How can I change or edit items in the Windows Vista or Windows 7 start menu?

Lech April 7, 2011
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I have been looking for a long time to find how to replace certain unused right side “Start Menu” (the black area) entries, with something I need, in Windows Vista or Windows 7.

The common answer to this is that it’s not possible. I just can’t believe it! There must be a way, maybe through some registry hacks? After all, it is just part of the program and it will do what is programmed to do, if only I knew where to make changes.

I want to be able to replace: “Games”, “Music”, “Network”, and “Connect to”. Actually, I was able to rename “Music” and change the path to a different folder. I couldn’t, however, change the folder icon. The rest doesn’t allow for it.

Do you know a way to do it?
Thanks, Lech.

  1. Tyler
    April 13, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Right-click the bottom menu bar and go to properties. Then customize the Start-Menu to your own liking from the options listed in there. I don't know how to "add" your own custom stuff to that side bar (and I'm not sure you can without downloading a 3rd party piece of software).

  2. Lech
    April 11, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Please, read the question carefully! I want to replace: "Network", "Connect to", and "Games" from the right side of the Start Menu (the black area) with something of my own choice.
    Right clicking on these doesn't open the "properties" window, thus doesn't allow to change the name or path.
    I also don't like to simply stop them from being displayed. I want to REPLACE them, in the same place as links, just as they are.
    Thank you,

    • Felix Kütt
      November 29, 2011 at 7:54 am

      Agreed, would be nice to change them to something more useful, but I've already given up on this, now what I'm trying to figure out is if it would be possible to re-order the ones you are able to change... for an example I'd like for videos & music to be next to each other, etc.

      Bah... disappointing, google doesn't help any at all either. :(

  3. Tina
    April 9, 2011 at 8:19 pm


    did any of the solutions posted above answer your question? Were you able to change the start menu items?

    • Lech
      April 11, 2011 at 9:27 am

      Hello Tina,
      Thank you for posting my question. Unfortunately the answers are not to my question. For some reason, I also had a problem with posting my replies (I guess my
      browser's settings), but all seems to work now. You can read my comment below.
      Thank you,

    April 8, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Hello, there are at least three different ways you can change or edit the start menu on windows 7 and Vista:

    The first one:
    -- Right click on Orb (start)
    -- select Properties
    -- the Taskbar and Start Menu properties will pop up
    -- on the Start menu tab, select the Customize button
    -- check what you want to appear on your start menu, or uncheck what you do not want to show

    Second way:
    -- click on Orb
    -- click on Control Panel
    -- once on Control Panel, type start menu on search box on top right corner
    -- options will appear

    Third way:
    -- click on Orb
    -- on search bar type start menu

    The one solution for replacing folders would be to hide the folders like Games, Music, Network, etc, and create new folders. As a side note, you can delete the original folders but not the libraries. Once the new folders are created where you want them, pin those folder to the start menu:

    -- Create the Music folder (example) where you want it
    -- navigate to folder you just created
    -- right click on folder
    -- on menu, select pin to start menu

    If you want to change the path to Music folder, you can try the following steps:
    -- click on Orb(Start)
    -- right click on Music folder
    -- select Properties
    -- select Location tab
    -- select move
    -- navigate/select where you created the new Music folder
    -- this should work with Videos, Documents, Pictures, etc.

    This is the registry way for changing paths to folders....Make sure you backup your registry before trying any of these:

    -- click on start
    -- on search bar, type regedit
    -- navigate to following key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerShell Folders

    -- on right hand side panel, highlight Music entry
    -- right click on highlighted entry
    -- click on modify
    -- on box that pops up, find value data and change to new path
    -- click on ok
    -- close regedit
    -- restart computer

    On windows 7 you can use the libraries to do all of these. With regards to the icons, maybe you could try doing the changes using an administrator account.

  5. Anonymous
    April 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Possible you should take ownership
    Taking ownership of system files or folders in Windows 7 or Vista

    Move or Change Vista Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, Games and Other Personal Folders Location

    How to display your Preferred Folders in Windows 7 or Vista Start Menu.

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