Show More (or Fewer) Recently Used Programs in the Start Menu

Following last week's post about adding a Control Panel menu to the Start menu, let's turn our focus to one of Start's smartest assets: its recently-used programs list.

Not to be confused with programs "pinned" to the Start menu, the recently-used programs list shows exactly that: The apps you've run most recently.

By default, Vista displays nine of them, but you can easily raise or lower that number. Here's how:

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

2. Click the Customize button.

3. Just below the options window, you'll find Number of recent programs to display. Use the arrows to choose your desired setting, or just type a number into the box.

4. Click OK, OK, and you're done.

Obviously you'll want to experiment a bit until you find the setting you like best. Personally, I like to keep the number small (around 6), as I rely on the Quick Launch toolbar for the programs I use regularly. Thus, I don't need a mammoth list of recently-used apps.

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