Using the All Programs Menu: What’s Changed

Using the All Programs Menu: What’s Changed

As with earlier versions of Windows, when you want to work with programs installed on a computer running Windows Vista, you’ll use the All Programs menu. Like many aspects of Windows Vista, the All Programs menu has changed as well. When you click the Start button and then point to All Programs, you’ll see a list of programs installed on the computer, followed by a list of folders.

Depending on the system configuration, the programs you’ll see include:

  • Contacts  Allows you to manage personal and professional contacts.

  • Media Center  Allows you to manage home entertainment options for pictures, videos, movies, TV, and music.

  • Program Defaults  Allows you to choose default programs for certain activities.

  • Windows Calendar  Allows you to manage appointments and tasks by using a calendar. You can publish your calendar to the Internet or to an organization’s intranet, and you can subscribe to other people’s calendars as well.

  • Windows Collaboration Allows you to set up or join a Windows Collaboration session for sharing ideas, presentations, and documents. Windows Collaboration uses the People Near Me feature for sharing information. Windows Collaboration also requires that you enable file synchronization and configure a Windows Firewall exception. You will be prompted to automatically configure these options the first time you run Windows Collaboration.

  • Windows Defender  Allows you to protect the computer from malicious software (also known as malware) by automatically blocking and locating spyware and other types of malicious programs.

  • Windows Fax and Scan  Allows you to manage incoming faxes and to send faxes. Faxes can be received and sent over TCP/IP as well.

  • Windows Mail  Allows you to send and manage e-mail. Windows Mail is the replacement for Outlook Express.

  • Windows Media Player  Allows you to play and manage music.

  • Windows Movie Maker  Allows you to create and manage movies using still images and videos.

  • Windows Photo Gallery  Allows you to view and manage pictures and videos. You can organize your media using folders, create slideshows, and add tags for quick searching.

  • Windows Update  Allows you to manage the Windows Update feature.

The folders on the All Programs menu also have changed. The top-level folders are:

  • All Programs, Accessories  Includes the most commonly used accessories, including Calculator, Command Prompt, Connect To A Network Projector, Run, Sync Center, Windows Explorer, and Windows Sidebar.

  • All Programs, Accessories, Ease Of Access  Includes the accessibility tools, such as Magnifier, Narrator, On-Screen Keyboard, and Speech Recognition.

  • All Programs, Accessories, System Tools  Includes commonly used system tools, such as Backup, Disk Cleanup, System Restore, and Windows Easy Transfer. Windows Easy Transfer replaces the Files And Settings Transfer Wizard in Windows XP. This folder also includes Internet Explorer (No Add-ons), which is a version of Internet Explorer without browser extensions or other add-ons.

  • All Programs, Games  Includes games that might be available, depending on the system configuration.

  • All Programs, Maintenance  Includes maintenance tools, such as Backup And Restore Center, Problem Reports And Solutions, and Windows Remote Assistance.

  • All Programs, Startup  Lists programs that are set to start up automatically.

It might take you a while to get used to the changes to the All Programs menu. But once you get used to the changes, navigating the menus will seem like second nature.