The changing fortunes of being the last program on the Start menu

One of the thing I didn't mention during my discussion lo many years ago on how Windows XP chooses what goes on the front page of the Start menu is that the the last-place position is actually kind of special.

In Windows Vista, the last-place position was used to hold the program you ran most recently, regardless of how often you ran it. In a sense, the last slot is a one-entry MRU. (This was the general idea, although it could be overridden by other principles. For example, if the program you last ran is pinned, then it shows up in its natural pinned location rather than being shoved to the bottom of the Start menu.)

In Windows 7, the magical last-place position goes to the application you just installed, if one exists, to save you the trouble of hunting for it. (As we saw some time ago, you can set the System.App­User­Model.Exclude­From­Show­In­New­Install property to remove your shortcut from consideration as a newly-installed program.)

Comments (4)
  1. Anon says:

    I love it when is likes to show a uninstaller in the last spot when I just installed a new application.

  2. Kevin says:

    Does Windows 10 do anything with the last spot on the Start menu, now that pinned apps go elsewhere?

  3. Guest says:

    @Kevin it still shows recently added. It has a header now saying Recently Added above it.

  4. M says:

    On a Vista machine I have at hand it seems to be more complicated than what is described. It seems that the last run program gets put somewhere in the middle of the list not in the last place (icons above it are very-frequently used apps, below it, not so much). Also, programs started from pinned taskbar icons do not automagically appear in the front page of the start menu (but if the same program is started from the start menu it does)

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