New program highlighting in the Start menu

Ever wonder why some programs are highlighted in the “All Programs” list of the Start menu?

Start by reading this fine MSDN blog:

Even though it is written prior to Vista, it basically holds true for Vista as well. There are some exceptions, however. On Windows Vista: 

1.       Apps installed within 5 hours of Windows installation completion do not show up highlighted

2.       5 hour timer is not user-(or OEM)-adjustable

3.       Apps remain highlighted for a week, or until the very first time they are launched.

4.       7 day timer is based on system time and is not affected by sleep, hibernate, shutoff time, etc.

5.       Apps installed by other users are not highlighted for the current user before their first ever logon.

6.       Apps you install but never launch will remain highlighted for 7 days, or until you launch them, whichever comes first.

Comments (2)

  1. cobaia says:

    Is there a Windows API or other way to control start menu highlighting?  If there is I couldn’t find it.  For example, if I create an installer that puts four itmes into a program group (Reference, Quick Start, Uninstall and the actual program) there should be a way to highlight the actual program and not highlight the support files programatically rather than letting Windows figure it out.

  2. epsoemse says:

    You can set the following PKEY on a shortcut:  ""

    It Prevents a Start menu entry for a newly installed application shortcut from receiving a highlight. This is equivalent to clearing the Highlight newly installed programs option in the Customize Start Menu window on an individual item. This property should be set on shortcuts for tools and secondary applications.