Start Menu - Add or Remove Help and Support

ByLine
How to Add or Remove Help from the Normal and Classic Vista Start Menu
Synopsis
This will show you how to add or remove the Help and Support option from the Normal and Classic Start menu in Vista.
How to Add or Remove Help from the Normal and Classic Vista Start Menu

information   Information
This will show you how to add or remove the Help and Support option from the Normal and Classic Start menu in Vista. By default this is added to both Start menu choices.

EXAMPLE: Normal Start Menu with Help and Support Added and Removed
NOTE:
You can use Option One or Two below for the Normal Start menu.

Normal_Start_Menu_Added.jpg Normal_Start_Menu_Removed.jpg
EXAMPLE: Classic Start Menu with Help and Support Added and Removed
NOTE:
You will need to use Option Two below for the Classic Start menu.

Classic_Start_Menu_Added.jpg Classic_Start_Menu_Removed.jpg




OPTION ONE
For the Normal Start Menu Only
Note   Note
This will only remove the Help and Support option for the default Normal Start menu. For the Classic Start menu, see Option Two below.

1. Right click on the Start button or on a empty space in the Start menu and click on Properties.​
2. Click on the Customize button next to the selected (dotted) Start menu. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: For more about Customize and the Start menu, see: How to Customize the Start Menu in Vista
Customize1.jpg

3. To Add Help and Support
A) Check the Help box. (See screenshot below step 5)​
NOTE: This Help option is removed in Option Two below.​
B) Go to step 5.​

4. To Remove Help and Support
A) Uncheck the Help box. (See screenshot below step 5)​

5. Click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
Customize2.jpg

6. Click OK. (See screenshot below step 2)​





OPTION TWO
For the Normal and Classic Start Menu
Note   Note
This will remove the Help and Support option on both the Normal and Classic Start menu.




Method One
Through the Local Group Policy Editor
Note   Note
This method is only available for the Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions. See Method Two below for the Vista Home Basic and Home Premium editions.
1. Open the all users, specific users or groups, or all users except administrators Local Group Policy Editor for how you want this policy applied.​
2. In the left pane, click on User Configuration, Administrative Templates, and Start Menu and Taskbar. (See screenshot below)​
Group_Policy.jpg

3. In the right pane, right click on Remove Help menu from Start Menu and click on Properties. (See screenshot above)​
4. To Add Help and Support
A) Select (dot) Disabled or Not Configured and click on OK. (See screenshot below 5A)​
B) Go to step 6.​

5. To Remove Help and Support
A) Select (dot) Enabled and click on OK.​
Properties.jpg

6. Close Local Group Policy Editor window.​




Method Two
METHOD TWO:



Method Two

Through the Registry

Note   Note
This method will work for all Vista versions.
Using a REG File Download:
1. To Add Help and Support
A) Click on the Download button below to download the file below.​
Add_Start_Menu_Help.reg
download

B) Go to step 3.​

2. To Remove Help and Support
A) Click on the Download button below to download the file below.​
Remove_Start_Menu_Help.reg
download

3. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.​
4. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.​
5. Click on Run, Continue (UAC), Yes, and then OK when prompted.​
6. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.​
7. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply all changes.​

Manually in Registry Editor:
1. Open the Start Menu.​
2. In the white line (Start Search) area, type regedit and press Enter
.​
3. Click on the Continue button in the UAC prompt.​
4. In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below)​
Code:
[/INDENT][/INDENT]
[INDENT][INDENT]HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer[/INDENT][/INDENT]
[INDENT][INDENT]
Reg1.jpg

5. To Remove Help and Support
A) In the right pane, right click on a empty area and click on New and DWORD (32-bit) Value. (See screenshot above)​
B) Type NoSMHelp and press Enter.​
C) Right click on NoSMHelp and click on Modify. (See screenshot below)​
Reg2.jpg

D) Type 1 and click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
Modify.jpg

E) The registry will now look like this. (See screenshot below)​
Reg3.jpg

F) Go to step 7.​

6. To Add Help and Support
A) In the right pane, right click on NoSMHelp and click on Delete. (See screenshot above)​
B) Click on Yes to confirm deletion.​

7. Close regedit.​
8. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply all changes.​


That's it,
Shawn


 
Last edited:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Hi, Shawn. I'm having some trouble; I did all of these and I still have no Help and Support button. When browsing to Help and Support and clicking on it, instead of getting the Help box, I get a search box!

I thought I may have replaced Help & Support with Search in a previous time, but I did the registry fix to restore it and logged off and back on and Search was still there. Just to see what would happen, I also tried enabling the "Hide Search from Start Menu" from gpedit.msc, but even that left me with Search there! Freaky, eh? I think that I did replace Help and Support with Search sometime ago, but I definitely cannot undo it now. Any ideas?

So far, I've downloaded, ran, and log-off/log-on cycled both "Restore_Help.reg" from the Search replacement thread and now this "Add_Start_Menu_Help.reg" from this thread: both did nothing, as far as I can see. Opening Help and Support via browsing to icon still opens a search box.

What I would like in the end would to have all three buttons on my Start Menu: Run, Help & Support, and Search.

Thanks in advance! :)

~Ibrahim~
 
Last edited:
Hello Ibrahim,

Without knowing for sure if you did change Help and Support or not to Search and how long a go for a System Restore, it may be best to do a Repair (upgrade) install.

If you had changed it to Search, it would normally replace the Help and Support name with Search as well, and not just the function.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
All right. And I just want to make sure, this will only affect crucial Vista files, right? Like, will it mess with Vista Media Center channel profiles or what-not? Will it move my already-moved pagefile? Or will this make me a new Vista, just with all my programs installed? Will I lose my background desktop videos (Dreamscene?)

I suppose there isn't an easier way? Say to manually find the changes that the "Replace Help & Support with Search".reg file does in the Registry myself and see if there are in there?

Thanks!

~Ibrahim~
 
Hi Ibrahim,

It will leave your installed programs installed but it will reset everything else back to the default settings. I would backup anything that you do not want to lose to be safe in case something goes wrong during installation.

It will not do any good to manually search the registry for the changes made the Restore_Help.reg file changes everthing it did back to the default settings. If it did not for you, then most likely this is not what you have done to change the Help button.
 
OK. But, I must've done something, right? Any regular, un-tweaked Vista SP1 OS should NOT have a search button, right? It should just have Run and Help & Support?

And you don't have any idea why a search box would come up instead of Help & Support, right?

~Ibrahim~
 
Correct. What gets me wondering is that if the button has Help & Support as the name still instead of Search, then it cannot have been from the "Replace Help & Support with Search".reg file. It changes the name to Search. Especially since you you have already tried the Restore_Help.reg file with no success.

Something else has been changed somewhere, but it's a needle in a haystack to find. Especially not knowing for sure of the source of the change and how long ago. I can only recommend a Repair (upgrade) install. :(
 
Aha! I found it; I was browsing some Google hits and I came upon this one. I've never been to this site before, but this particular "undo".reg fixed it for me. I have Help & Support back! :D

Thank you!

~Ibrahim~
 
Ibrahim, I'm happy to hear that you got it sorted out. Thank you for posting back your results.

Could you post that reg file here for me to look at to see what may have been different causing this for you? For some reason I cannot load that webpage.

Thank you,
Shawn
 
Thanks! Accidentally clicking "Help & Support" on the start menu was starting to drive me nuts! I used the Group Policy Object method and it was quick 'n easy. :D
 
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