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The 50 Best Registry Hacks that Make Windows Better

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We’re big fans of hacking the Windows Registry around here, and we’ve got one of the biggest collections of registry hacks you’ll find. Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of the top 50 registry hacks that we’ve covered.

It’s important to note that you should never hack the registry if you don’t know what you’re doing, because your computer will light on fire and some squirrels may be injured. Also, you should create a System Restore point before doing so. Otherwise, keep reading.

Prevent Windows Update from Forcibly Rebooting Your Computer

imageWe’ve all been at our computer when the Windows Update dialog pops up and tells us to reboot our computer. I’ve become convinced that this dialog has been designed to detect when we are most busy and only prompt us at that moment.

There’s a couple of ways that we can disable this behavior, however. You’ll still get the prompt, but it won’t force you to shut down. Here’s how to do it.

Prevent Windows Update from Forcibly Rebooting Your Computer


How to Clean Up Your Messy Windows Context Menu

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One of the most irritating things about Windows is the context menu clutter that you have to deal with once you install a bunch of applications. It seems like every application is fighting for a piece of your context menu, and it’s not like you even use half of them.

Today we’ll explain where these menu items are hiding in your registry, how to disable them the geeky way, and an easier cleanup method for non-geeks as well.

How to Clean Up Your Messy Windows Context Menu


Stop Windows Update from Hijacking the Sleep/Shutdown Button

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As an avid user of the Sleep function on my laptop, I’ve been more than irritated with Windows 7 or Vista’s habit of changing the Sleep/Shutdown button into an “Install Updates and Shut Down” button whenever there are updates from Windows Update.

After the last time I accidentally clicked this stupid button when I just wanted to enter sleep mode, I decided to look for a solution.

Stop Windows Update from Hijacking the Sleep/Shutdown Button


Add “Take Ownership” to Explorer Right-Click Menu in Win 7 or Vista

imageTaking ownership of system files or folders in Windows 7 or Vista is not a simple task. Whether you use the GUI or the command line, it takes far too many steps.

Here’s a registry hack that adds an item to the menu that will let you take ownership of the files in a single step, so you can delete, move, or otherwise modify the file.

Add “Take Ownership” to Explorer Right-Click Menu in Win 7 or Vista


Disable Aero Shake in Windows 7

imageOne of the interesting new features in Windows 7 is the way you can grab a window by the title bar and “shake” it back and forth to minimize everything else. It’s a fun feature, but just in case you want to disable it we’ve got the solution for you.

All you’ll have to do is apply a simple registry hack, and that

Disable Aero Shake in Windows 7


Add “Open with Notepad” to the Context Menu for All Files

imageThe default method of opening unknown files forces you to go through a list of known applications and is generally a pain to deal with.

That’s why I like to have a context menu option for “Open with Notepad” so that I can quickly open up files without having to go through a lot of trouble.

Add “Open with Notepad” to the Context Menu for All Files


Disable All Notification Balloons in Windows 7 or Vista

imageIf you find the popup notification balloons in the Windows system tray to be too annoying, you might be interested to know that you can completely disable them. This would be an extreme option, of course… typically you can just turn them off in any offending applications, but if you want to disable them across the board, this is the solution.

Disable All Notification Balloons in Windows 7 or Vista


Change the Registered Owner in Windows

imageIf you’ve ever wondered how to change the name of the person that Windows is registered to, this is the quick tip for you. It’s not all that useful for most people, but it might come in handy if you got a computer from somebody else.

To show off the new changes, just type winver.exe into the start menu search box to see the About Windows box.

Quick Tip: Change the Registered Owner in Windows


Kill Windows with the Blue Screen of Death in 3 Keystrokes

imageHave you ever wanted to show off your keyboard ninja skills by taking down Windows with just a couple of keystrokes? All you have to do is add one registry key, and then you can impress your friends… or use it to convince people to switch to Linux.

This isn’t a bug, it’s a “feature” in Windows that is designed to let users trigger a crash dump for testing purposes. Note: this one doesn’t work in Windows 7 anymore. Also, it clearly doesn’t make Windows better, but we included it because it’s lots of fun.

