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I want my Start Menu to look like the old classic ones (without the use of third-party software, if possible).

These are all the steps I've taken so far:

  1. Computer Properties → Advanced system settings → Advanced tab → under Performance, click "Settings..." → select "Adjust for best performance" → OK
  2. Run (Win+R) → regedit
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders → set the value of Favorite to "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs"
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders → set the value of Favorite to "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs"
  3. Right-click on taskbar → Properties → Start Menu tab → click "Customize..." → check "Favorites menu"
  4. Run (Win+R) → gpedit.msc → User Configuration → Administrative Templates → Start Menu and Taskbar
    • enabled "Remove All Programs list from the Start menu"
    • enabled "Add the Run command to the Start menu"
  5. Start menu → Control Panel → Programs and Features → Turn Windows features on or off → unchecked "Windows Search" → OK

I'm almost there. Now, if I can remove the blank column, I'd call it a mission accomplished. Can you help me?

share|improve this question

I don't think it's possible without third party software. since the Classic theme is drawn from GDI using vectors. Not raw images like the .msstyles are.

One way to do that would be by creating a new style as mentioned here using Windows 7 style builder, but unfortunately it will not work with the Windows Classic theme as will be described below.

I used Windows 7 style builder and applied the above method to change the width of the Start Menu, this was the result.

Default Aero Theme

But when I changed the theme to Windows Classic - in hope that it will be skinned above the existing Aero theme - I got this!

enter image description here

So you can try CSMenu, but you may prefer Classic Shell assuming you don't want Aero effects.

Take a look at this CSMenu screenshot

CSMenu screenshot

share|improve this answer
I tried CSMenu before. Somehow it felt artificial like a software on top of Start Menu, instead of a tweaked Start Menu. – user125738 Dec 21 '12 at 15:51
Try creating a new style as mentioned here using windows 7 style builder Google is your friend... – James Young Dec 22 '12 at 19:05
Check out updated answer! – James Young Dec 22 '12 at 22:34
Yes, the goal is the classic. Third party software as last resort only. I tried Classic Shell already as well. But I didn't know about GDI, I'll take it as a hint to research deeper on it. Will try the Style Builder too. Thank you for your effort. – user125738 Dec 24 '12 at 0:24

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