If you have installed lots of applications in Windows 7, you will find that your Start menu is cluttered, messy and finding the applications you need is no longer a quick and simple task. What makes it worst is that the more applications you have, the slower the Start menu loads. A task that needs only one second to complete now requires five seconds.
For those who came from the Windows XP background and love the cleanliness and efficiency of its Start menu, StartMenuXP is an application for Windows 7 that can replace the W7 Start menu with a dropdown menu in the Windows XP style. It added the much needed organization and efficiency to your existing Start menu, making it a pleasure to use.
One of the feature of StartMenuXP is the ability to group your applications into different groups. During the installation, it will prompt you if you want to enable the “group” feature. I would advise you to do so since it really aids in the organization of your applications.
After the installation, StartMenuXP will replace your existing Start menu. This is what you will see. All your applications are now organized into their respective groups and arranged in alphabetical order.
Clicking on any group will expand the group and show all the applications within the group.
If you have installed a lot of third-party application, you will find that they are not located in the correct group in StartMenuXP. To rearrange your items, you just have to copy the entry from one group and paste to another. For example, The application GIMP was located at the “Other” group instead of the “Graphics” group. What I did is to right-click the GIMP entry in the “Other” group and select Copy, followed by right-click at the “Graphics” group and select Paste. The GIMP entry is automatically moved from the Other group to the Graphics group.
An even easier way is to use the Group Manager app bundled with the software. With the Group Manager, you just have to select (place a check beside the application) the application to appear in each group. One thing to note, the free version does not allow you to add add/remove/edit group. You can only play around with the 5 default groups.
After using StartMenuXP for a while, I started to appreciate the clean interface and great organization of the app. However there are two features that I hope it can implement:
1. Key-board shortcut to launch the menu
At the moment, StartMenuXP allows you to view the menu without clicking the Start menu. It will be great if it can come with a keyboard shortcut so users can quickly bring up the Application menu.
2. Drag and drop to rearrange apps
StartMenuXP requires you to either copy/paste or use the Group Manager to arrange your applications. A Drag and Drop interface would be even better.
If you are looking to reduce the clutter, better organize your applications and able to launch application faster, StartMenuXp is the one for you.
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