Start button

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Can anyone show me how to change the colour of the start button in Windows XP? It would be nice to change the text as well.

Ok. To edit the text, you must download a Binary Hex editor. Try this free one you can download here:

Next step, make a backup of explorer.exe (usually found in the c:/windows directory). Do this by copying it and pasting it into another directory, such as c:/backup. Now make a copy of that and call it explorer1.exe. This can be placed in the windows directory with the original explorer.

Now open the explorer1.exe with XVI32.exe (open the program, use file>open). On the pane at the far left, scroll down until you find 42086. On the text side (far right) it should like like S[]t[]a[]r[]t[]R[]T[]h[]e[]r[]e[] [] etc. If it does not, reply to this...and I'll try to find a hex string for you to search for. Anyhow, change the first S t a r t to any five (or less) letter word you would like to use for your start menu. Now save.

Next, you must get your computer to use explorer1.exe instead of explorer.exe. This is quite often where things can go wrong. Go to Start>run. Type in "regedit". To find the shell key, go to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]. (on the left pane). Right-click the entry that says "shell". Click modify. Change the value to explorer1.exe. If it is located in a location other then C:/windows you will have to figure out how to specify directories in the registry (I do not know how, sorry...but it's advisable to keep explorer.exe in the c:/windows directory anyway). Now reboot. You should now have a new start button...if there are can run regedit and change it back. I advise copying the directory in the registry above so you can use it if you have to run regedit from the task manager. (ctrl+alt+delete, you can run programs from there).

As for colour, get something like StyleXP so you can download visual styles and use them as alternatives to the Windows XP original one. ( I think). If you don't want to pay the 20$ you can edit the UXtheme.dll file (I can get you a link to instructions somewhere on this forum).

Hope this all helps.
Thanks Qiran Worms.
Blimey, seems very complicated I'll pass this on to my friend Atomic John, I'm sure he can sort this out for me, brain the size of the planet.

Many thanks. I'll let you know how I get on. Please do get me a link to instructions for the colour.

Best regards.

To completely theme the start menu, as well as title bars, buttons, color schemes, etc. you can use StyleXP.

This enables you to download themes (there are huge collections of them at ), then add them to it's list. This is the simple way to get color. Keep in mind, that the start menu text thing I told you about earlier usually sticks, however some themes put a new image as the start text (such as most Corona's or MediaIce which are two popular themes for StyleXP) or the start symbol and therefore your customized text cannot be seen. I find that most themes just use the windows explorer.exe shell to place the text on it, which will keep whatever customization you made.

If you do not want to pay the 20$ to register this program (try the trial, I think it's well worth it personally), you can do a slightly more complicated method of replacing uxtheme.dll yourself, so you can add the same visual styles from and other sites. In this thread, scroll down until þÄ®âÐÖx says how to do the uxtheme.dll patch. I've personally never tried it, but I'm planning on it...more out of curiousity then need, as I'm more then happy with StyleXP. :)
Here is an image of one of my start buttons. Of course, I get bored of my themes every week or so, and no theme really lasts. :laughing:



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Many thanks, I will pay the $20 to style xp, seems good value, anything to get rid of that really boring green colour.

Best regards.

Bought style xp. just been trying it out. Brilliant! at last the green button has gone.

Many thanks.

Best regards.


had to change the format to post,,

see it pays to read,,



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Have to figure out how to add more than one file to each post,, this is a little crazy to go twice to do something once,,

without making a whole new zip file ,,



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