut, and then left-click on 'Pin to Start Menu'.


Now the programs tree is just 2 left-clicks away, one on the orb and another on the pinned shortcut.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The default menu in Windows 7 is basically a treeview control, at least the "All Programs" part of it is a treeview control. The left pane of Regedit has a treeview control. You would navigate the Regedit treeview control like you would navigate the Windows 7 Startmenu. Many other programs, such as Explorer uses treeview controls.


Here is step by step instruction set for navigating the Windows 7 Startmenu to start Calculator. Number of key strokes may vary depending on your menu items. The order of key strokes is from top to bottom.

Keys        Destination----        -----------{Windows}   Search edit control{Up}        All Programs node{Left}      Opened All Programs node{Down 2}    Accessories node{Left}      Opened Accessories node{Down}      Calculator shortcut node{Return}    Opened Calculator shortcut nodeNote----{Down}, {Up}, {Left} and {Right} are the arrow keys on your keyboard.{Down 2} = {Down} + {Down}
These keys are consistent with using a treeview control created by the Win32 API (Application Programming Interface) and maybe some other APIs. The classic menu uses similar keys to navigate IIRC on Windows 95 and later version of Windows.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not intending to minimize the information from the others in any way, but just wanted to mention that Classic Shell brings several other improvements to the party that may be interesting to someone transitioning from XP to Win 7...


It does several very nice things for Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer...


For example, it can be used to make Windows Explorer display more information, as well as work around some shortcomings with the navigation pane.  By more information, I mean you can have it space the items together vertically more closely, as well as replace the standard Status Bar.  It also works around some long-standing screen update issues with Explorer.  One of my favorite things is that it will turn the content of the Address Bar in Explorer back into a real path, instead of the Bread Crumbs Microsoft introduced without option.  Classic Shell even adds an optional toolbar, if you like that (I don't use that particular feature personally).


With Internet Explorer it can be employed to force a display of the web page title in the title bar and also provide more information in the Status Bar such as zone and a progress bar.


I think the best part of it is that ALL of its features are configurable options.  Exactly what Microsoft is taking away.


By the way, another good tool for reconfiguring parts of Explorer, which is nicely complementary to Classic Shell, is called "Folder Options X".  That one can be used to improve the spacing in the the Files pane.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I tried Classic Shell, and it is indeed what I need. The start menu gets usable again. It also puts some Explorer behaviours back on their feets. Very nice, thank you!


Apparently, Seven has a Start Menu folder for each user - it just conceals this folder, at least with the default settings. Supposedly, this folder can be tuned to one's needs. After a short trial, I could modify the "Programs" in the start menu, but not the root - I use to add other trees with "Explore", "Web", "Tools" and so on, at the same level as "Programs".


I just wonder why Microsoft makes Windows ever less direct from one version to the next one beginning with Xp, with folder names that are not the actual ones, access paths that don't match the folder path, file protections that differ from Ntfs capabilities, and so on and so forth. Personally, I don't feel it any easier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<In My Opinion>


They're executing to a grand plan where they take over complete control of your computer to maximize their profits.


Those of us on the bleeding edge went through the realizations you're seeing now back in 2009 when Win 7 released, then we watched in horror as things got steadily worse in 2012 with Windows 8.  Now, with Windows 10, people are in disbelief that we're seeing no less than the end of the golden age of computing.




"There is nothing wrong with your computer..."


</In My Opinion>



Link to comment
Share on other sites



Though I'm by no means a geek I do agree with what you are saying regarding Microsoft and new releases of Windows. They are more and more trying to lock the system down so that users can't do what they want with it. But that's only part of the story I think. More and more MS are scanning my every move on a computer and, I have no doubt, reporting back to MS. More and more they are scanning what files I have on my computer. Supposedly in the name of 'security' and 'ease of use' - it's all about so called 'customer experience'.


More and more they seem to be leaning towards going for 'approved software' with MS the arbiter in what is and isn't acceptable on a Windows system. I'm not in any way happy with MS scanning my system at all.


Internet Explorer I stopped using when it hit version 7. More and more that b***h of a browser was monitoring more and more of what people are doing online and doubtless reporting back home.


It's all a pattern, MS is as much interested in your data as it is in being an operating system.


However, I don't agree that we've past the Golden Age of computers. It does feel like that just now but I think MS is making a big mistake in the trajectory they are on. I will come crashing down around them in the long-run.


Personally, I'd be off to Linux in a heartbeat were it not for the fact that I can't get full-featured peripheral drivers to use on it. If the Linux community ever got their act together and started putting real pressure on peripherals manufacturers to provide full-featured drivers for Linux then I think that would have potential to really lay into MS's domination.


Likewise, I have some high regard for the ReactOS project. If ever that really got off the ground then I think MS's days would be numbered. Bit by bit MS are losing the trust of the computing community and over time I think that will be their death knell.


Strikes me that the Linux and Reactos communities have many brilliant people beavering away in them - but it seems only to be really focused on the techincal aspects of the projects. If they ever managed to attract people that were equally brilliant at marketing then I'm sure they could turn things around very quickly. Interesting times ahead I think. There may well be a new Golden Age of computing on the horizon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know whether MS is so much interested in peeping in customers' computers, or if all governments tell MS to do so - or if MS has just made choices that are wrong for me. As long as computer manufacturers continue to install Windows on every machine, MS will sell Windows, and users installing anything else will remain marginal.


You know, most users want a desktop with ten icons to click on, and that's all. Smartthings tell that customers accept application stores fully controlled by the OS editor.


The move will rather come from Russian or Chinese editors developing now their own operating system, very much (and officially said) to get rid of the Western peep into computers there. Everyone understands that local governments will peep instead of Western ones, but personally, I prefer the Chinese to spy me than my own government.


I have several stone-old applications important to me (combustion computation, molecule conformation...) meant for Windows (or Dos!) which supposedly would be difficult to run on Linux, but

- One has been refused by 64b Seven

- I installed an Ubuntu and Seven recently and felt more comfortable on Linux despite using only Windows for two decades.

That should be an alarm for MS. Ding-ding-ding!

Edited by pointertovoid
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...