XP: Disable Highlighting of Newly Installed Programs in the Start Menu

Posted February 15, 2004 by AlexTheBeast in Windows

By default, XP highlights the Start menu entries when a program is first installed. The following recipe explains how to disable this.


Highlighting newly installed programs in the Start menu is a feature designed to be helpful for the user. When you install a new program and you go to the Start menu, it is highlighted for you so that you are able to find it easily.

However, for many users, this feature is useless.

For example, I have worked on numerous systems where Adobe Acrobat is highlighted in the Start menu. This seems useless since no one typically runs Acrobat from the Start menu.

To disable the highlighting of newly installed programs, proceed as follows:

    1. Right click the Start button.
    2. Choose Properties from the context menu.
    3. Select the Start Menu tab.
    4. Click on the Customize button.
    5. Select on the Advanced tab.
    6. Uncheck Highlight newly installed programs.
    7. Click OK twice to finish.

Now, XP will no longer highlight your new programs after installation.

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