How to display your Preferred Folders in Windows 7 Start Menu

How do you replace the Music, Pictures, etc folders in Windows 7 Start Menu, with folders of your choice? When you open the Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP start menu, on its right side you will see some system personal folders displayed. On this right part of the Windows Start Menu, you have the option of displaying User, Documents, Games, Music & Pictures Folders. While the first 3 are commonly use, most find little use for the last two folders; and would instead like to replace them with their oft-accessed folders like Downloads or any other.

Replace the Music & Pictures Folders in Start Menu

Well, in Windows 7 too, you can replace the Music & Pictures Folders with the folders of your choice. To do so, first, disable showing of, of the Pictures Folder & Music Folder, through Properties > Start Menu > Customize > Don’t display this item/s.

Next download the following vbs scripts FOR Windows XP from Kellys-Korner. These scripts work just fine on Windows 7 too.

Click on the script and Run it.

Now, enter the path of the desired folder in the space provided. Click OK. Reboot.

Now click open the Start Menu > Rt Click > Properties > Start menu > Customize > Display this item/s > Apply > OK.

Your Windows Start Menu will display the desired folders for easy access.

This way you can change the paths of these two positions to show any folders; including, back, the Default folders, should you wish to reverse the changes.

To manually make the changes, open Registry Editor. Be careful when you touch the registry & do create a system restore point first. Log in as Administrator. In start menu search type regedit and hit enter. Navigate to following key/s:

  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders\My Music
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\My Music
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders\My Pictures
  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\My Pictures

Against it, in the right column, you will see, NOT their default paths, but the new one’s you have inserted.

Double click on, say, My Music to open its Edit String box. Here replace the new (existing) path, as string in Value Data box, with the old (your) default folder path. Work similarly for Pictures folder.

Click OK, Reboot.

This way you will have reversed the changes.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

One Comment

  1. johnay

    Finally getting around to moving from XP to 7, and this is a huge disappointment. In XP (at least with the classic start menu) I could just create a folder under Start Menu, under any single user or All Users, stick whatever shortcuts in it I wanted, and it would show up immediately in the Start menu for the appropriate user(s). Even in the root of it rather than under Programs if you wanted. Much more flexible and user-friendly.
    I had hoped there was a way to add folders to the right panel rather than just renaming the ones already available, but apparently they are hard-coded. It’s bizarre that they would do it that way.

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