No Start Menu Recently Opened Programs

By kesl ·
Strange... that area just above the Start button is totally blank... nothing but white space. All other parts of the Start Menu are fine... even the "pin to Start" section just above the white space. What happened to the Recently Opened Programs? I have searched the web and read dozens of papers on the Microsoft site... no help. There is a lot of information concerning the recently opened docs and the recently opened files within applications... but seemingly nothing concerning the Start Menu Recently Opened Applications section. Surely there is a registry entry for this that has become corrupted, but I can't find it... everything else works just fine. I even re-installed WinXP w/SP2... did not resolve the situation.

Any ideas?



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All Answers

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Have you...

by Pringles86 In reply to No Start Menu Recently Op ...

Have you modified your start menu preferences?

Right click on "Start", click on "Customize..", then make sure that in the middle of the screen the number is not set to "0". Change it to 5 or 6, then open a program like solitaire or notepad, and see if it shows up.

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Added Response

by kesl In reply to Have you...

Been there... done that... but...

I did it again just to be sure. It was set to 14. I set it to several different values, including zero, clicked the "clear" button several times and still nothing. I did notice that the general size of the white space where recently accessed applications should show up changes size with the change in value. It only gets so small, but it will grow larger with the larger values. When it is set to 16 or more and I click the Start button I see the message that "some items cannot be shown"... this message does not appear if the value is set to 14 or less.


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font color???

by Sue T In reply to Added Response

since you get the message about some items not shown can you move your mouse somewhere in the start menu on what appears to be a blank space and click to see if a program opens. Or have you tried doing a system restore back to a time when it wasn't blank. Have you installed any new programs or program updates, tweaking utilities?

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by kesl In reply to font color???

No its not white on white... No amount of clicking produces any result.

New programs... yes many... deleted most.

New updates... yes many... removed most.

New tweaks... yes many... deleted most.

I let my son use the computer to "read email" while it was logged in with administrator privileges... big no-no... he went to some sites, several actually, and I notice a big slowdown... got everything cleaned up, couple viruses etc... still slow. So I ran a couple registry repair utilities... nothing helped... so I reinstalled WinXP w/SP2... got rid of the viruses and the slowdown... system back to normal. Except for the missing Recently Accessed Applications thing. Seems to me there has to be something in the registry that was wacked by one of the registry repair utilities that carried through the windows re-install and I just need to find that elusive key.



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Possible solution

by radarsadie In reply to No Start Menu Recently Op ...

Ken -- I had the same problem and could not figure out how to correct it. The problem was in Vista but my solution may work for XPSP2 as well. Here what I did:

1. Right click the Start Menu
2. Click Properties
3. Select "Classic Start Menu"
4. Run any program and then see if it appears in the Recent Program list. In Vista, any program that was "pinned" to the Start Menu won't appear in the Recent Program List. Choose something you rarely use.
5. Right click the Start Menu and choose properties again.
6. Select the regular Start Menu
7. See if the program you ran in the Classic Start Menu appears. It did for me.

Apparantly, the registry key somehow gets re-written. Hope it helps ya'

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i have the same problem

by hajiamir In reply to Possible solution


FYI, i have the same problem on win xp sp2. What a pain. I wish I knew exactly which registry key so i could repair it manually. This happened to me recently, but the only thing I can remember changing is Java. I had JDK 6 installed, it was giving me version problems (compiling to the JRE 5 spec was kicking out a version problem). So i uninstalled it and any other JRE/JDK I had on my machine and installed JDK 5. I wouldn't think this is related, but with installers/uninstallers, you just never know.

Oh and I also rearranged toolbars in IE6. I have Google Toolbar FWIW.


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look here in the registry

by Sue T In reply to No Start Menu Recently Op ...


Policy:Disable user tracking
Description:Prevents the system from remembering the programs run, paths followed, and documents used.
Registry Value: NoInstrumentation

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