Add Fly-Out Menus to the Start Menu

How do you routinely access, say, your Documents folder? Or your C drive? Or the Windows Control Panel? Whatever your method, there's an alternative you might find more convenient: fly-out menus.

Specifically, it's possible to tweak the Start menu so that options like Documents, Pictures, Computer, and Control Panel produce fly-out menus when you mouse over them. I find that preferable to opening those items in new windows, which is the default setting. That just involves extra clicks and more searching.

With fly-out menus, I just mouse over the desired option, then choose the item I want. Here's how to configure your system accordingly. (This example is for Vista, but it's virtually identical in XP. A few of the Start meny items have slightly different names.)

1. Right-click the Start button, and then click Properties.

2. In the Start Menu tab, click the Customize button. (XP users should then switch to the Advanced tab.)

3. You'll see entries marked Computer, Control Panel, Documents, Games, Music, and so on. For any or all of them, enable Display as a menu.

4. Click OK twice to exit.

Now, when you venture into Start, you'll see that these items have little arrows. Mouse over one (or click it outright) and you'll see the associated options in a fly-out menu.

What do you think? Is this a handier way to navigate your system, or will you stick with your usual way of opening windows and drilling your way through?

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