Windows Media Center’s Start menu has a media-centric design that lets you easily access your media collection. Each strip in the menu is focused around a specific type of media: TV, Movies, Music, etc. But when third-party applications install their own strips in your Media Center menu, it can add unnecessary clutter (and regretful household confusion). If you don’t like or want the menu strips your installed add-ins have added to Media Center’s start menu, you can eliminate them and, optionally, add tiles to the Extras strip. Sure, you can run Media Center Studio to completely customize your menu experience, but this tweak is built right into Media Center and handles basic menu housekeeping nicely.
In this example, we’ll disable the Home Server menu that Media Center Connector adds to the Start menu. It’s not that we don’t want access to the Home Server plug-ins—but it may not be desirable for them to be so prominently displayed in the Start menu for your household or sitter to fiddle with.
Select Extras Library in the Extras strip
Select Manage Extras
Navigate to the top of the Extras Library screen and select Manage Extras.
Select Start Menu
Disable Start Menu strips
- Clear the Home Server checkbox (or any other add-in’s checkbox) to exclude from the Start menu.
- When finished, select Save.
- Press Back to return to the Extras Library.
At this point, the Home Server strip is gone from your Start menu. But what if you want easy access to the add-in even though you don’t want the strip in the Start menu? You can add a tile to your Extras strip:
Add extras to the Start Menu
- Navigate to the desired add-in in your Extra Library and press Info or More.
- Select Add to Start Menu.
That’s it! When you return to your Start menu, the Extras strip will include a tile for the add-in. (In this example, we added a TV Archive tile.)
You may notice that after installing updates for your add-ins, you’ll need to go through these steps again, but this tip should help to keep your Media Center’s Start menu nice and tidy.