Remove System Folders from the Startmenu

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 16, 2007
Updated • Oct 13, 2015
Windows, Windows tips

Windows XP displays several system folders in the start menu with no obvious way of removing them from it. System folders are for instance the MyDocuments, MyMusic and MyPics folders. They are displayed even if you do not use those folders at all and no files are located in them.

A convenient way to get rid of those system folders is to edit the Windows Registry. Hit Windows-R, type regedit and press enter to load the Windows XP Registry editor.

You can alternative click on the start menu button, and use the box there to do the very same thing.

Now navigate to the Registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced and look at the right pane. You probably find lots of registry keys in that folder, all entries starting with Start_Show are of importance.

remove system folders from start menu

Just double-click an entry and set its value to 0 if you do not want to display it in the start menu anymore. It could be that some entries are not existing, take a look at the following table and add those keys as Dwords if they are missing and you want them displayed.

  • Start_ShowControlPanel - Show or hide a link to the Control Panel.
  • Start_ShowHelp - Show or hide the Help link.
  • Start_ShowMyComputer - Display or Hide MyComputer.
  • Start_ShowMyDocs - Show or hide the MyDocuments folder.
  • Start_ShowMyMusic - Display or hide the MyMusic folder.
  • Start_ShowMyPics - Display or hide the MyPictures folder.
  • Start_ShowNetConn - Show or hide Network Connections.
  • Start_ShowPrinters - Display or hide the Devices and Printers link.
  • Start_ShowRecentDocs -Display or hide the list of recent documents.
  • Start_ShowRun - Show or hide the run box.
  • Start_ShowSearch - Show or hide the search box.
  • Start_ShowSetProgramAccessAndDefaults - Display or hide Default Programs.

Update: Please note that this is also working on Windows Vista and Windows 7. It is not working anymore on Windows 8 however due to the absence of a start menu in the operating system.

The parameters available have been improved in Windows 7. The following parameters are available in addition to the ones listed above.

  • Start_ShowHomegroup - Display or hide the homegroup link.
  • Start_ShowNetPlaces - Display or hide Network Places.
  • Start_ShowRecordedTV - Show or hide Recorded TV folder.
  • Start_ShowUser - Show or hide a User link.
  • Start_ShowVideos - Display or hide the Videos folder.
  • Start_TrackDocs - Display or hide Recent Items.
  • Start_TrackProgs - Show or hide Recent Programs.

The parameters should work under Vista and Windows 7. Just set them to 1 if you want them displayed, or to 0 if you do not want them to show up in the start menu.

Update 2: The method works again under Windows 10, the operating system that Microsoft re-introduced the start menu in. Please note that you can modify what is being displayed in Windows 10 without using the Registry to do that.

Select Start Menu > Settings > Personalization > Start > Choose which folders appear on Start, and enable or disable system folders based on your requirements.

Remove System Folders from the Startmenu
Article Name
Remove System Folders from the Startmenu
The guide explains how you can remove special folders from the start menu.

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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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