Keyboard Ninja: Kill Windows with the Blue Screen of Death in 3 Keystrokes


How to Add Any Application to the Windows Desktop Right-Click Menu

imageIf you want really quick access to launch a frequently used application without putting extra icons on your desktop, you can add that application to the context menu for the desktop with a simple registry hack. Here’s how to do it.

For today’s lesson we’ll show you how to add Notepad to the menu, but you could add any applications you want instead.

How to Add Any Application to the Windows Desktop Right-Click Menu


How to Add Google Documents to the Windows Explorer “New” Menu

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We’ve already shown you how to create shortcuts to create new Google Docs easily, but what if you want total Windows integration? Here’s how to add them to the Windows Explorer “New” menu for easier access.

This should work for all versions of Windows, and you can modify it to work with Google Apps for your Domain as well. Keep reading for the full instructions.

How to Add Google Documents to the Windows Explorer “New” Menu


How to Add Registry Editor to Control Panel

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It’s always struck me as odd that system tweakers use the registry editor all the time to fix annoyances in Windows, but nobody has created a tweak to add the registry editor to the control panel… until now.

I’ve created a registry hack to add the registry editor as another option in the Control Panel in any version of Windows.

How to Add Registry Editor to Control Panel


Remove “Shortcut” Text From New Shortcuts in Windows 7 or Vista

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A source of annoyance for many Windows users is the ” – Shortcut” text that is added to the name of newly created shortcuts, and every time you have to manually edit the shortcut and remove that text. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a registry hack for this?

Most long-time geeks will remember that there was a hack for Windows XP, and probably already know that the same hack works in Windows 7 or Vista as well.

Remove “Shortcut” Text From New Shortcuts in Windows 7 or Vista


Disable Win+X Shortcut Keys on Windows 7 or Vista

imageWindows 7 and Vista have all the same Windows+X shortcut keys as other versions of Windows, such as Win+E for explorer and Win+D for the desktop, but adds in all of the Win+<num> keys to launch the shortcuts in the Vista Quick Launch menu (or switch to apps in Windows 7), as well as Win+X for mobility center, etc.

But what if you want to disable all these extra keys?

Disable Win+X Shortcut Keys on Windows 7 or Vista


Stupid Geek Tricks: Enable the Secret “How-To Geek” Mode in Windows 7image

We haven’t told anybody before, but Windows has a hidden “How-To Geek Mode” that you can enable which gives you access to every Control Panel tool on a single page—and we’ve documented the secret method for you here.

NOTE: Do not use this on Vista or XP: things will break.

Stupid Geek Tricks: Enable the Secret “How-To Geek” Mode in Windows 7


Disable Windows Mobility Center in Windows 7 or Vista

Windows Mobility Center is a fairly useful tool for those of us using Windows 7 or Vista on a laptop computer, but might not be for everybody, especially since it takes over the Win+X keyboard shortcut.

If you would rather disable Windows Mobility Center, all it takes is a single registry tweak.

Disable Windows Mobility Center in Windows 7 or Vista


Hide Drives from Your Computer in Windows 7 or Vista

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If you’ve got drives in My Computer that you never access, such as a USB Flash drive that you are using solely for ReadyBoost, a floppy drive, or a network drive only used for a particular piece of software, then you might want to simply hide the drive from your computer.

This tip will only hide the drive from being displayed, applications and the command prompt will still have access to it, and you can still manually browse to the folder if you type in the path.

Hide Drives from Your Computer in Windows 7 or Vista


How to Put a Real Libraries Icon On Your Windows 7 Desktop

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We’re big fans of hidden registry hacks around here, so when our friend Justin showed how to put a real, working Libraries icon on the desktop, we figured it would make a perfect article for for a few extra geek points.

Yeah, you can always create a shortcut icon for anything on the desktop, but this one is the actual icon without the shortcut overlay. Plus it’s a geeky hidden trick—what’s not to like?

How to Put a Real Libraries Icon On Your Windows 7 Desktop


How to Restore Previous Versions of the Registry in Windows 7

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If you want to manually restore a specific section of the registry from a previous System Restore snapshot, or access some specific keys from an older version of the registry, you can do so by getting access to those files and then exporting sections from them. Here’s how to do it in Windows 7 or Vista.

