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Where is the folder located that houses the shortcuts listed on the Start Menu?

Posted on 2007-03-19
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
    I have two invalid shortcuts on my start menu, and I can not delete them.  When I select "Remove from this list" nothing happens, and the "Unpin from the Start Menu" option is not available for these two shortcuts.
     Where is the folder located that houses the shortcuts listed on the Start Menu?  I am not talking about the start menu under "All Programs" that is located at "C:\Documents and Settings\ss974c\Start Menu" I am talking about the initial list of shortcuts that is displayed on the left side of the pop-up window when you select the "start" button.  Does anybody know how to delete these pesky shortcuts?  I am not receiving an error; actually nothing happens when I select "Remove from this list".
     I am running Windows XP SP2.  Thank you in advance for your help, Jon
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Question by:JBredensteiner
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by:flipz
ID: 18749748
Right-click on the task bar and select Properties. Select the Start Menu tab and click 'Customize...' There is an option to 'Clear List' which will eliminate all links. Is this what you need?
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by:JBredensteiner
ID: 18749794
    No sorry, that is only for the shortcuts that Windows adds for a user, and I have that option set to 0.  I am talking about shortcuts I added myself.  What happened is I had Office 2003 installed, and had links to Word and Excel on the Start Menu, and then I installed Office 2007 and uninstalled Office 2003 at the same time, which mad the shortcuts invalid, but now I cannot delete them.  Thanks, Jon
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by:flipz
ID: 18749856
Do you the same shortcuts anywhere else? I.e. under All Programs or maybe on your desktop?
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by:KCTS
ID: 18749904
If you just want rid of the shortcuts - right click on them and select Delete.

Your own menu items are in C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Start Menu (where username is your username - obviously)

You might also want to check C:\Documents and Settings\All Users.WINDOWS\Start Menu
as stuff often gets put in there as well.
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by:JBredensteiner
ID: 18750404
Response to flipz:
     No, these shortcuts are not found anywhere else.  When I uninstalled Office 2003 and installed Office 2007 the Office 2003 shortcuts were automatically deleted in the start menu under "All Programs\Microsoft Office", which is actually located at "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Office".
     Let me try to remove the confusion, and provide you with the exact steps I did to create the shortcuts in the first place:  I clicked on the "start" button, and then I clicked on the "All Programs" buttons, and then I opened the "Microsoft Office" folder, then I right clicked on the Excel file, and selected "Pin to the Start Menu".  I did this same operation for Word and PowerPoint too.  The three subsequent shortcuts this action created on the start menu are the ones I am trying to remove from the start menu.
     Now when I right click on the three shortcuts I just mentioned in the start menu and select "Remove from this List" nothing happens.  Is the information for these shortcuts housed in the registry somewhere, or is it in a folder?  The shortcuts are not housed in "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\" or "C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Start Menu" as those folders house the shortcuts found in the "All Programs" portion of the start menu.

Response to KCTS:
     Delete is not an option in the base list of the start menu, it is only an option in the portion of the start menu under "All Programs" that is located at "C:\Documents and Settings\ss974c\Start Menu", which is where you were pointing me to.  I already knew where the items from that portion of the start menu were housed.  I am talking about the immediate screen you see when you click on the "start" button, and not the "All Programs" button after you click on the "start" button.

Sorry for the long response, and thanks again for the help, Jon
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by:JBredensteiner
ID: 18808174
    Does anybody know where the Start Menu shortcuts are housed or the references to the shortcuts are housed?

     Again, I am not talking about the shortcuts that are housed in the user folders such as C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs  I am talking about the shortcuts that are on the left side of the start menu, and not the ones under "All Programs" on the start menu.  Are they housed in the registry, or in a hidden folder in the individual users Documents and Settings folders?

