How to efficiently view the Start Programs menu in Win 10?

  • Thread starter berkeman
  • Start date

berkeman

Mentor
55,974
6,016
Summary
How to efficiently view the Start Programs menu in Win 10?
Sigh. Yet another issue trying to get used to my new Windows 10 laptop. When I try to start a program, the traditional hierarchical view of the program categories and programs doesn't seem to be available. I only see a long alphabetical list so far, and an option to do a search.

That's way too many clicks for me, and hopefully there is a way to see the old Program Start menu. Anybody have tips for how to re-configure this Program Start menu view, or a quicker way to start the dozen or so programs that I use a lot?

Thanks!

1567125566834.png
 

phinds

Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
15,502
5,146
Well one thing you can do is just create links for all the executables and either put them on the desktop or put them all in one folder on the desktop.
Putting them in the folder adds one click but reduces clutter in the desktop. I have several folders in which I put such links, grouped by type of executable. I have maybe three dozen such links in several folders. One folder for graphics programs, one of Office programs, etc. The ones I use the most I just put icons (of the links) on the desktop.

It never even occurred to me to worry about the Windows 10 layout because I've been doing this for years and I just copied all my folders over from an older machine and made sure the executables were still where the links said they were.
 

berkeman

Mentor
55,974
6,016
Thanks @phinds those are good suggestions. I'll do that if I end up having to. Nice to have a backup plan! :smile:
 

phinds

Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
15,502
5,146
Another nice thing about doing it my way is that everything is grouped the way YOU want, AND you get to set your own icons (if you want to go to the trouble of doing that)

Here's a screen shot of a portion of my screen. White = folder full of links and yellow = direct links
1567126447614.png
 

DavidSnider

Gold Member
477
124
You can use a program called 'classic shell', but it's kind of a hack.

Is there some reason you don't just press the windows button and type the program name? I'm not really sure what the advantage of having a hierarchy is for this sort of thing.
 

phinds

Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
15,502
5,146
Is there some reason you don't just press the windows button and type the program name?
Seriously? You want to type names instead of a single mouse click? You must not use the computer much.
 

DavidSnider

Gold Member
477
124
Seriously? You want to type names instead of a single mouse click? You must not use the computer much.
I'm a software engineer. Hierarchy is multiple clicks and spatial navigation. Typing in two letters to filter down the results is *much* faster.
 

phinds

Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
15,502
5,146
I'm a software engineer. Hierarchy is multiple clicks and spatial navigation. Typing in two letters to filter down the results is *much* faster.
Not when you do it my way, as discussed above. For my most used programs it's a single mouse click and for the lesser used ones it's two mouse clicks.
 

DavidSnider

Gold Member
477
124
Not when you do it my way, as discussed above. For my most used programs it's a single mouse click and for the lesser used ones it's two mouse clicks.
Well I was mainly referring to the old style windows menu. Desktop shortcuts have their place for sure but there's a reason programmers and sysadmins and other sorts of power users are always in the command line or using hotkeys for everything. Navigating GUI options is incredibly slow in comparison.
 

phinds

Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
15,502
5,146
Well I was mainly referring to the old style windows menu. Desktop shortcuts have their place for sure but there's a reason programmers and sysadmins and other sorts of power users are always in the command line or using hotkeys for everything. Navigating GUI options is incredibly slow in comparison.
Well, I'll take your word for it but I really fail to see how ANYTHING is faster than a single mouse click.
 

DavidSnider

Gold Member
477
124
Well, I'll take your word for it but I really fail to see how ANYTHING is faster than a single mouse click.
You have to find it and navigate to it before you can click it.
"Start-N-Enter" is faster than "Start-D-Locate notepad on desktop-Click"
 

phinds

Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
15,502
5,146
You have to find it and navigate to it before you can click it.
"Start-N-Enter" is faster than "Start-D-Locate notepad on desktop-Click"
I don't think you understand how I make use of my method. The icons for various programs have been on the same place on my desktop for at least a decade and I could navigate the mouse to them with my eyes closed, so your point doesn't apply.

At any rate, I'm finding this whole argument ridiculous. I'll leave the last word to you. I'm done.
 
152
33
You can use a program called 'classic shell', but it's kind of a hack.

Is there some reason you don't just press the windows button and type the program name? I'm not really sure what the advantage of having a hierarchy is for this sort of thing.
Classic Shell is wonderful. It's not a hack at all. It's as much of a hack as installing any application.

There's plenty of reasons to not use the Windows Search, or a lot of Windows 10 features if you're a power user. Hierarchy is good if you don't remember the exact name of a program, or if you have multiple programs with similar names, then you have to fish through the names (i.e., Notepad vs. Notepad++). I'm not sure what the advantage of this start menu search is when the results are mixed and you have to search through things, wasting time, when you can just point and click faster than waiting for a search result or fishing through results.