How to Restore Previous Versions of the Registry in Windows 7


Remove or Hide Unwanted Items From the Control Panel in Windows 7

imageHave you ever opened the Control Panel in Windows 7 and thought there is no reason to have some of the icons listed? Today we take a look at how to remove unwanted or unneeded items from Control Panel in Windows 7.

For some items you won’t be able to easily delete the CPL file if it’s a Windows system file or in use. You could use a program like Unlocker, but we can tweak the Registry to hide items in Control Panel.

Remove or Hide Unwanted Items From the Control Panel in Windows 7


Make the Taskbar Buttons Switch to the Last Active Window in Windows 7

imageThe new Windows 7 taskbar’s Aero Peek feature, with the live thumbnails of every window, is awesome… but sometimes you just want to be able to click the taskbar button and have the last open window show up instead. Here’s a quick hack to make it work better.

Make the Taskbar Buttons Switch to the Last Active Window in Windows 7


Make Aero Peek Display Instantly (or Disable it) in Windows 7

Aero Peek is Great

Aero Peek is one of the more useful new features in Windows 7… just move your mouse to the taskbar for half a second, and everything else hides so you can see the desktop or application window. But why does it take half a second?

There’s a simple little registry hack that will change the amount of time between hovering your mouse over the show desktop button in the lower right-hand corner, and the Aero Peek display showing up. The same thing should work for when you hover over an application window on the taskbar.

Make Aero Peek Display Instantly (or Disable it) in Windows 7


Why Doesn’t Disk Cleanup Delete Everything from the Temp Folder?

sshot-2010-12-02-1-01-25-06After you’ve used Disk Cleanup, you probably expect every temporary file to be completely deleted, but that’s not actually the case. Files are only deleted if they are older than 7 days old, but you can tweak that number to something else.

Why Doesn’t Disk Cleanup Delete Everything from the Temp Folder?


Remove “Troubleshoot Compatibility” from the Windows Context Menu

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Reader Jeevus wrote in asking how to remove the “Troubleshoot Compatibility” item from the Windows context menu whenever you right-click on an application—naturally, we were happy to explain how to do it, and share with the rest of you.

You’ll want to note that we’re not necessarily recommending that you remove this item, since it could be useful if you’re having compatibility issues with an application, but we’re fans of showing how to do something—also, we just like tinkering in the registry.

Remove “Troubleshoot Compatibility” from the Windows Context Menu


Show the Classic “All Programs” Menu in the Start Menu in Windows 7

imageThere are a lot of new users to Windows 7 who are not happy with the new Start Menu and wish they could revert to the Classic menu. Here is how to at least get back the Classic “All Programs” Menu.

While it’s not quite the same as the good old XP days, if you’re looking to get the All Programs Menu back, this Registry hack will do the trick without installing 3rd party software.

Show the Classic “All Programs” Menu in the Start Menu in Windows 7


How To Add Recycle Bin to “My Computer” in Windows 7 or Vista

imageHave you ever wanted to add the Recycle Bin to your My Computer screen? Yeah, it’s probably not the most common request, but here’s how to do it anyway with a simple registry hack.

To make this tweak, we’ll be doing a quick registry hack, but there’s a downloadable version provided as well.

How To Add Recycle Bin to “My Computer” in Windows 7 or Vista


Remove Gadgets and Screen Resolution on Windows 7 Desktop Context Menu

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One of the first things you might notice in Windows 7 is the addition of the new Gadgets and Screen Resolution items to the context menu. The only problem is that you might not really want them there—so we’ll explain how to get rid of them.

No clue what we’re talking about? If you are using Windows 7 and you right-click on the desktop, you’ll see a bunch of new items at the bottom:

Remove Gadgets and Screen Resolution on Windows 7 Desktop Context Menu


Stupid Geek Tricks: Enable More Fonts for the Windows Command Prompt

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Have you ever noticed that there are only two fonts to choose from in the Command prompt properties window? What you might not know is that you can use a simple registry hack to enable alternate fonts, including a very readable font that comes with Windows 7, Vista, or Office 2007.

But that’s not all… you can enable a number of fixed width fonts if you really want to. We’ll cover how this works, as well as one of my favorite “interesting” fonts for the command prompt.

Stupid Geek Tricks: Enable More Fonts for the Windows Command Prompt


Remove ATI Catalyst Control Center from the Desktop Right-Click Menu

imageHave you ever wondered how to remove the “Catalyst(TM) Control Center” item from the desktop context menu? Here’s the simple registry hack to remove it.

