How to Exclude a Program from the Start Menu

Windows XP’s new feature allows anyone to tell at a glance what a user’s most frequently used programs are.  The left side of the Start Menu shows this list.  Some users find this a rather pointless feature as frequently used programs could be included in quick launch instead of the Start menu.

You can prevent a program from ever showing up in this list.  There is a registry tweak that can prevent more than one program from ever appearing on your Start menu.

Any attempt at registry editing should always be preceded by a registry back-up.  Changes you make may only be reversed by a back-up copy.

If you would rather not edit the registry, alternate methods do exist.  These will be presented later.

To begin the edit:

1. Click Start and go to Run.  Enter regedit.

2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE located on the left side of the box that will pop up.  Expand the folder by clicking on the cross on the folder’s left. 

3. Locate the Software folder and expand.

4. You will find the Microsoft folder.

5. Expand the Microsoft folder and go to Windows.  Proceed to CurrentVersion.

6. Expand CurrentVersion and go to Explorer.

7. Upon expansion of Explorer, you should see File Association.

8. You will find AddRemoveApps on the right pane of the box.  Double click on AddRemoveApps and a box with a list of default XP entries will come up.

9. To add a program to the list, simply type in a semicolon (;) and the program executable’s name.  Click OK when you’re done.  You may add as many programs as you like.

Example: ;notepad.exe 

10. Close your registry and reboot.

There are options available for users who would rather not edit their registries.  Although easier and less risky, these options are not permanent and may eventually cause the program to show up on the Start menu.

The first alternative is to go to Start and right click on any entry.  Select [Remove From This List] and the program will be removed.

Another option is to edit the TaskBar and Start Menu Properties.  You can determine the number of entries allowed to populate this area.  You may even set the option to zero if you like.