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Windows XP - Change Start Menu Settings

Welcome to this Windows XP tutorial on how to change the start menu settings. You may want to change the start menu settings for preference.

Thinks To Note
  • Click the images to see a larger version
  • Yellow arrows or circles indicate where to look or click
  • Unless specified otherwise use the 'left' mouse button to click

Windows XP - Change Start Menu Settings

image of windows xp taskbar

From the windows xp desktop you will see a horizontal blue bar running along the bottom of the screen, this is the taskbar.

To change some of the taskbar properties, right click the blue taskbar and a small menu you appear as pictured. Click the 'Properties' option.

windows xp taskbar properties

The Taskbar properties window will load up and present you with some settings.

At the very top of the window you will see two tabs labelled 'Taskbar' and 'Start Menu'.

Click the 'Start menu' tab.

start menu settings for windows xp

The Start menu settings allow you to change the way the start menu is displayed.

You will notice two options 'Start Menu' and 'Classic Start Menu'. The default is the Start Menu and is what we will look at first. Click the 'Customize' button to the right of the selected 'Start Menu' option.

The customize window will open.

taskbar settings in windows xp

At the top you have the option to display large or small icons for the programs on the start menu list.

The next section allows the start menu to hold the most frequently used programs on the start menu, just above the start button.

The third section down allows you to display an email and internet shortcut at the top of the start menu.

Windows xp drop down box for email default program

If you click the drop down box next to 'Email' you can change the prefered email program to be displayed at the top of the start menu.

If you don't want the shortcuts to be seen on the start menu then untick the checkboxes next to 'Internet' or 'Email'.

Email and internet shortcuts for the start menu

You can see our example that the start menu bar has the email and internet links added and there are no recently used programs listed above the start button.

The start menu you see is the default start menu for Window XP.

customize start menu in windows xp

Looking at the 'Customize Start Menu' window again you will see a tab at the very top of the window labelled 'Advanced'. Click this tab.

The advanced start menu settings will appear.

clear recently opened documents in Windows XP

You will see some settings listed. At the bottom of the window is the option to show or hide your recently opened My Documents. You can also clear the list of recently opened documents here.

In the middle there are many options that can be changed which include show or hide 'Printers and faxes' on the start menu. Show ir hide the 'Run' command on the start menu.

Choose the options you want and click the 'Ok' button. This will take you back to the taskbar settings window. Click the 'Ok' button again to exit the taskbar settings.

Next tutorial - Hide / Show the clock in Windows XP

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