Just typing in "wo" for Word brings up several other options before Word is even listed. That's not really any more efficient than going Start -> MS Office -> Word.

The only useful thing about the Windows 10 start menu is that you can customize it by pinning whatever apps you want and arrange them by group, even that can become overly cluttered if you want a ton of apps you use regularly, in which I'd go with Phinds suggestion w/ desktop shortcuts (though, I dislike the one click feature in Windows, so I'd always recommend the double click/default setting).

Also, it doesn't matter what your career choice is. Preference is preference, even among peers in the same career field. Being a keyboard cowboy isn't an indication of knowledge or skill set.
 

Wrichik Basu

Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
1,183
1,011
You can modify the right side in the start menu and put your essential programs there. I did so:

1567175315431.png


This reduces things to two clicks.
 

OCR

804
655
This reduces things to two clicks.

But. . . this reduces things to one click. . 😌

1567200762874.png



BTW. . . I would guess everybody knows how to get the built in Windows 10 emojis ?

And yes I know. . . you don't have to like or use them. . (¬‿¬) . 😒

1567202377022.png



The Windows key plus the period key should bring them up. . .

.
 

OCR

804
655
Oh, and one more thing. . . anybody ever turn this on ? . lol

1567203644229.png


.
 

OCR

804
655

PhanthomJay

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
7,116
457
I say give me back windows 7. I don’t call it progress when I have to do more work just to find a folder. It’s like the iPhone 7 vs the iPhone 6. Now there is just one port instead of two so when you charge the phone you can’t use the headphones. And buy a darn adapter to use your headphones. One small step backward for a man, one giant step backward for mankind.
 

berkeman

Mentor
55,974
6,016
I'm a software engineer. Hierarchy is multiple clicks and spatial navigation. Typing in two letters to filter down the results is *much* faster.
Well, since I routinely work on about a half-dozen computers every day, I'm in the habit of using the hierichical menu to look at what is installed on the computer, and starting the app if it's there. On my new home laptop, it's a smaller problem, but still an issue. What have I installed from Microsoft so far? PPT I think came with the last package I paid for, but I'm not sure. I may prefer to use Visio tonight, but did I already download that or not?

And typing in the start of program names is pretty frustrating, IMO. Too many false hits, and no indication if the program is actually on the computer or not,

Just seems like a step backward to me, but this isn't the first time for my dealings with Microsoft operating systems.

Thanks for all of the very helpful feedback and suggestions from everybody. I'll try each of your ideas out to see what seems to work best for me. Hopefully Windows 11 will come out in 2511 or later...
 

Wrichik Basu

Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
1,183
1,011

OCR

804
655
That might become a little more clumsy.

1567241889787.png


Well, yeah. . . if you make them like that, it would be. . . . 😒

How did you go about making that mess, anyway ? . 😏

Lol. . .



Don't forget, you can hide some too. . .

1567243092447.png


.
 
Last edited:

OCR

804
655
You can modify the right side in the start menu and put your essential programs there.

Yup, I do the same as you, but I pin the ones I use the most to the task bar.

1567243932872.png


.
 

Wrichik Basu

Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
1,183
1,011
Well, yeah. . . if you make them like that, it would be. . . . 😒

How did you go about making that mess, anyway ? . 😏
Greg should have an answer. I just selected and replied (from my phone btw).

Don't forget, you can hide some too. . .

1567243092447-png.png
That will amount to two clicks again...
 
  • Haha
Reactions: OCR

OCR

804
655
Every thing else goes on the left side of my left monitor. . .

Except for my mouse right click context menu.

1567244717441.png


1567245300250.png


.
 

HankDorsett

Gold Member
80
27
Summary: How to efficiently view the Start Programs menu in Win 10?

Sigh. Yet another issue trying to get used to my new Windows 10 laptop. When I try to start a program, the traditional hierarchical view of the program categories and programs doesn't seem to be available. I only see a long alphabetical list so far, and an option to do a search.

That's way too many clicks for me, and hopefully there is a way to see the old Program Start menu. Anybody have tips for how to re-configure this Program Start menu view, or a quicker way to start the dozen or so programs that I use a lot?

Thanks!

View attachment 248858
Windows key + s to bring up Windows search, start typing the program name, at some point it should show up at the top of the list then hit enter to start it.

just as all of the other windows releases, Windows 10 has many keystroke shortcuts built in.
 

Related Threads for: How to efficiently view the Start Programs menu in Win 10?

  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
12K
Replies
6
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
2K
Replies
38
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
3K
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
6K

Recent Insights

Top