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Windows 7: How to reduce Start menu extra item spacing ?

23 Apr 2018   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
How to reduce Start menu extra item spacing ?

Hello seven enthusiasts ,

The only thing that annoys me for quite a time now, and I couldn't google it out is that my Win7 adds some extra empty space of about 1,5 lines above "All programs" under the recently used shortcut list, regardless of what I set at "Number of recent programs to display". Now it's 14 but 10-20 makes no change to the extra space, about 1,5 lines of empty space is added to the list regardless of the setting.

See the attached pic pls.

How can I get rid of that useless space ?

Thanks, Peter

Attached Images
How to reduce Start menu extra item spacing ?-win7startmenu_space.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2018   #2

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN

Hi bluewings,

Welcome to SevenForums.

Normally, if your number of entries is set to display 10 or less, space will appear.
Did you try resetting to default, then reapplying your settings?
properties > customize > use default settings
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2018   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Hello Snick,

I tried the defaults, but nothing changed.
Probably I set something somewhere as I always go through the whole control panel after fresh installing any version of Windows. Upon fresh install this problem didn't exist, as far as I can remember, neither I saw such thing in any previous version of Windows I was using for at least 10 years.

Almost sure I messed up this by myself, but it's not serious enough to spend that 2-3 hours of practicing to find what is misadjusted where.

Hope someone checks in who has ever seen something similar.

Thanks, Peter
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Apr 2018   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

ps. AFAIK the space normally appears either on the left side (under shortcuts) OR the right side (under menu items I select @ Customize... - this case the Run: menu), but it shouldn't appear on both sides. IMHO
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2018   #5

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone

Greetings bluewings,

I also had this problem with one user account of my computer.

The problem only seemed to occur with only this one user and no other user profile was affected by menu item spacing/blank space in menu. So, immediate suggestion to you would be to create new user profile for your computer, and see if problem replicates on the new user profile.

However, having said that, I have found a different solution that also works for me, and may work for you. The solution is described here:

1. Right-click Start Menu, select Properties, and select Start Menu tab.
2. Under Privacy, tick both boxes.
3. Click Apply.
4. Click Customize.
5. Under Start menu size, set "Number of recent programs to display" AND "Number of recent items to display in Jump Lists" to 0 (zero).
6. Click OK.
7. Click Apply.
8. Under Privacy, un-tick both boxes.
9. Click Apply.
10 Click OK.

And see if this works for your machine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2018   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Tried another user (the Guest account), problem persists.

Done the steps iko22 suggested, shortcut list cleared, result attached.
Have to wait until 15 programs will be opened at least.

Attached Images
How to reduce Start menu extra item spacing ?-untitled.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2018   #7

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone

Ah, okay thats because you have less pinned items than me. Nevertheless, given your Start Menu customization, "Run..." should be closer to "Sleep" Button. Evidently you need another answer.

Could you re-enable the "Search Box"? [The Start Menu "Search Box" is Enabled/Disabled by Turning On/Off Windows Search.]
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2018   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
You found it !

Hahhh, you found it iko22 !

Windows search is the victim ... it seems Win7 still reserves the space for the search box in Start menu even if Windows search is completely turned off, as it can be clearly seen in the 3rd example pic on this topic :
Windows Search - Turn On or Off
Looks like exactly the same as mine.

I'm afraid this behaviour is hard-coded programmatically into some low-level system dll, or explorer.exe, or some other generic system component, so I'd be highly surprised if someone found out how to eliminate that space via registry settings or installing theming or skinnig apps.

Does anybody know which system file is responsible for drawing the Start menu ?
AFAIK it's explorer.exe, any rebuttals ?

iko22 you got +1 reputation from me, but I wouldn't like to close the topic as the original problem is still not solved despite we fount the reason for it.

Thanks guys
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to reduce Start menu extra item spacing ?

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