Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Start Button: "Open All Users" and "Explore All Users" Context Menu Disable

Right clicking on the Start button in Windows gives a context menu that contains "Open All Users" and "Explore All Users". Since I didn't need those two items cluttering my menu, I Googled and found that I could remove them through Group Edit.

So, when I opened gpedit.msc in Run, then "User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Start Menu and Taskbar/Remove common program groups from Start Menu", I disabled it.

This did remove the context menu for All Users. However, disabling this setting will also remove the All Users program groups that show in your "Start/All Programs" menu (workaround below). This means that many of the program shortcuts installed on the computer probably won't show up anymore. The reason is that many programs, upon installation, do put their shortcut groups in the All Users profile.

If you want to see what resides there, open Window Explorer and go to "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs". Now, if you still want to disable the common program groups, there is a way to still see the shortcuts from the All Users profiles in your "Start/All Programs" menu.

Remember, though, that programs that install after this change will probably install their shortcuts into the All Users folder, and your user profile won't be able to see them (yes, this Group Edit change only works for your own profile, not other users, since it's located in the "User Configuration" in Group Edit).

Just copy the Shortcut folder from the All Users profile, and then paste it in your own profile. Example:

In Windows Explorer, copy "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Yahoo! Messenger" to "C:\Documents and Settings\your profile name\Start Menu\Programs"

Make sure you *copy* and not cut, as other users on the computer won't be able to see the shortcuts if you do.

If you don't like the change, you can reverse it immediately by choosing "Not Configured", for the common groups, in the Group Editor. If something isn't clear, please leave a comment.