Access the Start menu in Windows XP by clicking the Start button on the bottom left of the screen. Alternatively, press the Windows key on your keyboard to open the menu.
The Start menu provides a quick way to access frequently used programs, common system areas and basic system functions. On the white panel to the left, the Start men displays programs that the user uses often, as well as programs that the user has pinned. The pinned programs are at the top and do not update depending on usage. All Programs is at the bottom of the white panel. Despite the name, it only shows the programs that the user chooses to put in the Start menu during installation.
Pin any program to the Start Menu by right clicking its EXE file and choosing Pin to Start Menu from the list. Remove programs from the pinned list by right clicking them, and clicking Unpin from Start Menu or Remove From This List.
To the right, the Start menu displays common system areas such as My Computer, My Documents and the Control Panel. If there is a small arrow icon next to an item on the right, hovering the cursor over it displays the contents of the folder without opening it. The Control Panel allows the user to change system settings, add new devices and customize the appearance of the operating system.
The Log Off and Turn Off Computer buttons are at the bottom of the menu. Pressing Log Off allows the user to log into another user account. Multiple accounts can be active at the same time. The Turn Off Computer button allows the user to put the computer to stand-by, turn the computer off or restart it.