Remove ATI Catalyst Control Center from the Desktop Right-Click Menu


Remove NVIDIA Control Panel from Desktop Right-Click Menu

imageHave you ever wondered how to remove the “NVIDIA Control Panel” item from the desktop context menu? If so, you probably didn’t realize that it’s trivially easy to remove.

Remove NVIDIA Control Panel from Desktop Right-Click Menu


Make “Command Prompt Here” Always Display for Folders in Windows

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We’ve previously explained how you can open a command prompt by holding down the Shift key and right-clicking on a folder or the desktop… but how do you make that item show up without having to hold down the shift key?

There’s a simple registry hack you can do that will enable “Open Command Window Here” item without holding down the shift key:

Make “Command Prompt Here” Always Display for Folders in Windows


Add Encrypt / Decrypt Options to Windows 7 / Vista Right-Click Menu

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If you use the built-in file encryption in Windows 7 or Vista, you might be interested in adding an option to the right-click menu to more easily encrypt and decrypt your files, rather than having to use the file properties dialog.

Adding this to the menu couldn’t be simpler – there’s only a single registry key to add.

Add Encrypt / Decrypt Options to Windows 7 / Vista Right-Click Menu


Customize the Default Screensavers in Windows 7 and Vista

imageWindows 7 and Vista include a nice set of backgrounds, but unfortunately most of them aren’t configurable by default.  Thanks to a free app and some registry changes, however, you can make the default screensavers uniquely yours!

You can customize the Bubbles, Ribbons, and Mystify screensaver to enable hidden options with this registry hack.

Customize the Default Screensavers in Windows 7 and Vista


Skip the Annoying “Use the Web service to find the correct program” Dialog

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If you’ve used Windows for any length of time, you’ve likely tried to open a file with an unknown extension. Instead of getting a list of programs to open the file with, you get an annoying dialog asking you to use a web service to find a program. So how do we change this?

You can use a registry hack to force Windows to skip this dialog altogether, and give you a list of applications to use to open the file instead, just as if you had selected the second option.

Skip the Annoying “Use the Web service to find the correct program” Dialog


Disable Caps Lock Key in Windows 7 or Vista

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The caps lock key is one of those remnants of another age of computers, back when people used to shout at each other more often. Since it’s not entirely useful anymore we’ll learn how to disable it. If you aren’t interested in the explanation you can skip to the bottom for the registry files.

Windows doesn’t have a default setting to allow for disabling the key, so what we have to do is re-map the key to something non-existent so as to completely disable it.

Disable Caps Lock Key in Windows 7 or Vista


Add Defragment to the Right-Click Menu for a Drive

imageWe’ve received lots of requests to add Defrag to the right-click menu for a drive, so we created a simple registry hack that can be easily added that does just that.

After manually applying or downloading the hack, you’ll have a new item on the right-click menu for your drives…

Add Defragment to the Right-Click Menu for a Drive


Add Control Panel to the Desktop Right-Click Menu in Vista

imageA couple of days ago I noticed a thread on our forum asking how to add Control Panel to the desktop context menu, so I decided to write up the solution for everybody, since it seems like a really useful hack.

There’s a manual registry hack that you can apply if you’d like, or you can download the reghack version and apply it easily.

Add Control Panel to the Desktop Right-Click Menu in Vista


Use Verbose Boot Messages to Troubleshoot Windows Startup Problems

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If you’ve ever had problems with your PC starting up or shutting down slowly, there’s lots of different troubleshooting techniques that you can use—today we’ll talk about how to enable verbose messages.

Enabling these verbose messages is not going to magically solve your problems, of course—the point is to use this to identify a problem, which you can then solve through other means, generally by uninstalling a problem application or upgrading a faulty driver.

Use Verbose Boot Messages to Troubleshoot Windows Startup Problems


How to Enable or Disable TortoiseSVN Menus Easily

imageIf you’re a programmer that uses TortoiseSVN to manage your Subversion source control project, you might wonder how to easily disable the menu items without completely uninstalling. Here’s a quick way to do it.

The general idea is that we’ll remove the Windows Explorer context menu items from the registry with one script, and then add the registry entries back with another script.

