Start menu organizer

Bring better organization and one-click launching to the Start Menu with this free app.

Start Menu enhancements are numerous, but most complaints about the Windows Start Menu boil down to this: there's too much stuff in it, and you have to click through folders to get to your programs. ChemTable Software's Handy Start Menu addresses these two issues by grouping Start Menu items together by category and by replacing folders with shortcuts that open the application in question with a single click. You can quickly toggle back to the regular Start Menu, too. Better still, it's free.

Clicking Handy Start Menu's desktop icon opens a dialog with an About section and three commands: enable or disable the program, adjust its categories, and offer feedback. We could also use the program's Start Menu entry or its system tray icon to access its control dialog. Clicking the Enable button altered the Start Menu's All Programs view by grouping our programs into the provided categories. Four apps didn't fit, so we clicked Adjust Categories and selected our choices from an extensive list. We also created a custom category, Desktop, for some utilities we keep parked there. Among the categories are Office, Internet, Utilities, Fun and Games, Graphics and Design, and For Developers. Clicking the Back button returned us to our start-up menu view; clicking All Programs took us back to Handy Start Menu's list again. Program icons replaced folders in Handy Start Menu's tree view but preserved its structure. Clicking any program icon opened the app immediately, yet we could still browse through the folders.

The Start Menu is sort of like your hall closet: there's too much stuff in it, but when you go to clean it out, the keep pile is usually a lot bigger than the toss pile. Handy Start Menu solves this problem by grouping your important stuff together. Add the ability to open programs with a click, and you have a Windows enhancement that's actually an improvement.

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