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Secret Way to Rename the Start Button


									Secret Way to Rename the Start Button
Windows XP's start button's rebirth

By Dragos Jijau, Software News Editor

19th of January 2007, 15:42 GMT

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                                              It all begins with the start button. Maybe
one of the most representative symbols of the Windows operating system, the start button
has been present on our taskbars since Windows 95 and still hangs there along with the
new Windows Vista.

Although its shape may have changed over the years, one thing remained the same: its
display name, START. This is a remarkable success for the brand continuity and for
Windows marketing scheme but we, the end users, may have gotten bored with it.

Nowadays, everything tends to become customizable, from a simple cell phone to an
expensive car. If that's possible, why wouldn't there be available a method for renaming
the start button?

By default, there is not a single option available in Windows to permit changing the name
of the start button but there are always people who think and act to achieve what they
How it's done

There are two steps to follow in order to obtain what we want:

1. Editing the explorer.exe
2. Tweaking the registry to accept the changes.

First step

Explorer.exe is found in Windows folder and must be edited enable the renaming of the
start button. Because we are dealing with a binary file, we need to use a file editor. I
successfully edited the file using the Resource Hacker application. It is a free program
available for download from Softpedia. Once you have downloaded it, extract all the
data from the archive and run ResHacker. Now open the explorer.exe.

In the left, you can see an information tree. Expand String table > 37 or 38 (37 string is
for the normal XP layout and 38 one is for the classic layout). You just select the one
suitable for your Windows and then select 1033. In the right, line 578 display Start
between quotes. Rename it with the desired name and then click the Compile Script
button which is placed above.

It's time to save the new version of the explorer.exe. Click save as from the file menu and
save it with a different name. I chose softpedia.exe.

Step two

Go to start > Run and type Regedit to open the registry editor. Look for this path:


In the right, find the "Shell" entry. Double click on it and replace explorer.exe with
softpedia.exe (or whatever you renamed the edited file).
Close the registry editor and Log Off or Restart your computer. After Windows XP boots,
the new start button will have the name you have chosen.

My tip is not to use long names because the start button will have to adapt in order to be
able to show such names and its shape will be elongated and might not look too pleasant.

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