Windows XP Interface Tips
The Windows XP user interface has some learning features, whereby it will customize itself to fit your computing style. One of the most obvious examples of this is the frequently used programs section on the bottom left side of the start menu, where shortcuts for the programs you have most recently used are displayed. Normally, this section only has room for about six program icons, but it’s a fast and handy way to access your software, so why not add more?
To increase the amount of icons in the frequently used programs list right click on the start menu and choose ‘properties. ‘ Select the ‘customize’ button to the right of the ‘start menu’ option.
Change the ‘select an icon size for programs’ option to ‘small icons’ and in the ‘number of programs on start menu’ counter below, enter a new value based on how many icons you would like to see. Realistically, depending on your desktop resolution you are not likely to be able to fit more than 15 or so icons here, but enter a higher number if you wish. The system will cut off what it can’t display. Hit ‘ok’ and enjoy your newly useful start menu.
2. Remove the Frequently Used Programs List From the Start Menu
In complete contradiction to the previous tip, this will show you how to wipe out the frequently used programs section of the start menu altogether. The trouble with this feature is that it only shows the programs you have last used. You have no control over it other than to use your programs frequently. The ‘pinned’ programs section above the frequently used programs section of the start menu, on the other hand, displays whatever shortcuts you want it to.
To obtain more space for pinned programs, you can remove the frequently used programs completely. To do this open Regedit: Navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_ USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer’.
Create a new DWORD value called ‘NoStartMenuMFUprog ramsList’ and give it the value ‘1’.
Reboot or restart the explorer process to enable this tip. Now you have much more start menu space to drag and drop your own shortcuts.