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Empty Control Panel Menu in Windows 7 Start Menu

Posted on 2010-11-16
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
See attached screenshot - the control panel menu on my start menu is mysteriously empty. Clicking on Control Panel opens the normal folder view with all the control panel applets. Can anyone explain what has happened or how to fix it? I've tried turning the expanded control panel menu off and on again in start menu config which didn't help.
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Question by:wwarby
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12 Comments
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Kris Montgomery
ID: 34146532
If you go to run and type %SystemRoot%\system32\control.exe  are the icons there?

Thanks.

mug
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:meindertjanw
ID: 34146540
You can try this:
http://www.geekgirls.com/windowsxp_controlpanel.htm

It's for windows xp, but i think will also work for Windows 7
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 34147877
wwarby--That is a Jump List arrow.  http://www.7tutorials.com/complete-guide-windows-7-start-menu
I do not know why it tells you empty when you say the Control Panel window, when opened, contains all the .cpl icons.  But you can get rid of the arrow
http://superuser.com/questions/51454/disable-recent-items-in-jump-lists-for-certain-programs
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:wwarby
ID: 34148409
All, thanks for the replies - I can't test anything until the morning when I return to the office, but I'll just add a little detail here. First, I'm an expert user (professional developer/analyst) - I should have perhaps been more clear. I'm not asking how to perform basic customisation of my start menu - my control panel jump menu has inexplicably emptied of all icons contrary to expected behaviour and I want to know why, and fix it. I realise I can turn off the menu - that isn't what I want to do because I use it exclusively as my preferred means of accessing control panel applets. I will try the control.exe command line tomorrow but suffice to say that accessing the control panel by any other means results in a normal view of the control panel.
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 34150049
wwarby--Are all the other Jump List side windows "Empty"?
My understanding of Jump Lists is that they show only items recently accessed from the particular program, so if you have not used the Control Panel itself recently you will not have any items in its Jump List.  If you right click the Taskbar|Properties|Start Menu|Customize you will see at the bottom the option to store no items in the Jump Lists.  You may want to check that.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:wwarby
ID: 34153538
muganthony: Yes, when I run %SystemRoot%\system32\control.exe, all the icons are there.

jcimarron: No, all the other jump lists are full of the normal items. The control panel jump list was full one day and empty the next - I don't believe I changed anything in between. I don't think the control panel works in the same way as MRU jump lists - it always usually shows all control panel applets.

As far as I can see, this is a fault with my Win 7 environment which I've never come across before and by the look of things, most other people haven't come across before either (Google turned up nothing) - hence why I came here for help ;)
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Kris Montgomery
ID: 34153566
Right click on the Start menu button >> click Properties >> Customize start menu >> Click to display as a link instead of display a menu.

That should at least get it usable again.  You may toggle between the two and see if it resolves the issue.

Thanks!

mug
0
 
LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 34157485
wwarby--
 If you right click the Taskbar|Properties|Start Menu|Customize you will see at the bottom the option to store no items in the Jump Lists.  
.
Did you check that out?
0
 
LVL 50

Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 34157531
wwarby--
I also meant to ask if you have tried using the Control Panel, itself, lately to see if use of some of the .cpl files will add them to the Jump List.  Of course you would do this after making sure the setting at the bottom of Taskbar|Properties|Start Menu|Customize  is set to something besides 0
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:wwarby
ID: 34173764
muganthony: Yeah, I tried that already (mentioned in my first post but perhaps not very obviously) and it didn't help. It's not that I have a problem finding a route into the Control Panel, it's that I find the jump list particularly useful and want it back.

jcimarron: Apologies, I thought I had answered that point before but I see that I didn't. The number of jump list items to display is set to 18, which is what it has been since I installed Windows. I use control panel applets regularly - several times a day typically, including today.

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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
wwarby earned 0 total points
ID: 34360152
This problem never got solved. I ended up rebuilding my computer for a different reason and the problem went away - thanks to everyone who ventured an answer but since the problem wasn't solved I think it's right that I just close the question.
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LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:wwarby
ID: 34391545
Not solved
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