Friday, September 24, 2010

Automatically categorize start menu programs with Handy Start Menu

Even though on the Windows Vista and Windows 7 start menu it require far less effort to find a program, thanks to its search-as-you-type feature, it is still one of the most disorganized application launchers. The start menu does not employ any categorization and this hasn’t changed since the Windows 9x days. All application installers, by default, dump program shortcuts under the ‘All Programs’ group which over time makes the list so long that it seems to scroll for eternity. Finding a program on it becomes a nightmare.

You can organize the start menu manually by creating new folders for every category and moving each program shortcut to its appropriate category/folder. But this is a laborious task if you have too many applications installed. This is where Handy Start Menu comes handy. This is a free software that automatically organizes the applications in your Start Menu into categories, so you don't have to deal with organizing it yourself.


Once you've installed the application, it will replace the All Programs group in your Start Menu with a category view instead of the folder view. Your regular Start Menu folders aren't actually changed, as the new view is just an overlay over the Start Menu. You can revert back to your old start menu any time by disabling Handy Start Menu from the tray icon.

Handy Start Menu can pretty much identify all small and big programs. Browsers, feed readers, torrent programs are automatically moved to a folder named ‘Internet’. Similarly, word processors, editors and other office applications are moved to ‘Office’. Image viewers and image editing tools are sent to ‘Graphics and Design’ and so on. The program has a total of 10 different categories.

You can change the organization by moving application shortcuts from one category to another, but the program doesn’t let you define or add your own category. This is the main drawback of Handy Start Menu.

Handy Start Menu works on Windows XP, Vista and 7 for both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

Menu Inventor - The categorized start menu for Windows
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Start menu alternatives


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