I just recently installed Windows 7 on my wife's laptop. I wanted to add a new program group (folder) that I intended to name "Utilities" under "All Programs" so that the group would be visible to all accounts on the system. I right-clicked on the start program button as I would under Windows XP, but there was no "Open all users" or "Explore all users" option. And there was no
Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programsfolder where I would add a new folder under Windows XP. Instead, you add a folder under
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs. To see this folder you will have to turn on the display of hidden files and folders, which you do under Windows 7 by selecting "Organize" from the Windows Explorer, then selecting "Folder and search options", and then clicking on the "View tab". Then under "Hidden files and folders", select "Show hidden files, folders, and drives". You will then be able to see the
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programsfolder and create a new folder within it.
Once I had created the
Utilities folder by right-clicking and
selecting "New" and "Folder" within the
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs, I then
expected to just be able to right-click again within the
folder and select "New" and "Shortcut". But the only option under "New" was
"Folder". So I next opened another Windows Explorer window, thinking I could
create a shortcut by just going to the folder where the program was located
that I wanted to add to the
Utilities folder and then clicking
on the program, in this case
procmon.exe, and then dragging
it over to
while holding down the Alt key (if you just drag the program
from one location on the same drive to another, the progam is moved, but, if
you hold down the Alt key at the same time, you will get a shortcut,
aka "link"). But that didn't work either. I received the message
"Windows can't create a shorcut here. Do you want the shortcut to be placed on
the desktop instead?" I chose "yes". I was then able to move the shortcut
from the desktop to the
Menu\Programs\Utilities, though I was told "You'll need to provide
administrator permission to move to this folder." I clicked on "Continue"
and the shortcut was moved. I was logged on under an account, admin, in
the administrator group throughout the process.
This seems like a far more cumbersome means of performing a fairly simple task under Windows 7 than it was under Windows XP.
I’ve run into a problem in Windows 7 RC where the ‘All Programs’ menu goes completely blank, making it a pain to access installed programs. The search feature still works and programs can be accessed that way.
This happens when there are more than about 70 folders in the ‘All Programs’ menu. The workaround I have come up with is:
- Uninstall programs until there is <70 folders in the All Programs menu.
- Use Explorer to browse the All Programs folder (typically C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs) and reorganise some of the folders into a subfolder. For example, create a Utilities folder and drag some of the other folders inside it. There must be <70 folders in the top level.
So you can use either method 1 or method 2 above to resolve the problem.
Start Menu All Programs - Add or Delete Shortcuts
Date: November 3, 2008
Windows 7 Forums
Windows 7 blank All Programs menu
Date: August 19, 2009
Windows 7 Blank ‘All Programs’ Menu
By: Tim Long
Date: August 19, 2009
Blogs - TiGra Networks