Organize Start Menu programs into groups in Windows 7

One of the most annoying things in Windows 7 is its modified Start Menu. Microsoft took the liberty of removing the classic Start Menu in Windows 7 and in the new Start Menu it is very hard to select a program. Luckily some folks have developed a program called HandyStartMenu which groups the programs installed under Start Menu into many categories like Internet, Music and Video, Fun and Games etc.

Windows 7 HandyStartMenu

You can download the HandyStartMenu program from its web site www.handystartmenu.com. The downloaded file is around 2.6 MB in size. The program requires you to have VC++ 2008 runtimes. After you run the setup it installs a Windows service so to modify the location of your Start Menu each time you logon to Windows.

Afer the installation, the HandyStartMenu will automatically detect and arrange the programs in different categories like – Office, Tools, Fun and Games, Music and Video etc. The programs are grouped according to a software database HandyStartMenu uses. If the HandyStartMenu finds a program not present in its offline database, then it will query the online database and try to find a suitable category for that program.

It installs a icon in the notification area (system tray), right-clicking on which you can enable or disable it. You can double-click on the notification area icon to launch its main window. In the main, window you can click on Return to the Standard Start Menu to disable the HandyStartMenu.

HandyStartMenu - Main window

You can click on the Adjust Categories of the Start Menu Items to manage the different categories and select different categories for different programs. For example, you can select Notepad and then click on the category you want to put it in. Easy? Do not forget to click OK to save the category settings.

HandyStartMenu - Setting category for a program

The HandyStartMenu leaves nothing more to be desired from the Windows 7 Start Menu. It is a superb tool for every Windows 7 user who wants to make the Start Menu easier and more efficient. The only thing the HandyStartMenu lacks is the ability to create user defined categories – all the categories are hard coded. But I hope in the future version that options would also be available.

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