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Start Menu 'All Programs' is empty or nothing happens when you click the menu


Published : May 01, 2004
Updated : July 30, 2005
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  • When you click Programs menu in the Start Menu, it may show as (Empty)
  • Nothing happens when you click All Programs in Start Menu
  • Not all the shortcuts are displayed.

First, login as Administrator (or equivalent) and execute this command from Start, Run dialog:

regsvr32 /i shell32.dll

Restart Windows. If that does not help, inspect and fix the the Shell Folder data for Start Menu, Programs, Common Start Menu and Common Programs.

NOTE: Backup the Registry before modifying it. See this page for more information on backing up the registry keys.

Typing REGEDIT.EXE in the Start, Run dialog. Fix the data for these four registry values: (The defaults can be taken from the UserShellFolders page.)


  • Common Start Menu
  • Common Programs


  • Start Menu
  • Programs

If Common Programs value is not available in the right-pane, create a new REG_EXPAND_SZ value named Common Programs and assign the data as said above. Restart Windows for the changes to take effect.