One of the many features of Windows
XP’s Start menu is the most frequently used programs list. When it comes to
configuring this feature, Windows XP only provides you with two controls: the
ability to completely clear the list, and the ability to specify the maximum
number of programs that can appear on this list at any one time. However, there
is one other thing that would be nice to be able to control and that is
preventing certain applications from appearing on that list.

For example, you probably don’t need to have often-used but
inconsequential applications such as Calculator or Notepad showing up in that
space. You probably would rather not have games that you occasionally play show
up in that space, either.

Fortunately, you can prevent an application from appearing in
the Start menu’s most frequently used programs list by adding a special key to
the registry. Follow these steps:

  1. Launch
    the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Go
    to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications.
  3. Right-click
    the Applications key and select New | Key.
  4. Name
    the key the same as the application’s executable file.
  5. Right-click
    your new key and select New | String Value.
  6. Name
    the string value NoStartPage.
  7. Close
    the Registry Editor.

You’ll need to reboot, or at least log off and then back on
again, in order for this change to become effective.

Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before
making any changes.
This tip
applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

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