If you want to work faster on your computer, then you need to optimize your Windows Start menu. It’s one of the most improved features in the newest version of Windows, and unfortunately, many users never use it to its full advantage.

Today, we’re going to teach you how to speed up your Start menu and optimize it for faster, smoother PC performance.

If you don’t already know, the Start Menu is what opens up when you press the Windows logo in the bottom left hand corner of your desktop. It can also be opened by pressing the Windows shortcut key on your keyboard. By default, the Start bar shows 10 recently-used programs and applications on the left-hand side. On the right, it has links to useful folders, your network, and your PC’s control panel.

Many people are happy to leave Windows 7 on its default settings. However, if you’d rather customize it in a way that works for you, then keep reading.

Customize the Windows 7 Start Menu

Instead of left-clicking on the Start menu button this time, try right clicking on the icon. Select ‘Properties’ from the small list that drops down (the other option on the list, ‘Explorer’ just opens up a Windows Explorer box.)

Here, you’ll find all sorts of useful tools. You can choose what happens when you press the power button on the Start menu, for example. Instead of setting it as the default action – shut down – you can set it to log off, go to sleep, or switch user.

This is also a great place to restrict your privacy settings. If you would rather not have other users see what programs you have opened recently, you can prevent the Start bar from automatically displaying your most recently used programs.

Clicking the ‘Customize’ button in the top right corner of the Properties screen takes you to another helpful menu. Here, you can add, remove, and customize the links that appear on your start menu. Instead of using your Control Panel button as a link, for example, you can set it to display a menu when you click on it. You can also do this for buttons like ‘Computer’, ‘Documents’, or whatever else you want to see on your Start bar.

This window also lets you set the default folders that appear on the Start menu. If you frequently access your ‘Downloads’ folder, you can set that to appear at the top of your Start bar. There are also options to display newly installed programs on the menu, or to sort programs alphabetically. Put simply, this menu allows you to easily customize the Start bar in any way you choose.

When used to its maximum potential, the Start bar is one of your PC’s quickest, easiest, and fastest tools to use. By customizing it to reflect the way you use your PC, you can easily optimize your computer’s performance and become more productive while you’re at it.

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