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Replacing Start Menu scrolling with good 'ol multiple columns

Intended For
Windows XP
Windows 2000
Windows Me
Windows 98
In Windows 95, the entries in the start menu would be displayed in multiple columns if there were too many to fit in a single column. Starting in Windows 98, the Start Menu adds scrolling to such menus instead. Here's how to configure the Start Menu to behave more like it did in Windows 95:

Windows Me/2000:

  • Select Settings in your Start Menu, and then select Taskbar & Start Menu.
  • Choose the Advanced tab, and turn off the Scroll the Programs menu option.

Windows XP:

  • Select Settings in your Start Menu, and then select Taskbar & Start Menu.
  • Choose the Start Menu tab, choose Classic Start Menu, and click Customize.
  • Turn off the Scroll the Programs menu option, and click Ok when you're done.

Windows 98:

  • Run the Registry Editor (REGEDIT.EXE).
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ Software\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ explorer\ Advanced.
  • Select New and then String Value from the Edit menu, and type StartMenuScrollPrograms as the name for the new value.
  • Now, double-click on the StartMenuScrollPrograms value, and type FALSE as the data for this value.
  • Click Ok and then close the Registry Editor when you're done.
  • This setting should take effect immediately.

  • Note: This will affect your Start Menu's Programs folder and all folders underneath it, but it surprisingly won't affect folders directly in your Start Menu folder (which appear above Programs in the main Start Menu).
  • Note: If this doesn't work on your machine, try adding a second StartMenuScrollPrograms value, as described above, to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ Software\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ explorer key (just the parent key of the one in the instructions). There have been reports that this is ocassionally necessary.
  • Note: If this still doesn't work, check your spelling and make sure you're putting the values in the right keys. Try restarting Windows to see if that helps. Also, make sure you've installed all of the latest Windows Updates.


Written by: Annoyances.org
Last updated: Friday, August 10, 2001

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