     Your help will be greatly appreciated, Jon
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 18859416
If you look at this web page on my site, you will see that the shortcuts you are talking about are on the MFU (Most Frequently Used) list, and there is a setting in the Start Menu Properties page to clear that list:

http://home.earthlink.net/~lreynol929/ruXP/StrtMenu/xpstart.htm
XP Start Menu vs. Classic Menu

If clicking that button does not get rid of the unwanted items, perhaps this MSKB article will be of help:

hhttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/284198/EN-US/
How To Prevent a Program from Being Displayed in the Most Frequently Used Programs List in Windows XP
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by:JBredensteiner
ID: 18859661
    Thanks for your help, but no, these arn't shortcuts listed on the MFU list, as I have that setting turned off and set to 0, I physically added these two shortcuts myself awhile back.  One of them is a PowerPoint 2007 shortcut and the other one is an Excel 2007 shortcut.  I uninstaled Office 2007, and after I uninstalled the program I was not able to remove the shortcuts.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 18859903
Did you look at the MS article I gave a link for?  You may still have a registry location corresponding to those two programs, and then perhaps creating the indicated registry key will at least remove the shortcuts from the Pinned List.  Or perhaps even just deleting the registry key for the older version of MS Office, if it has a separate entry for the new version...

I haven't been able to find a general location in the registry where the pinned list would be kept, but I am still looking...
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by:JBredensteiner
ID: 18860085
I did look at the links, but they were mostly talking about the MFU list.  Thank you for your patience and support :)
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 18860277
Oops, that's right, it was the MFU list that was mentioned.
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by:JohnBPrice
ID: 18860885
Well, it sounds like you might have more serious problems, as "remove" should work for normal items.

That notwithstanding, the default items that get shown without being in "All Programs" are in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
You will find a bunch start start with "Start_xxxx" such as Start_ShowMyMusic.  These control some of the built in options, which you can also change by right clicking the start button and choose properties--> Start Menu-->Customize--> Advanced

Also, when you DO look at the "Start Menu" folder, make sure you have explorer set to show you all things including system files and what not.
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by:JBredensteiner
ID: 18860931
Those items are for the "Start_xxxx" are for the icons on the right side of the start menu, and I am talking about the items on the top left side above the MFU (Most Frequently Used) list.  Were getting closer though :)
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by:JBredensteiner
ID: 18860947
I meant to say that:  Those item "Start_xxxx" are for the icons on the right side of the start menu, and I am talking about the items on the top left side above the MFU (Most Frequently Used) list.

Thanks again for all your guys help :)
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JohnBPrice earned 500 total points
ID: 18861038
ah, reading the the above, you want the "favorites" section of the start menu at the top on the left.. I renamed one of mine to a unique name, searched the registry and it came up here.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\LocalizedResourceName

However, only the one I renamed was there, I have about 10, so that is not the complete.
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Author Comment

by:JBredensteiner
ID: 18861149
Mine are not in there, but I was able to delete all of my shortcuts on the favorites section of the start menu.  You did point me in the right direction though.  After I looked at the folder you mentioned HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced I started looking at other folders in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ and I deleted everything that looked like it might be the right one.  I checked the start menu after deleting each one.

     Are you ready for this, I know I am:  The start menu favorites are located in the registry under:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage
and the key is "Favorites".  All you have to do is delete all of the values in this key.
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Author Comment

by:JBredensteiner
ID: 18861162
Even though I actually found it Mr. JohnBPrice, I will still give you credit, as I wouldn't have found it without your direction.  Thank you, and thank everyone else that helped me :)
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by:JohnBPrice
ID: 18863282
>>Are you ready for this

No, I gues not, I don't have a
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage

Even though I DO have serveral items I put in the start menu...

I DO have a HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartMenu\StartPanel\Favorites
but the contents don't look what we were looking for.

Anyway, thanks for the points....


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Author Comment

by:JBredensteiner
ID: 18864010
That's weird, I don't have the folder you have; I only have these two:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StartPage
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\StreamMRU

Anyways, thanks for the help, Jon
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