Windows’ “Recent Programs” list, the one that puts big shortcut icons in your Start Menu, can be helpful, but it can also be a redundant collection of links to the programs you already launch from elsewhere. But throw a few lines into the Registry Editor and you can prevent certain programs from ever showing up in that box again. After launching the Registy Editor (run “regedit” from the “Run” or “Start Search” boxes), here’s how:
Browse to the ‘HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ Applications’ key on the left pane. Here, select the sub-keys for the applications that you do not want to appear on the start list. Finally, right-click anywhere on the right pane of the Registry Editor and select ‘New | String Value’. Overwrite the name suggested by Windows with ‘NoStartPage’.
After a restart, your unwanted programs don’t appear, leaving only convenient semi-used shortcuts. Might also be handy for keeping the boss from knowing about your growing FreeCell mastery. As with any registry hack, be sure to back up your entire registry and go slowly.