Well, Duh!

I am almost embarrassed to admit that I have only today discovered this technique, but I must swallow my pride and state what to everyone else may be obvious.

For a long time, I and a number of my friends have lamented the fact that in Windows XP it is frequently difficult to find a program because the list of programs listed when you click on All Programs wasn’t in alphabetical order. This morning I began trying to find an answer and the answer, it turns out, is so simple that it’s embarrassing.

If you will click on All Programs and then RIGHT click on any one of the programs’ names, a context menu will appear in which one of the options will be “sort by name.” If you click that, the entire list will snap into alphabetical order! Who knew?

Okay, now you can begin your comments to ridicule my ignorance and tell me that you’ve known that forever and that I am a dunce for never having discovered it before, but just in case you didn’t know it, now you do. I suppose I can now die in peace because I have made the world just a little bit better. Enjoy.

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6 thoughts on “Well, Duh!

  1. Michael Neel

    I don’t think this is anything on you, it’s a very hidden feature and one that shouldn’t be needed. When would you ever want the list unsorted? It should be sorting automatically on it’s own.

    What worse, if you are like me and make sue to keep the menu clean and organized, you have to do the “sort by name” for group in the menu.

    That reminds me, I need to look for a hack to turn off the “new programs installed” feature. I find that so annoying – I know there are new programs, I just installed them 30 seconds ago!

  2. Perry Post author

    I agree it should sort automatically on its own.

    Tell me more, please, about what you mean in your second paragraph about “having to do the sort by name for group in the menu.” (I presume that should have been plural, i.e. “groups,” but I’m not sure I know even when I think of groups as plural what you are referring to.)

    Regarding your final paragraph, here is the explanation of how to do that.

  3. Michael Neel

    If you have a group in the start menu “Office” and drag a new item or install an item into that group, like “open office” the “office” may be unsorted. If you do the “sort by name” in the start menu, the menu is sorted, but not the “office” group. For that, you must right click in the office group and do a second “sort by name”

    Thanks for the link!

  4. Perry Post author

    Okay, I see. Thanks for the explanation. And you are welcome for the link. Thanks to you, I discovered how to remove another annoyance that I too had experienced but never even thought about trying to correct.

  5. Tom Simpson

    Michael (and anybody else who finds it annoying), to turn off the “new programs installed” feature:

    Right-click on an empty section of the taskbar and select “Properties”. Click on the “Start Menu” tab, on top, then the customise button, then the “Adavanced” tab, at the top. Remove the check mark from the second option called “Highlight newly installed programs”.


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