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Expanding folders as submenus on the Start menu RRS feed

  • Question

  • You can add shortcuts to the Start menu, in the top left pane.  If you add a folder there, when the user clicks on it, prior Windows versions would display its contents as a submenu.  Windows 7 instead opens the folder in Explorer.  Is there a way to make it display a submenu instead?
    Thursday, April 29, 2010 6:27 AM

Answers

  • The unfortunate answer is that in the Start menu's left pane, there is no way to pin a folder and have its contents display as submenus.

    I'll use that left pane for high-use apps.  In the right pane I'll change the default library names and make them point at different folders than what they do by default.

    • Marked as answer by JM6 Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:39 AM
    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:39 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    According to my test, it seems that we can not expand folders as submenus on the Start menu in Windows 7. By default, only programs and program shortcuts can be pinned to the Start menu or Taskbar.

    In case mine is another special case, have you tried the following steps?

    Right click on the Start button, click Properties, beneath the "Start Menu" tab, click "Customize..". Then enable the "Display a menu" option under "Personal folder" section.

    I have tried it but no result. But I noticed that only when right clicking the folder, the "pin to Tastbar" and "Pin to Start Menu" option are missing. By the way, How did you pin the folder to Start Menu? Right click->pin or draging the folder directly?

    However, there is a workaround, you can consider creating a toolbar with the folder on the taskbar.

    Thursday, April 29, 2010 9:51 AM
  • Right, I already set "Display as a menu".  for "Personal folder", as well as for "Music", "Videos", and the others.  But those categories are useless to me.  I need "Development", "Maintenance", "Office, "Tools", "Reference", "Media", and several others.  I could bury all those within Microsoft's "Music" I suppose, and rename "Music" to "Meaningful Categories", but that just adds another layer of clicking to get to my shortcuts.

    I "pinned" the folder to the Start menu by dragging it there from Explorer.  It would be simple for Microsoft to make the folder's contents display as a submenu.

    I think it's fine for Microsoft to develop new Start menus with each new version of Windows.  But this time they removed the ability to organize my shortcuts in a hierarchical fashion without burying them under irrelevant default categories.

    Let's hope Microsoft actually intends to add this basic necessity back in, and just hasn't gotten to it yet.

    Sunday, May 2, 2010 3:02 AM
  • The unfortunate answer is that in the Start menu's left pane, there is no way to pin a folder and have its contents display as submenus.

    I'll use that left pane for high-use apps.  In the right pane I'll change the default library names and make them point at different folders than what they do by default.

    • Marked as answer by JM6 Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:39 AM
    Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:39 AM
  • I have found a way around this - well, kind of.  For some reason Win7 has certain special User libraries that can be pinned to the start menu (right side) and expand. 

    I am VERY addicted to my favorite folders expanding and losing this in Windows 7 was a BIG turnoff.  Here's how I fixed it.  This involves basically repurposing the stupid "Recorded TV" special user library.

     

    1. Right-click the start menu and choose "Properties".  Click the middle "Start Menu" tab and click "Customize".  Scroll down to "Recorded TV" and choose "display as menu".  Apply all changes and close this window.

    2. Go to Start Menu and highlight the "Recorded TV" menu on the right side.  Right click it and rename it to something like "Folders".  You may get a security warning, click "Continue".

    3. Go to Start Menu and highlight the "Recorded TV" menu on the right side.  Right click it and choose "properties."  Now you can add whatever folders you want to hot-link in the list.

     

    That's it!  Note that any reference to "Recorded TV" now goes to your newly renamed folder, but who really cares?

     

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 3:18 PM
  • But is there no way to customize the hover over tooltip to not say watch tv programs recorded from t.v when it dos'nt relate to my new folder

    http://i52.tinypic.com/2jb8s95.png

    Saturday, November 13, 2010 1:55 AM
  • I know what you want to do, I did exactly the same with W2000 and XP. I haven't been able to duplicate the same feature in W7, however, I've found a better way to achieve the same result, since this approach allows you quicker access to your folder items, this is how:

    1. right click on the task bar, select TOOLBARS -> NEW TOOLBAR

    2. navigate to the folder you want to expand, select it. That's it.

    As I said, not exactly the same as in 2000 or XP, but I like it better the new way, since I don't have to click on the START button to access the folder contents

     

     

     

    • Proposed as answer by Chris Weetman Tuesday, August 2, 2011 9:37 AM
    Friday, March 25, 2011 6:09 PM
  • I know what you want to do, I did exactly the same with W2000 and XP.

     

    manohoo,

    How did you do this in XP?

