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Windows 7
Emulating classic start menu

The classic menu is missing in Windows 7.
In Vista it still could be activated:
Windows Vista classic Menu

In Windows 7 a similar classic menu can be created:
Windows 7 classic menu emulation


Right mouse click to the task bar and select "tool bars" - "new tool bar":
Windows 7 New toolbar

In the now-open explorer windows select this folder:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
(This folder is only visible if previously in Windows Explorer under "Organize" - "Folder and Search Options", tab "View" has switched on "Show hidden files, folders and drives"):

Windows 7 select folder for toolbar

The new toolbar "Programs" appears in the task bar:
Windows 7 new toolbar for classic menu

Now the classic menu can already open with the small double arrow:
Windows 7 classic menu first open

To visually adapt the classic menu a little,
click with the right mouse button into the taskbar
and remove the hook in front of "Lock the Taskbar":
Windows 7 classic menu unlock taskbar

Now a delimiter of the toolbar becomes visible in form of a three times dotted line (red arrow). Right mouse click onto this dotted delimiter and disable "Show text" and disable "Show title" and enable "Large symbols":

Windows 7 classic menu customize toolbar

This shrinks the toolbar of the classic menu to a yellow folder icon - this is the Accessories folder:
Windows 7 classic menu shrink toolbar

To select another, prettier symbol click again with right mouse button
on the dotted delimiter and select "Open folder":
Windows 7 classic menu customize icon

Choose a link and change it's icon; e.g. make a copy of the link "XPS Viewer"
and change it's icon into green orb symbol out of c:\windows\ehome\ehres.dll
Windows 7 classic menu select icon

Here in this example a new symbol is assigned  to the link "XPS Viewer - Copy" (right mouse click on the link and then select "Properties". In the example a symbol is used from the file c:\windows\ehome\ehres.dll. Many more symbols which already in Windows 7 included are listed on this page:

Windows 7 classic menu change icon

If the dotted delimiter is dragged to the left
all single folders are shown with their yellow symbols
and at the end the link "XPS Viewer - Copy" with the new green orb symbol:
Windows 7 classic menu arrange icons

Now drag the link "XPS Viewer - Copy" with the new green orb symbol to the most left position:
Windows 7 classic menu arrange icons

Then drag the dotted delimiter back to the right side until only one symbol remains:
Windows 7 classic menu arrange icons in new taskbar

Now drag the leftmost dotted delimiter (near the start button) to the right side.
From a certain position the new toolbar with the Classic menu "jumps" suddenly to the left:
Windows 7 classic menu move toolbar

Now you only need to pull the right delimiter back to the left till only the one icon remains.Windows 7 classic menu shrink toolbar

At least a right mouse click to the taskbar and enabling "Lock the taskbar"
will remove all dotted delimiters:
Windows 7 classic menu disabling dotted delimiter

Windows 7 classic menu finished


The so arranged classic menu is still not quite complete. Windows managed in
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
a menu which includes only the menu entries which are shown to "all users". In addition there is a second folder
C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs
with menu entries which are shown only to the "individual user". So the normal start menu is merged together from these two locations.

Here you see the two different folders with different entries
first from "all user", second from "individual user":
Windows classic menu folder all user
Windows classic menu individual user

The entries "Command Prompt", "Notepad", "Run" and "Windows Explorer" from the individual user folder don't appear in the new classic start menu.

The classic menu described above cannot merge these two locations like the original menu bar. But you can move all menu entries from the "individual user" folder
C:\Benutzer\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Startmenü\Programme
to the corresponding "all user" folder
Then you only have one place where all menu entries are stored. And all menu entries are then listed in the new classic menu.

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