How to Enable or Disable TortoiseSVN Menus Easily


How to Add Control Panel to “My Computer” in Windows 7 or Vista

imageBack in the Windows XP days, you could easily add Control Panel to My Computer with a simple checkbox in the folder view settings. Windows 7 and Vista don’t make this quite as easy, but there’s still a way to get it back.

To make this tweak, we’ll be doing a quick registry hack, but there’s a downloadable version provided as well.

How to Add Control Panel to “My Computer” in Windows 7 or Vista


Increase the Speed of the Aero Taskbar Thumbnails in Windows 7

sshot-2010-06-22-[02-15-28]By default you may notice that there is a slight delay when hovering your mouse over a Taskbar Thumbnail. Here is a neat registry hack that will allow you to speed it up.

Once you apply the hack, you’ll notice when you hover your mouse over a thumbnail of an open app on the Taskbar the preview pops up instantly with no delay.

Increase the Speed of the Aero Taskbar Thumbnails in Windows 7


Remove Programs from the Open With Menu in Explorer

imageWould you like to clean up the Open with menu in Windows Explorer?  Here’s how you can remove program entries you don’t want in this menu on any version of Windows.

This simple trick can help you keep your Open with menu tidy, and only show the programs you want in the list. 

Remove Programs from the Open With Menu in Explorer


Add “Run as Administrator” to Any File Type in Windows 7 or Vista

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Have you ever tried to unzip a file to the Program Files directory in Windows 7 or Vista? You’ll get all sorts of permission denied errors, and generally be unsuccessful. So how do we open up the zipfile as an administrator? For that matter, how do you open any file as administrator?

There’s a simple registry tweak that will let us specify the action to run as administrator for a file type. Unfortunately you’ll have to make the tweak manually, but we’ll walk you through it.

Add “Run as Administrator” to Any File Type in Windows 7 or Vista


Create a Context Menu Item to Copy a Text File To the Clipboard in Windows 7 / Vista / XP

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If you are the type of person that likes to keep a lot of information stored in text-format files on your drive, you’ve probably encountered a scenario where you want to copy that information to the clipboard… so you open the file in notepad, select all, then copy to the clipboard. What if you could do it with a simple context menu item instead?

Using a little registry hacking and the clip.exe utility built into Windows 7 and Vista, we can do just that, and we can even hide it behind the Shift + Right-Click menu so that it won’t waste space on the menu unless you hold down the shift key.

Create a Context Menu Item to Copy a Text File To the Clipboard in Windows 7 / Vista / XP


Disable the “Send To” Folder on the Windows Explorer Context Menu

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After writing the article about adding Notepad to the context menu I noticed all the comments from users that prefer to use a shortcut in the Send To menu, which got me thinking… I wonder if you can disable the Send To folder?

Of course you can easily disable it… naturally it’s a registry hack, so standard disclaimers apply.

Disable the “Send To” Folder on the Windows Explorer Context Menu


Remove “Map Network Drive” Menu Item from Windows Vista or XP

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If you have never used the “Map Network Drive” dialog box, do you ever wonder how to get rid of it? Personally I only map drives from the command line so I never use it either… so I’m thankful there’s a registry hack that can remove the menu items.

If you are unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, just right-click on the Computer icon and you’ll see it.

Remove “Map Network Drive” Menu Item from Windows Vista or XP


Enable or Disable Task Manager

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Some time ago I received an email from a reader curious why their Task Manager option was grayed out on the taskbar right-click menu. After a bit of research his problem was solved, and now I’m sharing the solution with everybody.

There is a registry key that will disable Task Manager, although it’s not always clear how or why it was set to disable. In many cases the problem is related to spyware, so you should also scan your computer. Here’s how to enable or disable it.

Why is Task Manager Disabled?


How to Clean Up Your Messy Internet Explorer Context Menu

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Is your Internet Explorer context menu completely out of control? Is it so long that it actually runs off the screen? Here’s how to quickly take a few steps to get rid of all that ridiculous clutter without installing Google Chrome instead.

Sometimes you can remove the items just by using the Manage Add-ons screen, but other add-ons embed themselves a lot deeper, and you’ll need to use a registry hack to get rid of them. Here’s how to do that.

