Can I prevent recent programs from showing up on my start menu? ~ Ask The Admin

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Can I prevent recent programs from showing up on my start menu?

Reader Jay writes in:
I have a question for you Mr. Admin, after running or installing an App why do some of them find a new home on my start menu? This is really annoying can we turn off this annoying piece of crap feature?I know I can manually remove them but I hope you can stop it all together!

As always Jay we have several solutions for fixing your issue and hopeful helping maintain your sanity.

The first method is the safest and will work on XP Home or Pro as long as you are using the classic start menu. If this is not you continue on to option 2 or 3. This way is done through the properties screen of the start menu:

  • Right click the Start button
  • Properties
  • Customize button
  • General tab
  • Under Programs
  • Set Number of programs on Start menu to 0 (zero)
  • Click the Clear List button
  • OK
  • Apply
  • OK

Now to prevent them from coming back:

  • Set number of programs on Start menu to be 0
  • Hit the clear List button

Option #2: Group Policy on XP Pro

  • Start
  • Run
  • Type: gpedit.msc
  • OK
  • Navigate to >>> User Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Start Menu and Taskbar Remove frequent programs list from the Start Menu

And finally not for the faint of heart - we can do it via an registry edit:
  • Start
  • Run
  • Regedit
  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Policies\Explorer
  • NoStartMenuMFUprogramsList
  • Check the DWORD value
  • A value of 1 is enabled, and a value of 0 is disabled.
Never again will your emabrising applications be pinned to your start menu just because someone in Redmond thought it would be a good idea!

And for some more good reading check out:
  1. How To Prevent a SPECIFIC Program from Being Displayed in the Most Frequently Used Programs List in Windows XP while leaving alone the rest of your apps.
  2. Programs removed from the start menu sometime return and
  3. Why don't I have the CLEAR button on my start menu list?