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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to Customize Start Menu Button in Windows 7

Customize Win 7 Start MenuHave you ever wondered to know how to customize the start menu button in Windows 7? Are you bored of seeing the same old start menu button that is there from the time of Vista? Well, it is possible to spice up your copy of Windows 7 by giving a new look to the start menu button.
In this post, I will show you how to do that in an easy to follow step-by-step manner.

Tools that you need:

  1. Resource Hacker
  2. Custom Start Menu icons (images). It mush be of the size 54×162 with a .bmp extension. which looks something as follows: Start Menu Icon
    As shown in the above image, it must be in the following order:
    1st Image: When the button is not in use.
    2nd Image: When the mouse pointer is over the button.
    3rd Image: When the button is clicked.
I have created a few customized buttons which are ready to use. You can download them from the following link:
Once you have all those resources ready, you can start the customization process as follows:
  1. Take the ownership of the fileexplorer.exe“ which is located in the Windows Folder (Most likely in C:\Windows).
  2. Open the Resource Hacker Tool.
  3. Go to File menu and click on Open. Now load the file “explorer.exe” into the Resource Hacker.
  4. Expand Bitmap branch in the left pane.
  5. Now expand 6801 option, right-click on 1033 and select Replace Resource option.
  6. A new window appears. Click on Open file with new bitmap button.
  7. Navigate to the customized (.bmp) image, open it and click on Replace button.
  8. Repeat steps 4 to 7 above for the options 6805 and 6809 as well.
  9. Now click on Save option (File->Save). Resource Hacker will automatically create a backup file called explorer_original.exe so that you can restore it in the future if needed.
  10. Log Off and Log On to see the changes in effect.
The following images shows a preview of how your start menu would look like, before and after the customization process is done.

Default Start Menu Button:

Win 7 Start Menu - Default

Customized Start Menu Button:

Customized Win 7 Start Menu
Customized Win 7 Start Menu
Customized Win 7 Start Menu
NOTE: If you are running 64-bit edition of Windows 7, then you need to use Resource Hacker version 3.5.2 beta which is 64-bit compatible. It is available from the same link provided above.

UPDATE:

The above method shows you the manual way to customize the start menu button in Windows 7. Alternatively, there is a nice tool out there using which it is possible to accomplish the same job without the need to manually edit the files and follow a long list of procedures. The tool is called Windows 7 Start Button Changer. You can download it from the following link:
I hope you enjoy this trick

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