Advanced Start Menu Customizations on Windows XP

The Advanced tab of the Customize Start Menu window provides access to a large number of customizations that you’ll definitely want to take a closer look at. Examples of settings found on this tab include the ability to control the behaviour or the menu itself, for example having newly installed programs highlighted, and submenus opened automatically when you pause your mouse or pointer over them momentarily – both options can be turned on or off, as per your preferences. The lower part of the Advanced tab allows you to control the display of certain Start menu icons for the currently logged on user. Two types of configurable settings are available in the Start menu items section, namely those with a checkbox and those with different radio button options. When a checkbox is checked, the item will appear on the Start menu; the Favorites menu item is an example of this – when selected, it will appear on the Start menu, but when cleared will not. Items with multiple radio buttons provide much more flexibility.

For example, the My Computer option consists of three main radio buttons (other options exist for different items) – Display as a link, Display as a menu, and Don’t display this item. The last option is self explanatory; the first will open a dedicated window for that item when clicked, while the second will open the item as a set of expanded menu items. By selecting your preferred options in this section you can easily customize your Start menu according to exact preferences, controlling exactly which shortcut icons appear, and how they behave.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.