How to add a customizable Start Menu alternative in Windows [Tip]

It would be great if you could have two Start Menus in Windows (in Windows 8 it’s great to have one). With FastKeys you can add a second, customizable Start Menu to Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. The software adds a Start Menu to Windows that opens when you move the cursor to the top of the desktop.

Download the free version of FastKeys from the software’s website. The free version includes an evaluation notice when you load the app, but that aside has most of full version options. Press the FREE DOWNLOAD button to add FastKeys to Windows.

When the software’s running, you’ll find a FastKeys icon in the system tray. To open your new Start Menu, move the cursor to the top of the desktop. The FastKeys Start Menu will then open as shown in the shot below. Alternatively, right-click the system tray icon and select Open Menu.

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You can add a variety of software, website and system shortcuts to that menu. Select Settings at the bottom of the FastKeys Start Menu. That opens the window shown in the shot below.

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Select Start Menu, and then right-click within the Default tab to open context menu. Select New to open the window shown below. To add software to the menu, click Type drop-down list and select Run. Press the Open button to choose software to add to the menu. Then click OK to add the shortcut to Start Menu.

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Alternatively, add system options to the Start Menu. Select Command from the drop-down list, and click Library to open the window below. Then you can select to open a variety of system folders or options from that window. For example, add a Volume Up option to the Start Menu by selecting Audio > Volume Up. Press the Select and OK buttons to add the option to Start Menu.

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To delete a shortcut or option from the Start Menu, select it on the Default tab. Then right-click and select Delete. Alternatively, click the check box beside it.

There’s a lot you can do with FastKeys. The software also includes a text expander and shortcut options to expand abbreviations and set up hotkeys with. The FastKeys Start Menu is a great addition to the Windows desktop that you can add further shortcuts and options to. Open this page for further quick tips for FastKeys.

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  • GeorgeM

    Just to add… also includes Macro recorder and Clipboard manager. I have browsed through included library and found several nice commands: boss key, volume controls, pasting without formatting etc.

  • GeorgeM

    This is great. It not only adds several Start menus to desktop but has many other uses – Text and phrase expansion, shortcuts, mouse gestures etc. It can run any AutoHotkey commands as well.

  • Dane

    edit: Classic Shell

  • Dane

    Softwaremakers who promote download.com, softpedia etc. can’t be taken serious. They actually promote downloading bloatware, malware etc. Suggest Powershell.

  • Yes, FastKeys adds a second Start Menu to the desktop.

  • Mike S.

    [@jj] That was my first thought as well, but this software adds a second menu where you might want to store matters to get to quickly, rather than scrolling through the Classic Start Menu list. Could be handy in that regard.

  • jj

    Just use Classic Shell. It is easier.
    http://www.classicshell.net/downloads/