How to Clean Up Your Messy Internet Explorer Context Menu


How to Restore the Real Internet Explorer Desktop Icon in Windows 7

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Remember how previous versions of Windows had an Internet Explorer icon on the desktop, and you could right-click it to quickly access the Internet Options screen? It’s completely gone in Windows 7, but a geeky hack can bring it back.

Microsoft removed this feature to comply with all those murky legal battles they’ve had, and their alternate suggestion is to create a standard shortcut to iexplore.exe on the Desktop, but it’s not the same thing. We’ve got a registry hack to bring it back.

How to Restore the Real Internet Explorer Desktop Icon in Windows 7


Enable or Disable Displaying a Message During the Boot Process

imageIf you’ve ever had a corporate laptop, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen a message before you login that talks about the corporate policies and all of that stuff.

Here’s how to enable or disable that login message using a registry hack.

Display a Text Message During Bootup of Windows 7


That was a lot of registry hacks… guessing nobody will even read far enough to see this line.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/9/10

Comments (97)

  1. Hatryst

    I read only 10 registry hacks on lifehacker. This is 5x more :D
    How do people discover such things?! That is so cool !

  2. Matt Kammerait

    Great list. I read to the bottom…

  3. Hatryst

    Question: What is that wallpaper on your desktop?

  4. LePeR

    Should zip them all in one file :)

  5. Veegertx

    @Hatryst
    How do people discover such things?

    Takes a lot of digging into things and experimenting and a wanna know attitude.

    Someone asked in a forum ‘Im looking for a way to add the ‘find target’ command to my ‘right click / contextual menu’ in windows XP SP2′ Posted 26 December 2004 – 06:04 PM
    http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/35034-add-find-target-to-right-click/

    I wanted that also and kept trying here and there never giving up and finally 1 day I discovered exact way to do this and at time was still dual booting XP/Vista
    answer was Posted 19 February 2008 – 07:42 AM in above link

    Almost 4 years I had tried that off and on. Now with Vista and then 7 came the ‘Open file location’

    Yes I am a Geek and possibly Registry Nerd.

  6. kyle

    awesommmmeee!!

  7. y0himba`

    I read through to the last line and have performed all but 3 of those hacks over time. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  8. indianacarnie

    have already used some of these will be trying a few more later on. thank you for the tips/information.

  9. appsbyaaron

    I read them all. Thanks!!

  10. miuhhh

    I’ve read the last line :)

  11. susan

    ha, i read all the way to the bottom and saw “the line”. good job with all the windows hacks!

  12. Theodore

    You guessed wrong :P

  13. Marble

    Thanks for the fifty tweaks ! I saw the line !

  14. FRAYEDNOT

    just read the last line!! Thanks for the hacks- I’ll be doing 10 or so of them tonight!!

  15. skulldrinker

    Just looking over the list reminds me of how much I don’t know.

  16. rob

    I saw the last line.

  17. Matt

    Of course I read that far!

    Some interesting tips…as always

    Matt

  18. killabliss

    well, I made it to thet line, and glad I did. Seriously, this is one of the best websites out there!…thanks guys!

  19. Peter

    excellent

  20. Jeff g

    Great article (and yes I saw the last line). Wanted to mention to readers who make it THIS far down the page 3 items:
    1 – many of these hacks are available in tweakui for xp, vista, or 7… If you aren’t crazy about reg changes

    2 – a command line tool (free online) called nircmd makes it real easy to get right to the correct place in the reg for each tweak with the “nircmd regedit [key name/path]. This same company, nirsoft, makes a few other reg utils and more–all free

    3 – a little program called Active registry monitor (free for 30 days) can set checkpoints and then compare 2 copies of the registry, showing you exactly what has changed. Good way to see what a newly installed prg has added/changed.. Or a way to come up with your own reg hacks!

  21. Juan

    “That was a lot of registry hacks… guessing nobody will even read far enough to see this line.”

    I did ;-)

    Similar to your “Add Encrypt / Decrypt Options…” how about another one for “Copy to…” and “Move to…”

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Copy To]
    @=”{C2FBB630-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}”

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers\Move To]
    @=”{C2FBB631-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}”

  22. Andy

    Great list! Nice to have them all in one place.

