wikiHow to Change Text on Windows XP Start Button

Three Methods:Changing the Start Menu TextChanging the Mouse Hover TextChanging the Start Icon



Bored of your Start menu in Windows XP? Wish you could have it say and do something a little more interesting? Follow these easy steps and you'll have a personalized Start button of your very own!

Method 1
Changing the Start Menu Text

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    Download Resource Hacker here. Scroll down the page and download the Setup file. This program will allow you to make the necessary changes to your Windows files.
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    Install and run Resource Hacker. The program will put an icon in your Start menu. Navigate to it after you install and run the program.
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    Once Resource Hacker is running, open "explorer.exe".
    • Go to "File" then "Open".
    • Typically Windows is installed on the C: drive. Go to the C: Drive, then open the Windows folder.
    • Double-click the file named "explorer".
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    Explorer will open and you will see two frames in Resource Hacker.
    • In the left frame, click the folder named "String Table".
    • Click on the sub-folder named "37".
    • Click the gear icon named "1033".
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    Change your Start text.
    • In the right frame, change the word "start" to whatever you wish. You must keep the apostrophes or the changes will not work.
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    Save your changes.
    • Click the "Compile Script" button.
    • When asked, select "Save As" and save the file as "explorer1".
    • Make sure not to overwrite the original copy of explorer.
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    Run regedit to make the new file active. Keep Resource Hacker running.
    • Open the Start menu and click "Run..."
    • Type "regedit" (without apostrophes) into the field and press enter. This will open Registry Editor.
    • In the left frame, navigate through the following folders: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Winlogon
    • Once you're in the Winlogon folder, in the right frame select "Shell" and double-click it.
    • Change "explorer.exe" to "explorer1.exe", the changed copy you made above.
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    Reboot your computer. Your Start menu text will now be your own customized message! If you wish to revert to the original, change back to "explorer.exe" in Registry Editor following the steps above.

Method 2
Changing the Mouse Hover Text

Besides changing the text that the Start button displays, you can also change the pop-up text when you hover your mouse over the button.

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    Open Resource Hacker.
    • Select "File" then "Open"
    • Navigate to your Windows Folder and open "explorer.exe".
    • If you already followed the steps in the first section, open "explorer1.exe" instead.
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    In the left frame, select "String Table".
    • Click on the sub-folder named "34".
    • Click on the gear icon named "1033".
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    Find the text that says "Click here to begin".
    • Change the text to whatever you wish it to say
    • Click on the "Compile Script" button.
    • Select "Save As" and name your file explorer1.exe
    • If you haven't adjusted your registry to load explorer1.exe, follow steps 7 & 8 in the previous section, otherwise simply reboot your computer.

Method 3
Changing the Start Icon

Not only can you change the text, you can also change the Windows icon in the Start button.

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    Open Resource Hacker.
    • Repeat steps above to open "explorer1.exe" .
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    In the left frame, scroll to the top and expand the "Bitmap" folder.
    • Click on the sub-folder named "143".
    • Click on the gear icon named "1033". The Windows logo should appear in the right frame.
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    Open the Action Menu.
    • Select "Replace bitmap".
    • Select "Open file with new bitmap"
    • Locate the replacement image on your machine. (Note: The image must have a .bmp extension and a size of 30 pixels by 30 pixels.)
    • Click the Replace button.
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    Save "explorer1.exe" as above. Reboot your computer. Your new icon should appear on the Start button.

Warnings

  • Don't forget. You are playing with System Critical files here. So backup important data first in case something goes wrong
  • Be careful using Resource Hacker and Registry Editor. Without know what you are doing, you can very easily render most of your computer inoperable. If you follow the steps above, you should have no issues.
  • Make a copy of explorer.exe. If you follow the steps above, no changes should be made to your original explorer.exe file, but it never hurts to have a backup.

Things You'll Need

  • A 30x30 pixel icon if you wish to change your Start button icon.

Article Info

Categories: Hacks