Is there a way to automatically expand the "All Programs" in the Windows 7 Start Menu by not clicking it?

  • Adds horrible lag when you do. Aug 31 '09 at 18:39
  • Do you mean when you hover over 'All Programs' in the Start menu or when you hover over the contents of All Programs (e.g. 'Accessories')?
    – pelms
    Sep 1 '09 at 1:08
  1. Right-click the start button and select 'Properties'
  2. Click the 'Start menu' tab and then the 'Customize...' button
  3. Scroll about half way down and check the box for 'Open submenus when I pause on them with the mouse pointer'


If you're wanting something that behaves like the classic Start Menu, try the following link, which sets up a menu on the taskbar, using the little known Toolbars feature on the Windows 7 taskbar: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/888-quick-launch-enable-disable.html

It's a well put together web page. I've only a few points to add:

  1. There's no way to get the quick launch menu using the keyboard.
  2. It doesn't have to be called "Quick Launch". You can reference any directory you like, even a server directory.

What I've decided to do is to link to my "Start Menu" directory, so looking back at step 2 on the above web page, instead of linking to:

%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

... instead enter:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu

This way, everything that is in your personal "Start Menu" directory is accessible from both Start button and the customised taskbar menu you've just set up. The advantage of this approach is that the shortcuts added to the "Start Menu" directory are available in "All Programs", "Search programs and files", and from your customised taskbar menu.

This "Search programs and files" feature in Windows 7 Start is quite powerful, because it shortlists all your shortcuts under the "Start Menu" directory, simply by typing some part of their filename.



If you right click the Start menu, choose "Properties", then click on "Customize" you can choose the behaviour of the Start menu. You can choose to have nothing else displayed but "all programs".

  • 2
    This doesn't seem to do what he wants, unless I'm missing something. Even with nothing else displayed, you still have the "All Programs" link that you need to click (or hover over) before seeing all the programs.. Aug 31 '09 at 20:06

This program does that: http://code.google.com/p/all-programs-auto-expander/

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