Remove items from Windows 7 Start Menu

  • dotancohen

    The default All Programs section of the Windows 7 Start Menu is overly cluttered. When I right-click an item and select Delete I am prompted for the Admin password! Is something misconfigured, or does one really need the Admin password to remove, for instance, Windows Live Messenger from the All Programs submenu? It appears that removing an item from this menu removes it from the Start menu of all users. Can a user not have his own custom Start Menu in Windows 7? This is a home computer (laptop), not a server or corporate machine.


  • Answers
  • surfasb

    Your Start Menu is made up of two copies: one under %Userprofile% and one under %AllUsersProfile%. When you tried to delete the shortcut to Windows Live, the shortcut was under %AllUsersProfile%, which requires Admin privileges to modify, and thus that is why you got the prompt to see the password.

    While you can add and modify the Startmenu per user, each user does not have their own private copy, nor is there a copy on write mechanism.

    Microsoft has been moving away from this functionality as fewer and fewer users use the Start menu for application management. Note the prominent role the Taskbar plays and the new Start screen for Win8.

  • Related Question

    Removing a Program from Windows 7's Start Menu forever?
  • Mohammad

    I'm gonna remove YM! icon from Windows 7's Start Menu for good, I mean I wanna remove it even I use it.

    I've been using Right Click >> Remove From This List but It comes back after using once! How can I remove the program from above list forever?

  • Related Answers
  • Paul Lammertsma

    Windows 7 maintains a list of recently used applications. As soon as you begin to use other programs more often, it will no longer appear in the list.

    To remove it forever, simply locate the Start Menu entry and remove it from the list. (You can easily reach your user-specific list by right-clicking on "All programs" and choosing "Open", or "Open All Users" for the system-wide Start Menu.

    As far as I know, you cannot specifically exclude one application. You can, however, disable displaying recently used programs on the Start Menu. To do this:

    1. Click Start
    2. Right-click on All Programs and select Properties
    3. Under the tab Start Menu, uncheck the first option in Privacy (and optionally the second option as well)
  • Sergiy Byelozyorov

    I have had the same problem several months ago. I didn't find a solution (which however doesn't mean it doesn't exits), so I have simply deleted the program from Start Menu, like Paul suggested and pinned it to taskbar.