How to Restore or Reinstall the Original Games Folder in Windows Vista

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Vista Games

Are you missing the Games folder from your Windows Vista Start menu? Normally, you’d just click on Start – Programs – Games and select from the several that come included with Vista, such as Chess Titans, Freecell, or Solitaire. If they are no longer visible in your Start menu, this article will tell you how to restore and/or reinstall the original Vista Games folder.

Before we get started with this, let me give you a word of warning. If you are doing this on your computer at work, there’s a very good chance that your employer deliberately uninstalled the Games from your computer. I know that at my work, we remove all the games and delete the Games folder from the Start menu so as to help remove user temptation. Since users can’t add or remove programs without administrative privileges, nobody can add them back. You will also need to have administrative access on your computer in order to perform this operation.

Luckily, the Games folder is a built-in feature of Windows Vista, and can easily be restored. In fact, you can reinstall all of the included games, or just hand pick your favorites. With so many PC manufacturers including restore partitions on the hard drive, you will most likely be able to perform this operation without even needing the original Windows Vista install CD or DVD. I know I didn’t need the disc on my HP desktop computer.

Restore Windows Games Folder

To restore or reinstall the Games in Windows Vista, follow these steps:

  1. Go into the Control Panel by clicking on Start – Settings – Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel, double click on Programs and Features.
  3. In the Programs and Features window, click on the Turn Windows features on or off link in the left column.
  4. In the Windows Features window, just check the box next to the Games folder, which should be right at the top. This will reinstall all the games. If you only want to install certain ones, click the + sign next to the folder and then check the individual games you want, and then uncheck the rest.
  5. After you have selected your games, just click OK and let them load. You should now be able to click on Start – Programs and see the Games folder back on the menu.

On a side note, I think Microsoft confused a lot of people by changing the name from Windows Components to Windows Features. I know it threw me off. I’ve found that most people who were looking in Programs and Features were expecting to see Windows Components and didn’t think to click on the Features link instead. This is an example of one of the many complaints about Vista, as well as Office 2007 for that matter, because some things were needlessly renamed and/or relocated.