Start menu confusion: where are the shortcuts stored?


Sabian Smith

My Vista Start Menu is a disaster ever since I went into a directory to
re-arrange it (I like to merge items into broader categories ex. Utilities,
to clean up the default start menu). I want to do this so all users
profiles are affected (I would prefer one start menu for all users). I now
have duplicate start menu items that cannot be deleted or moved??

I think this is because I am re-arranging the start menu shortcuts in the
wrong directory. I note there are TWO physical directories where Vista
seems to look for Start Menu items:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

C:\Users\<myUserid>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Start Menu

Why are there two directories, and which should i modify to re-arrange



Sabian Smith

Okay I have determined that I need to DELETE all the contents of the
C:\USERS... start menu, and re-organize the C:\ProgramData\..start menu as
desired to remove duplicates and apply changes to all users.

However, Vista does not remember the ORDER of the items within each start
menu folder!

I drag and drop icons in my desired order (either after right clicking Orb /
Explore All Users, or within the start menu itself) - Vista remembers this
next time the start menu is opened. But after a re-boot, Vista re-organizes
each program/folder alphabetically! Yes, I have DISABLED automatic sorting
(right click Orb / Properties / Start Menu - Customize / UNcheck "Sort all
programs by menu name")?

Why does Vista re-sort the new Start Menu alphabetically when I have
disabled this feature?


as with previous multi-user windows, there are "public" start menu items and
"private" start menu items

the ones set in c:\programdata\microsoft\windows\start menu\programs\...
will be visible by every user you have created
the ones set in c:\users\<myuserid>\appdata\roaming\microsoft\start menu\...
will be visible only by <myuserid>, and not by the others

that is the difference between the 2, if you will be the only user in your
pc, it does not make any difference where do you arrange the menu items, but
it does when there are more users

Sabian Smith

Okay I have removed duplicate start menu items by making sure there is no
overlap between these two directories.

However, Vista still does not remember the order of the start menu items
when I drag and drop them within the start menu? I have disabled "Sort all
menu program by name" in Start Menu / Properties / Customize.

Can anyone confirm Vista retains their custom rearrangement of start menu
items after a reboot?


Right click on the Start button, click on Properties, click on
"Customize...", and uncheck "Sort All Programs menu by name", and then click
on OK. You should now be able to reorganize your Start menu programs list
without it being resorted in alphabetical order.

Hope this helps,

Kristan M. Kenney
Microsoft MVP [Windows - Shell/User]

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.



Andre Da Costa[ActiveWin]

You can only turn off alphabetical sorting when the two pane Vista Start
menu is enable, this option does not seem to be available for Classic.


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