How-to: Windows 7 Menus Entries – Old-school

All the fancy pinning of shortcuts to menubars and taskbars in Windows 7 is fine while it works. Sometimes, the permissions issue brings you to a complete stop. Sometimes you want to create new menu entries in sub-menus.

Sometimes you just want to have a clean-up and rationalise what applications launch from where…

In Windows 7 you  must either pin an individual shortcut to the start menu (rather than a folder of related shortcuts), or access the lengthy “all programs” list. If you try pinning a folder of related shortcuts to the start menu it can only be accessed as a folder, not a menu.  Is there any way to restore the old functionality of the Start Menu?

You still can, if you go the old-fashioned route:

1) Right-click the Start menu, select Properties…

2) This drops you into a Windows Explorer view onto a deep folder-view of Windows, Start Menu.We’re in old territory here, no surprises – unless you’ve only ever been ‘pinning’ to menus in Windows 7.

All the menu groups in your Start Menu exist as folders and shortcuts. That’s all they are. File and folder permissions may be the only special properties, so if you need to amend them at a global, ‘all users’ level, you will need an account with Administration permissions. You should be able to do what you like to shortcuts under your specific username.

3) Click through to the Programs folder, or find your way to the right level folder. At the folder level you want,  right-click again anywhere on the folder and select New; from the sub-menu select Folder or Shortcut.

Let’s assume we only need a single application short-cut.

4) The dialog for Create is a straightforward browse dialog. You need to know where the program file lives (search for it separately if necessary). Select the application executable file.


5) Specify the menu entry name as you want it to appear.

The quick way to do this is through Windows Explorer opening the location: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\ (using your profile name in place of the %-% string; this location is specific to the single user. If you want to make  globals changes across all users you should go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs )

You can create folders for sub-menus, then simply drag and drop shortcuts onto the Start Menu. AJS

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