changes to explorer.exe.mui not taking effect for Win 7/64bit? (to make vertical taskbar narrower)

Hi All,

I've seen a lot of threads describing how to modify the"Start" text string in the windows start menu button - I've successfully done this in XP using resource hacker, but it isn't working for a new copy of Win 7, 64bit.

I've I followed various web trails to the explorer.exe.mui file, which now holds the localized strings, but the edits I've made to the "Start" string in 38->1033-595 (changing it to ".") don't seem to work! I've changed the string in the two .exe.mui files I've found, in Windows/en-US and Windows/SysWOW64, and confirmed that the updated file contains the modification - but killing and restarting explorer.exe or rebooting the computer finds me back with the same old "Start"... (I've double-checked, and the files are still correctly modified - both strings are still ".").

Getting rid of "Start" is pretty important, because as far as I've been able to determine this is the only way to get a thin vertical taskbar (e.g., the width of one small icon). The default behavior for Win 7 with the windows classic theme requires the minimum width of a vertical taskbar to be the width of the windows logo + "Start" text, which is undesirably wide. Really unfortunate! Based on experimenting with changing the windows title font size, eliminating the "Start" text should make it waste dramatically less space!

If anyone knows how to achieve this, or some other way to make a vertical taskbar one small-icon width, I'd really apprecaite it!

Thanks for any help,

Last edited:


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
A commercial solution may be Stardock WindowBlinds. But I cannot say for certain if that will even cut the mustard. The editing you are doing is quite complex in layman's terms, and in all likelihood, some type of restoration or integrity protection is disallowing you from making the required change you are looking for.

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