    Thanks

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011 11:48 AM
  • This did more or less what i was after, put my folders inside a parent, pointed the new toolbar to the parent folder, it expands and shows all sub folders and documents inside them, perfect...

    now can MS explain, when this looks so good with expanding objects in first part of start menu (before all programs), why does this feature not work for folders??

     

    many thanks again manohoo

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 9:40 AM
  • Hi,

    i'm looking for a way to customize a "personal folder" in the Start Menu of Windows7, incorporating the native jump list in the folder link itself....like "sticky notes" in the image below..

    Can you help me?

     

    Thanks




    • Proposed as answer by iEMAi Thursday, September 1, 2011 11:38 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by iEMAi Thursday, September 1, 2011 11:38 AM
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011 3:47 PM
  • I solved my problem with JumpList Launcher --> http://en.www.ali.dj/jumplist-launcher/
    • Proposed as answer by iEMAi Thursday, September 1, 2011 11:43 AM
    Thursday, September 1, 2011 11:42 AM
  • You can do all this is the right pane (Win7, not sure others). R-click on start button, go to Properties, then in Start Menu tab go to Customize. Scroll down until you see Personal Folder and select Display as a menu radio button. Now all files/folders auto-expand to their contents as you hover over them (click if you want). I added a MyDevelopment folder (just to keep naming conventions a bit, also have a Installs folder there. Now you can put all your development their. If you allready have development folder, navigate to it. Clicking on an item launches it, or browses a sub-folder. R-clicking on folder allows you the option to open that folder.

    As far as the Start Menu their are a lot of articles and utilities to adding expanding folders and moving start menu items to these for better organization. One simple trick is to pick an expanding folder drag copy to another existing folder. Rename that copy to something and then move back to parent level. I've done this with two folders ("1" and "2") which can be use to create new folders of your own by r-drag/copy 2 to 1 (select copy!), re-name copied folder to what you want, move back to parent level. Now you r-drag/copy any folder in you system to these (drag and hover over All Programs, continue to drag to your folder, hover, move in till you see a line and let go r-button. The folder and all their sub-folders become expandable. Copy has to be done (will not copy contents just makes all short-cuts). Looking into making this process easier or write an app for assisting in this method but I sort like the popup menus in right pane.

    I have also created my own toolbar on taskbar using my user dir for the new folder. A lot easier to make automatically everything is a popup when hover over. Had to make a "MyPrograms" folder in my user dir and create logical catagories there for programs. Then same thing having to r-drag/copy folder/itmes in start menu to "MyPrograms" folder.

    Have documented all this and if want to you can email me marketrue@yahoo.com. Soon will have StartMenuOrganized doc done both detailing steps to accomplish all this. I don't know about you, I've looked at Win8 and why clutter up your screen with all these windows (in their new UI Metro/Aero?). Can allready do this in other windows and drag drop items to apps and launch! Rather have clean desktop w/organized access to programs and data.

    • Proposed as answer by LaTiNo156 Monday, April 15, 2013 1:02 PM
    Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:19 AM
  • Although this thread is old, I would like to provide an elegant solution that has served me well.

    The trick has to do with the usage of Symbolic Links in Windows (Vista or later but you can do this too in XP), if I want to have an expandable folder anywhere in my filesystem in the Start Menu, I have to do the following:

    1) Locate the folder in the filesystem that needs to be incorporated "virtually" in the Start Menu, lets say it is 'C:\Tools'

    2) Open a command prompt and change directory to '%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs'

    3) Create the symbolic link for the 'C:\Tools' folder in the above folder by running:

    mklink /D Tools C:\Tools

    The result of the above will be displayed under the command as:

    symbolic link created for Tools <<===>> C:\Tools

    Now I have an expandable Folder under Programs in my Start Menu, if I want to have it  Pinned I just go to it in the Start Menu and Pin it by right-clicking on it!

    There you have it! A nice, clean and fast way to have custom expandable folders and not just links!

    Now whenever you want to remove it from the start menu you have to Un-Pin it first and the go to Programs and Delete the Folder (actually you are deleting the Symbolic Link), all these from the convenience of your Start Menu, alternatively you may delete the link from the command prompt by going to Step #2 and deleting it through there, if you DIR the directory you will see that C:\Tools is a <SYMLINKD> type, and when deleted it doesn't deletes the physical contents of the folder. It is just a reference to it.

    Hope you like this solution!


    George Simos former MVP in Configuration Manager, MCT, MCSA, MCITP Enterprise Admin, MCTS Virtualization & ConfigMgr

    Friday, June 13, 2014 10:14 PM