One of the relatively harmless, but still mildly annoying features offered by Windows 7 is when a user installs a new program, the program’s entry is helpfully highlighted in the Start Menu. This sounds great, but if you’re in the habit of installing multiple programs at once, or don’t try out your new programs immediately, the feature becomes less and less useful, especially if there are many new programs highlighted.
It becomes a bit busy, doesn’t it?
Fortunately, turning off this behavior is a simple process. The first step is to find a blank spot on the taskbar, and right-click it, to bring up a contextual menu. When the menu appears, select the Properties option, found at the very bottom.
The Taskbar and Start Menu Properties window will appear. This windows gives you all sorts of options about how the Taskbar and Start Menu behave, but what extra toolbars might also be available on the Taskbar, in addition to other options.
Since we’re looking to modify the Start Menu’s behavior, go ahead and click to view the Start Menu tab.
Now click the Customize button.
A new window – the Customize Start Menu window – will now appear. Here we can change whether certain items appear as links or as menus (the Control Panel entry, for instance, can either open the control panel or show a list of all available control panels, without needing to visit the main control panel).
The listing is alphabetical, so scroll down a bit until you reach the entry (it should be enabled by default, named Highlight newly installed programs, an entry we want to uncheck in order to turn off this feature.
Once this checkbox is unchecked, simply click the OK button at the bottom of the Customize Start Menu window.
Now, simply click the Apply button to save this change, and any others you may have made.
You’re finished! Simply dismiss the Properties window, and the next time you add a new program, it should just appear as another Start Menu entry, without any additional highlighting.