Want to customize the text and style of the Windows XP start button and do something interesting? Well, here are 3 ways to change the style of the start button in windows XP. You can change the start button text, show another text when hovering the mouse on it and set your own image as the the start button icon in Windows XP.
We have discussed them in 3 step-by-step guides.
1. How to Change the text in Windows XP start button
Download a freeware called as Resource Hacker from here. This is a free utility which allows to edit the Windows files (binary). You can use Resource Hacker to edit, rename, modify the Windows executable (32-bit) and resource files. Install this application at your Windows XP computer.
First step: Editing the explorer.exe using Resource Hacker
Here, we will modify the explorer.exe in Windows XP to change the text of the start button. So, before editing, keep a backup of that file to be in a safe side. You can find it under the ‘Windows’ folder at your system drive (C:).
Now, run Resource Hacker and click File > Open from the menu bar. Locate the path to C: > Windows and select explorer.exe then click the ‘Open’ button.
Select the folder ‘String Table’ from the left sidebar.
Expand ‘String Table’ using the the ‘+’ sign and find out the sub-folder ’37’. Expand it again by using the ‘+’ sign and select the gear icon named ‘1033’.
Once you select that gear icon, it will show some codes at the right-pane of the Resource Hacker window. In the above screenshot, note the line – 578, “start”. Set your cursor on “start” and select the text by dragging the mouse pointer. Once selected, press the delete button from the keyboard and write your desired name. This will activate the ‘Compile Script’ button, click on it.
You need to save the changes but don’t overwrite the original Windows explorer file. Therefore, save the changed copy as another name, say, newexplorer.exe. Click File > Save as from the menu bar in Resource Hacker.
Give the name of the file as newexplorer.exe and press the ‘Save’ button. Notice that the newexplorer.exe has also been saved at the same location where the original explorer file resides.
Second Step: Editing the registry
We’ll now edit the registry to bring the new edited version of the explorer file in action. Open the registry editor. ( Press Win key + R and type ‘regedit’ at the run command box and hit ‘Enter’. )
Navigate to the the following path from the left sidebar of the registry editor.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT > CurrentVersion > Winlogon
At the right-pane scroll the frame and select “Shell”.
Double-click on it. The ‘Edit String’ dialog box pops up. Put the new explorer file name ( in this article, it is newexplorer.exe ) at the ‘Value data’ box. Click the ‘OK’ button.
Reboot your computer to restart the Windows explorer and see that the start button text has been changed to your given text.
If you want to revert back to the original start button, simply use the original explorer file in the registry by the above step.
Note: I have noticed so many misconceptions about the start button text. Some people predict that the text for the start button must be of 5 characters as the word “start” is of 5 characters. But, I did not experience any problem when changing the name of the start button to a long word ( more than 5 characters ) and there was no adverse effect.
2. How to change the text on mouse hover on start button
Want to change the text that pops up when hovering the mouse on the start button? By default it is ‘Click here to begin’. But, you can change it as you wish. In this tutorial we’ll show how to change that text to ‘Stat your journey’. Here is the step-by-step guidelines.
Run resource Hacker and click File > Open. Now, select explorer.exe from the list of files under the Windows folder. If you’ve already changed the start button text by the above tutorial then open the file newexplorer.exe instead of explorer.exe.
Expand ‘String Table’ using the ‘+’ sign from the left pane of Resource Hacker, expand the sub-folder named 34 and then, select the gear icon named ‘1033’.
At the right pane, delete the text ‘Click here to begin’ (don’t delete the double quotes) and type the text you desire. Here it is ‘Start your journey’ as example.
Now, click on the ‘Compile Script’ button and save the file from File > Save. If you’re newly editing the explorer file without approaching for the above section, save the file as another file name instead of saving it with the same name (explorer.exe) and follow the above guide to use the newly edited explorer file.
Reboot your computer and you will see the change when hovering the mouse on the start button.
3. How to change the icon of start button
In Windows XP, you can also change the icon for the start button. Here is how to do that.
Open the newexplorer.exe in Resource Hacker (assuming you’ve already completed the previous section(s). If not, open explorer.exe). Now, expand the folder named ‘Bitmap’ and then expand the sub-folder named ‘143’ using the (+) signs. Then select ‘1033’.
Now, go to the ‘Action’ menu and click ‘Replace Bitmap’.
Click the ‘Open with new bitmap’ button.
Locate the bitmap image from the hard drive and click the Open button. ( Make sure that the dimension of the bitmap image is 30×30. )
Finally, click the ‘Replace’ button.
Save the file as you did in the previous section. Once saved, reboot your computer and you can see that the start button icon has been changed.
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