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Windows 7: Blank space in Start Menu


06 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Blank space in Start Menu

Hey!

I just completed a fresh Windows 7 HP 64bit install on my new SDD. Everything went fine and is awesome, except my start menu has this large blank/empty space in the unused area, which causes unnecessary and annoying mouse/touchpad mileage.

I've used the same operation system twice in different installs and I've never had to deal with this problem. From what I can remember, I could get the start menu as small as I wanted to in earlier systems as long as there weren't icons in the way and I'm pretty sure this should be normal.

I have to say this sounds like a corrupted registry issue or something along the lines. I think the bug is that Windows is trying to reserve the space for "recently opened programs" (the first setting from start menu properties - privacy), but I have that option disabled. I've tried setting this to a low number, but it doesn't help with the blank space (from the screenshot attached I assume it's stuck on 8 programs) and probably wouldn't address the issue in the first place. I have also tried experimenting with the settings in the "Customize" menu, to no avail.

I really hope someone can help me with this. Thanks in advance. Screenshot:



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Nov 2011   #2

Ubuntu 12.10
 
 

If you want to reduce, just do the following.

1. Right click on the Start button and select Properties.

2. Make sure you select the Start Menu tab, and the select Customize...

3. On the bottom you'll see something that says: 'Number of recent programs to display...'. Just select the amount you want, and it will reduce, or increase, the size of the start menu. That's all .

Then, use CCleaner Redirecting... and clean up the Windows Start Menu (you'll find an option to clean it near the bottom).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

SlasherIT, I'm sad to report I did everything suggested in your post (including the CCleaner part with 2 options to clean start menu items) but nothing changed .

At this point, I'm actually starting to question whether this blank space really is a bug or not. I tried replicating my start menu in another Windows 7 system while changing the recent programs number anywhere from 0 to 8 and the outcome was the exact same blank space as indicated in my screenshot. I created a new profile, took out most of the items and again - same blank area all over.

I would be hugely thankful to anyone who could help me in this annoying issue.

EDIT: My friend sent me his start menu after setting "recent programs" to 5 and removing some items and the attached picture is what his looks like. This is exactly what I'm looking for. When I use the exact same settings he did I still get the blank space. Therefore this is a bug.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Nov 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello ttarvi, and welcome to Seven Forums.

It appears from your screenshot in the first post that those may be programs pinned to the Start Menu (top half of whie area) instead of recently opened programs (bottom half of white area). When you adjust how many recent programs are displayed on the Start Menu, this is in addition to how many pinned programs you have.

As a test, right click on them and see if you have a Unpin from Start Menu option. If you do, then it's a pinned program. The only way to shrink it would be to unpin the programs so that only the number of recent programs you set will show instead.

Hope this may help,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Now isn't this odd - I can't believe I figured out the solution to this problem with that same friend who helped me conduct tests with his start menu, and he isn't even really that tech savvy. The trick was to enable "recent files and jump lists", set the value in "customize" to a higher number than 0 and then disable that option. Currently I have both options unchecked and my start menu looks like this.

I still can't believe I figured that out as the problem is well documented on the internet and there wasn't a single solution available (especially as um... random? as this one).



Brink: just for future reference for the googlers out there, unpinning the programs (and also getting some recently used programs to appear) did nothing in this issue.

But anyway, thank you to both of you for trying to help me out with this issue . I'm really happy I can do without the bloated menu in the future.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

No problem. I'm happy to hear that you got it sorted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2011   #7

Ubuntu 12.10
 
 

How strange... Nice job fixing it though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Dec 2011   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ttarvi View Post
Now isn't this odd - I can't believe I figured out the solution to this problem with that same friend who helped me conduct tests with his start menu, and he isn't even really that tech savvy. The trick was to enable "recent files and jump lists", set the value in "customize" to a higher number than 0 and then disable that option. Currently I have both options unchecked...
Not sure what you mean when you say enable "recent files and jump lists" as I don't see anything by that name. Could you clarify? Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2012   #9

Windows 7 x64
 
 

^
1. Right click Start Menu
2. Tick both boxes under Privacy
3. Click Apply
4. Click Customize
5. On the bottom you will see "Number of recent programs to display" and "Number of recent items to display in Jump Lists" - set both of them to a number smaller than the amount of pinned programs. 0 worked for me.
6. Click OK
7. Click Apply
8. Un-tick both boxes under Privacy
9. Click Apply
10. Click OK

If you set them to 0, the space will be gone without un-ticking the boxes. But since you don't want any recent things displayed, there is no point in leaving them ticked.

I had the same problem as ttarvi. If I had less than 9 programs pinned, there was a blank space. If I remember correctly the default number for "recent items" was 10. I did as ttarvi suggested and the blank space was gone.

If you want the space back, you tick one of the boxes, set a high number (try 50 ), and un-tick the box.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Blank space in Start Menu




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