    Andy

  23. X10AE

    Nice compilation. It would be nice to have a tool or sort featuring these hacks.

  24. lol

    “That was a lot of registry hacks… guessing nobody will even read far enough to see this line.”

    lol

  25. JimDoss

    I did.

  26. The Geek

    @Juan

    I can’t believe I forgot to include that one! We’ve got an article on it too.

  27. WAKE UP U

    THERE IS NO “MY COMPUTER” IN VISTA !!

    To be so stuck in the past to be unable to accept change shows a lazy mind.

    If there is a “my computer” in Vista, please , please show us where it is.

    Shame !! Shame !!

    Bad geek !! Bad geek !!

  28. mepisz

    Hey i’m a huge fan of this site. What’s the blue wallpaper that they used? Anybody? Thanks. It will be very appreciated.

  29. Psycosis12

    I read far enough.

    Great registry hacks, I definitely learned something here.

  30. Richard Knight

    You were mistaken. I did indeed read the last line. Kind of spoiled the rest by imparting a sort of pettiness to the author. “Poor me!” lol

    Seriously, your tips and tricks have been invaluable to me over the long run of our relationship. You never fail to amaze me how deep you and yours’ knowledge, creativity and imagination runs. How you are able to come up with something to report, demonstrate or comment about EVERY DAY (good ol all caps key) simply astonishes me!

    Don’t ever retire!

    Thanks for all you do.

  31. Justin

    I absolutely love a lot of these hacks. Ive forwarded this article to just about all of our IT Dept, and even have some of our IT support implementing some of these hacks so we can shorten troubleshooting time. Thanks How-To Geek! :D

  32. Todd

    Great list! I especially liked the trick about GUID extensions to open Network Connections etc.

    Here’s my recent favorite registry hack. This shows the byte contents of any file in the preview pane in Vista, Win7 and 2008 Server:

    create a new key under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ named {8895b1c6-b41f-4c1c-a562-0d564250836f}

    within that set the Default value to {1531d583-8375-4d3f-b5fb-d23bbd169f22}

    This is the Text preview settting that you can see under items like batfile. The font style and size are controlled by the current settings in Notepad.

    This hack overrides other preview handlers, but it can be turned off by changing the value. For example, I stick an “x” in front of the GUID to disable it, and remove the x to reenable it. This change happens immediately without closing Regedit or restarting Explorer. It would be easy to make a little script to toggle it.

    Alternately, you could add the ShellEx key, “8859″ key and “1531″ value to a specific file type if you wanted to see that the contents of a particular type of file, like .LOG files for example.

  33. LMS

    I read it and saw the last line.

  34. toad

    >>That was a lot of registry hacks guessing nobody will even read far enough to see this line.<<

    Fooled ya! Good stuff!

  35. Shawn

    Yet… I did read that last line. And it IS a lot of registry hacks.

    Kudos

  36. maynak00

    great tips, thanks

  37. Grant

    And people complain about using the command line to change a setting in some plain text file in /etc on Linux????!?!?!?!? The registry hacks are much more complicated.

  38. boter

    I saw the line… do I win something?

  39. RSVR85

    I’m a frog!

    Great list, some very handy tweaks. Thanks :)

  40. mark

    These are all stupid.

  41. Paul

    You guest wrong
    some good useful tips here keep up the good work
    thanks

  42. Mollie

    “That was a lot of registry hacks… guessing nobody will even read far enough to see this line.”

    Wrong guess. ;-)

    Mollie

  43. Nate

    I got to the end, that was awesome!

  44. kalio

    Cool… ;)
    Got to the last line…
    Dunno if I can call this a tweak… If u ever come accross a windows challenge where double clicking on ur drives fails to work… Goto ur registery n delete all “mountpoints2″. Without the quotes.

  45. kalio

    Cool… ;)
    Got to the last line…
    Dunno if I can call this a tweak… If u ever come accross a windows challenge where double clicking on ur drives fails to work… Goto ur registry n delete all “mountpoints2″. Without the quotes.

  46. Thomas Ives

    “That was a lot of registry hacks…
    guessing nobody will even read far enough to see this line.”

    Hey – I got to the bottom. Yay for me! Now I just need to try all the hacks.

    Thanks for all the tips.

