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This page describe ways of amending some of the most useful settings for XP-based computers. Similar methods can be used on versions before XP, but the menus and pop-ups will be different. It is recommended you read the Disclaimer on the about page. 

Information can also be obtained from the Help & support facility on your computer. Press and hold down the 'Flying windows' key (next to the 'Ctrl' or 'Alt Gr' keys), press the 'F1' key, then release both keys.
In the Search box, you could input any of these three examples:

Type in icf  - then click the white pointer on the green icon. Click the first item in the Suggested Topics (x results) panel, which shows how to switch ON (or off) the internet connection firewall (this applies to XP installations not running SP 2).
Type in understanding system restore- then click the green icon. Click the first item, which describes the features of system restore recovery when you click the '+' to the left of each sub-topic. I recommend that you also read the topic 'turn on system restore'.

Type in shortcuts overview  - then click the green icon. Click the first item, which gives a full list of keyboard shortcuts when you click the '+' to the left of each sub-topic.

1. Changing to the Classic Start menu (like Win. 98SE/ME/2000) or back to the XP Start menu.
(a) Right-click the Start button, and click 'Properties' on the pop-up menu.
(b) Click the 'Start menu' tab (if not already selected).
(c) Click the empty round button next to the start menu button not already selected,so that button shows the green selection indicator.
(d) Click the 'OK' button.
(When changing to the XP menu, you will see that some icons have gone from the desktop - they will have moved to the menu for the Start button).

2. Placing shortcuts on the desktop or next to the Start button.
If you want to place a shortcut on the desktop only, continue at Section 2.2 now.

2.1. If there are not already any icons next to the Start button -
(a) Right-click on an unused part of the taskbar where minimized windows are usually shown.
(b) On the pop-up menu, if 'Lock the Taskbar' is checked (ticked), click on 'Lock the Taskbar'. Two vertical dotted lines will appear next to the Start button.
(c) Click and hold mouse left-button down on the second one and 'drag' it over to the right, to open up a space.

2.2. To add a shortcut for an application from the Start menu/ All Programs/ Programs menu -
(a) Click the Start button.
(b) Move through the menu list of different program folders, Accessories, etc. until you find the one required.
(c) Right-click on the program application name, then on the drop-down menu click on 'Create Shortcut'. This will create a new shortcut in the menu list with the application name followed by (2).
(d) Click on the new shortcut, hold down the mouse left-button and drag it out of the list and onto the background (wallpaper) of the desktop, then release the button.

(At this point, you can leave the new shortcut icon on the desktop, drag it into the best position (any problems, see Section 6. on the Desktop page), then continue at section 2.3).

(e) Click on the new shortcut on the desktop, hold down the mouse left-button and drag it from the desktop into the row of shortcuts next to the Start button, then release the button.

(You will see a vertical 'insertion point' bar showing where the new shortcut icon will be placed when you release the button).

2.3. To remove the (2) from the new icon's name -
(a) Right-click on the icon.
(b) Click on 'Rename'.
(c) Press the 'End' key (its by the Home key) on the keyboard.
(d) Press '<---' (backspace) key 4 times on the keyboard to remove (2), then press
the '.' (dot/point/full stop) key.
(e) Press the 'Enter' key.

3. Displaying larger or smaller icons next to the Start button.
3.1. If you have the XP Start menu active -
(a) Change to the Classic Start menu as detailed in section 1. above.
(b) Follow the instructions in the section 3.2. below.
(c) Now change back to the XP Start menu by repeating the process in section 1. above.

3.2. If you have the Classic Start menu active -
(a) Right-click the Start button, and click 'Properties' on the pop-up menu.
(b) Click the 'Start menu' tab (if not already selected).
(c) Click the 'Customize...' button.
(d) In the 'Advanced Start menu options' section, scroll down until you see the line 'Show Small Icons on Start menu' and click the check-box to the left to either show or remove the green check/tick mark.
(e) Click on the 'OK' button.
  
 

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