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Windows 7 - How to Change the Start Menu Orb


Changing the start menu orb in Windows 7 used to be rather complicated. There never has been any standard way to customize this feature of Windows. Previously, it was necessary to use a resource hacker program, something which was well out of reach of many novice users. The start menu orb, first introduced in Windows Vista, has, nonetheless, long been a target of customization for computer enthusiasts. Fortunately, with the help of a small, free third-party program, it's now possible to change the Windows 7 start menu button with just a few clicks of the mouse. Follow these steps to learn how to do it.

1 – Get the Windows 7 Start Button Changer
Download the latest version of the Windows 7 Start Button Changer. The file name is W7SBC.zip and it's only 599 KB in size, so it won't take long to download.

Extract the ZIP file you downloaded by right-clicking on it and clicking "Extract All." In the window which appears, ensure that "Show extracted files when complete" is selected. Click "OK" and the folder containing the program will appear. You don't need to install anything.

2 – Change Your Start Menu Orb
Start the program entitled "Windows 7 Start Button Changer." Click the Windows orb button beside "Select & Change Start Button." Here you can navigate to the directory containing the customized start button images. The program includes 10 sample orbs to get you started. These are contained in the folder named "10 Sample Orbs" in the folder of extracted files. Note that each image is a high image containing three orb designs on a black background. This is because there are different versions of the start button orb – default, highlighted and selected. Simply double-click on the image of your choice and the start button orb will change. You don't need to log off, reboot or anything else. You can also use this program to restore the default start button whenever you want.

3 – Where to Find More Start Menu Orb Designs
The Internet is packed full of Windows customization resources and, since Windows 7 has already been out for quite some time, you'll have no difficulty finding custom start menu orbs. Deviantart.com and virtualcustoms.com are just two examples of the many places to start looking.

You can easily design your own start menu orbs as well. The image needs to have dimensions of exactly 54x162 pixels, be in the bitmap (BMP) format and have a black background. You'll need three different versions of the orb in the image. From top to bottom, you'll have the default, highlighted and selected versions. You'll need to make sure that each image is the same size as other designs. Use an existing sample from the extracted archive as a guideline if you prefer.

 

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