Group Similar Applications In Windows All Programs To Save Space And Clutter
By on December 16th, 2007

Do you have 100′s of programs installed on your system? Does clicking on your All Programs option in the Windows Start Menu list out a huge list of programs that stretches across the screen? If so, it is time now to group all your programs so that your Start menu is smaller and allows you to easily navigate between programs.

I use this trick so that I can easily find programs and my start menu does not look like a monster. First of all let’s learn about some grouping tricks.

Classify and Group Items with Similar Purposes Together

There are many softwares available to us that serve the same purposes. For example you may have 4 different browsers installed on your system each of these serve the same purpose that of browsing the Internet. You can group such similar applications in to a folder called Browsers. Same goes for Messengers which can be clubbed together under Messengers.

Grouping of items can take a little bit of time but once you are done with it you can easily find whatever you are looking for. You can classify and group softwares together based on your preferences.

Lets Make The All Programs Smaller  

Classifying the All Programs is similar to how you classify your digital content or documents. You may classify music under artist and then album and then genre.

The only difference is that the menus shown to you in the All Programs option are stored in a special folder. The special folder contains shortcuts to the actual programs and not the actual programs itself so moving the folders around will not stop your program from working.

The first thing you will need to do is go to your All Programs folder, to do that right click on the start button and click on the Explore All Users option.

 explore-all-users

Once you have done that a new explorer window will open which will show you the Start Menu folder. In this folder click on the Programs folder which should show you the folders for all the applications that show up in the All Programs menu.

The second step is to create broader classification for your applications so that you can group them, for example if you want to create a classification called Utilities right click anywhere in the folder area and select New -> Folder and rename the folder to Utilities. Now simply cut and paste the folders or shortcuts you think are utilities and paste it into the Utilities folder.

Continue repeating the task till you have classified all your programs. There is no real limit on the amount of classification you can do and can create sub classification too. For example here is how I classify my Internet Related Programs

  • Internet Related
    • Browsers
    • Download Managers
    • Email Clients
    • Messengers
    • P2P & Torrents
    • Plugins
    • Utilities
    • Etcetera

Now next time I want to open a program due to the classification I will never get lost. I would suggest you use the type of classification you are comfortable with so that you can easily find the software you are looking for. You will need to have Administrator privileges when you try to classify the All Users program menu.

In addition to that you can also move the programs under your own user to the classified folder. To do that right click on the start button and click on   the Explore button and classify the applications.

Once your done you can take a look at the All Programs menu and you will see that it is much smaller and makes more sense than earlier. Here is how my own All Program menu looks like. As you see I have only a single column even though I have 126 programs installed on my PC.

 all-programs-classified-folders

As an additional tip, next time you install a software you can easily customize the installation and choose the classified folder to display their Start menus.

I would definitely like to get your views on this. Also I would also love to know the tricks you use to keep your All Programs menu compact.

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Author: Keith Dsouza Google Profile for Keith Dsouza
I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website. I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

Keith Dsouza has written and can be contacted at keith@techie-buzz.com.
  • http://www.brownbaron.com/blog/ Brown Baron

    Very nice tip buddy! Stumbled.

    • Keith Dsouza

      Glad you liked it Brown and thanks for the stumble :-)

  • http://techblissonline.com Techblissonline.com

    good tips to organize the start menu…but do we need so many apps?

  • Krishanu

    Thank you Sir, for the tips…. it helped to save my laptop:)….. the all programs menu was going to burst….

  • Cameron

    I had 4 columns in the all programs menu, now there are only 2 1/2. Thank you.

 
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