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Windows 7: Start Menu User Folder Buttons - Open to Users Instead of Libraries

21 Jun 2010   #89
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
Start Menu User Folder Buttons - Open to Users Instead of Libraries

How to Make Windows 7 Start Menu User Folder Buttons Open to Users Instead of Libraries Location


My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2011   #90

windows 7 home premium 64bit
Reg file not running

Hi Brink -

Now that you have helped me remove auto arrange from windows explorer (different tutorial), I would like to reprogram my Pictures start menu button to open to the My Picture user folder. But having some trouble.

I download the Start_Menu_Pictures_Open_to_Users.reg file to desktop. Then rightclick and click Merge. First pop-up window has Run button to click. Next window has warning about trusting the source, and it has Yes (continue) button to click. But the next window titled "Registry Editor" says "Cannot import C:\Users\(username)\Desktop\ . . . .reg. Not all data was successfully written to the registry. Some keys are open by the system or other processes." ???

No window asks for administrator password, but it didn't ask during the autoarrange tutorial either.

What do you think? Would you recommend trying to run the (default) open-to-library program first?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Sep 2011   #91
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Hello Bat,

It sounds like you are merging the REG file while logged in as a standard user instead of an administrator account. Since this is applied to all users, it requires to be logged in as an administrator to be able to merge/import the REG file successfully.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2011   #92

windows 7 home premium 64bit

Alright, it was just that simple. Running it in the administrative account worked fine, and the change did apply to all users.

(In the case of the auto arrange tutorial, the changes to windows explorer didn't automatically apply to the other users after fixing the administrative account. It was actually necessary for me to run the procedure again, logged in as a user.)

This is great now -- maximum convenience.

Thank You Brink. Looking forward to checking out more topics on the Forum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2011   #93
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

You're most welcome Bat.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Dec 2011   #94

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

I have a very hard question.
I searched in Regedit a Registry Key called:
as suggested in:
Libraries Folder - Add or Remove from Navigation Pane
I assumed to follow this as my Windows version is 64-bit.

I searched the key on the original .REG for "Start_Menu_Videos_Open_to_Users.reg" and I found it was pointing to an seeming 32bit key of the registry, then I looked after that key in Wow6432Node and I FOUND IT, so I put the same value of the specific String ("ParsingName") of the .REG file IN the Wow6432Node String.

I mean I searched this:


and copied in THIS key

BEING THE ONLY DIFFERENCE the Wow6432Node sub-key. THE BIG PROBLEM IS that now I look into Start Menu to find that now there's NO link nor menu in there, the "My Videos" option had disappeared! Why did it dissappeared? In first place, when I applied the .REG file without editing the Wow6432Node sub-key, this method didn't worked as promised.

Thanks in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Dec 2011   #95
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Hello Lapc506, and welcome to Seven Forums.

The REG file in this tutorial works for both the 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7 as is using only the location in the REG file. I would recommend to change the Wow6432Node entry back to the default entry below.


Did you restart the computer after merging the REG file to apply it?

Did you change the default location of the Videos folder?

You might also check in the Customize Start Menu settings to see if you still have Videos selected to display.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2012   #96

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Problems with the result!

Hi Brink..............gr8 tut have to say but......

Used the downloaded .reg docs to set the Start Menu User folder buttons to open to Users instead of Libraries.................all went well on the face of it, however, upon further investigation I have noticed a very strange and potentially worrying problem that will need resolving with your usual diligent investigation and help please.

After completion, clicking on any of the amended Start Menu buttons brings me to windows explorer and to the relevant User folder all as expected. The left hand pane folders appear all as they should in the 4 usual groups, as follows:

1) Favorites; Downloads; Recent Places; Desktop.

2) Libraries - Documents; Music; Pictures; Videos.

3) Computer – (I have partitioned my HD as follows) C: System; D: Restore; F: Data (Contacts; Desktop; Favorites; Links; My Documents; Searches); G: Multimedia (Downloads; My Music; My Pictures; My Videos; Saved Games)

4) Network

I can navigate and open folders as per normal in either left or right hand panes. “No problem there then”, I hear you say.

However, when I right-click the left hand pane and tick "Expand to current folder" and then re-launch from the amended Start Menu buttons, I see that all my User folders and sub-folders are now shown grouped together (under a main folder <My User Name>) in between the lists of Libraries and Computer.

Moreover, within the same left hand pane I can expand both F: and G: to reveal a second instance of my User folders all correctly placed in their respective hierarchies on their respective partitions.

What’s going on here? Surely this shouldn’t be happening? Looking at the Properties of each copy of each folder shows that neither is a shortcut, and frankly I cannot see any difference…………….one appears to be a clone of the other. However, each copy of the same folder would appear to be linked, because saving / moving / copying content to one copy of a folder means that the same also appears in its clone. I have not yet been able to establish whether or not these are actual clone / duplicate folders or just simply ‘mirrors’ of the same……………think what will happen to my disk storage if they are indeed clone / duplicate folders!!

Now worryingly, all this is not unique to one laptop, I have tested this on another two laptops each running OEM install of Windows 7 Home Premium x64 bit………………same thing happens!!

Multiple copies of the same folders is not good practice…………… sort of defeats the whole object of wanting to get rid of the double instances of the folders already existing within Libraries……………..I mean, that is why we are all looking at this thread in the first place isn’t it?

Has something been overlooked in the .reg script perhaps?
Am I the only one who has experienced this, or at least the only one who has noticed this?
Why is this happening Brink, and what can you suggest to help resolve it?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2012   #97
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise

Hello Amicus, and welcome to Seven Forums.

It's nothing to worry about. This is normal and is not caused by the tutorial. Whenever a user folder is opened directly at the C:\Users\(user-name) location and not navigated to it in Windows Explorer, it will show a separate (user-name) folder group in the navigation pane of Windows Explorer whenever you have the Expand to current folder option checked.

You can test this by opening Favorites on the Start Menu right dark side into Windows Explorer, and doing the same thing since it opens at the C:\Users\(user-name) location by default. It will do the same with it.


You can also test this by navigating to say your C:\Users\(user-name)\Downloads folder, right click on the Downloads folder, click on Send To -> Desktop (Create shortcut). Next, open the shortcut on your desktop to have it open directly to that folder, and check the Expand to current folder option to see that it does it for this as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2012   #98

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Thanks for the very swift reply Brink..........much appreciated.

Phew! You're right of course........had myself worried there for an hour or so, and thought I'd done something crazy. All good, so I presume that there should be no issues with backups, imaging, etc., etc.?

When all's said and done though (and happy I am that every new file / prog., etc., will not be eating up my HDD), I still strangely feel it sort of defeats the whole object of wanting to get rid of the double instances of the folders already existing within Libraries.

Maybe I'm missing something rather obvious here; maybe I'm just too darn tidy and particular; or maybe my brain is just too single minded, but I do like things neat and folder for one purpose, not two or three clones / duplicates all serving the same purpose............otherwise why not have Microsoft create a clone of each and every folder in every location throughout the whole darn OS so that nobody would have to remember or go searching for anything ever again............we could all just dump whatever we've created in the nearest clone / duplicate of the relevant folder.

Yes I know, I know, I've gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.......I'll stop ranting. Grrrr.

Thanks again Brink for clearing this up.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2012   #99
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise


No worries. This will not cause any issues since it's a default built-in feature of Windows 7.

I guess it's just Microsoft's way to help make navigating in the "user folders" easier to do as it's own separate group in the navigation pane.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Start Menu User Folder Buttons - Open to Users Instead of Libraries

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