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How to set up a Start Menu for portable software in Windows [Tip]

This post [1] told you how to add a second Start Menu to the Windows desktop. However, FastKeys does not support portable software. With SyMenu you can set up a Start Menu for USB sticks that include shortcuts to portable software.

Add the software to Windows XP/Vista/7/8+ from the SyMenu website [2]. Press the Download SyMenu button to save the ZIP. Then extract the ZIP to a folder by right-clicking the file and select Extract All. Open SyMenu from the extracted folder. When the software’s running, you’ll find a Sy button on the desktop as below.

symenu [3]Press the Sy button to open your new Start Menu as shown below. Note that you can also open desktop software from the menu. Select My Computer > Host Programs to open a submenu with your Start Menu software folders on it.

symenu2 [4]To add portable software on your USB stick to this Start Menu, click Tools > Configuration. That will open the SyMenu configuration window below. Click Item Manager > Add Program and press the … button beside the Path text box.

Symenu3 [5]Then you can select a portable program on your USB stick. Alternatively, you can also select to add a document on your USB to the SyMenu Start Menu. The USB’s portable software and documents are included just below Tools on the menu as shown below.

Symenu4 [6]To further customize the SyMenu, click Advanced > Options. That opens the SyMenu – Options window. There you can adjust the menu colors by selecting the Theme tab. There you can choose new menu colors by pressing the palette buttons.

Symenu5 [7]SyMenu also has keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl + F1 that opens the menu. Customize the hotkeys by selecting Hot Keys tab. There enter alternative hotkeys in the text boxes.

Symenu6 [8]So SyMenu gives you a handy Start Menu for your portable applications. With it you can organize and run your USB software and programs on the C: drive. The software also supports plug-ins that you can find at this forum page [9].