  47. Dina Walsh

    Great article! Thanks!
    Do you (or anyone) happens to know how to disable the annoying Windows function of selecting the menu using the alt key? Have of the time it messes with my work.
    Cheerio.

  48. ink.mars

    Great tweaks! I read all of it, even the last line

  49. J. Anthony Carter

    First: this was a great idea. I love learning how to hack and working on the registry is about as cool as you can get.
    Second: I DID read all the way down to where you left your note saying no one will read all the way down to it.
    Third: I’ve been wanting to get the “Run As Administrator” on my context menu forever and now that you’ve given me the way to do it I find I can’t. When I click export on command, I get a window listing my “User/My Name” program/file list. I have no idea HOW to get it to export to notepad. I’ve always accessed notepad from the menu path and even though I tried, I couldn’t find notepad through the User or even C:/ drive listings.
    I really, really, really, really, really, really, ummm…. really want to add “Run As Administrator” but can’t, Please help!!!

  50. John Z

    I did see the last line. Ha ha!

  51. rangerevo8

    I got to the last line too. =p

  52. Andreas T

    Disabling the delete key is good, but, IMHO, disabling the silly insert key is more useful.

  53. Skwsgr

    I would highly recommend tweak ui and ultimate windows tweaker for all these mods. Easy peasy. i just keep these .exe on my c: drive in case i need

  54. Wayne in Indy

    Super job. I really enjoyed reading this, and found several keepers for myself. Thanks, and I did read all the way thru to the end. ;-)

  55. HCamper

    @WAKE UP U
    The reference to “MyComputer” exists in Windows 2000, Windows XP,
    Windows Vista, Windows 7.

    Location for “MyComputer” is in a branch of computer local machine definitions
    commonly described by “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” or “HKLM”.
    The special key section used is for file browser “Explorer” which contains
    additional items that can be added to a local machine i.e. Places,Views,Devices and
    actions for Places,Views,Devices. The explorer view(s) are “MyDocuments”,”MyPictures,”MyMusic”"MyVideos”
    and new with Windows 7 “MyLibraries”.
    Example “MyComputer” has a “Desk Top”
    and can be set to have (or not have ) various options. All these actions related to “DeskTop”
    possibilities are stored in this branch of registery “HKLM\Explorer\DeskTop”.
    So in conclusion just because your “DeskTop” does display “MyComputer” it is there.
    General Note: Current Versions of Linux Distros have adopted “MyComputer”
    and the “DeskTop” conventions. Open Suse Linux desktop with KDE has personalized
    “My Document”…”My Networks”.
    User(s) just want to be able to find where the $#&? their files are and “MyComputer”
    is where the $#&? is located.
    LOL
    Martin :-)
    Windows and Linux Can Work Together

  56. Mike

    Got any more hacks?

  57. Steve Ballmer

    I’ve found a simple, effective way to get rid of _all_ annoying Microsoft Windows bugs, ie. typing this command into DOS Prompt:

    deltree C:\*.* /y

  58. Nick

    Hey Steve Ballmer – wouldn’t that delete everything on the c drive? that’s not funny or cool, if so.

  59. 202_d

    I did that recycle bin name replacement, and all it does was create a dupe recycle bin. I got rid of the first one so only my renamed one remained, and when I deleted anything, the bin stayed empty. After restoring the reycyle bin, all the deleted docs/files were there and I emptied them as usual. Did I miss part of the instructions? I wanted to replace the name and use only the new one.

    Also, I suppose this isn’t a hack so much as a tweak.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Control Panel>Desktop>
    modify ‘MenuShowDelay’ and change to zero.

    Always liked that one,very useful for VisTa, but works for all.

  60. 202_d

    Actually let me make a request, what I don’t like about Win7 is the default folder layout. I like it simple- file name and size only. Sure I figured out how to change that around and save it but what I can’t do is get rid of that bar on top with ‘organize’ ‘include in library’ ‘share with’ ‘burn’ ‘new folder’…all I want up there is organize (and even that I don’t really care about) so is there some foldr option I missed or is that going to be a reg mod?

    Also the ‘collapse/expand’ text that shows up…that can go. Im using 7 UL . I swear I had this problem with VisTa but only on certain PCs of mine (got ten) I thought it was maybe just certain versions (as in ultimate vs home premium) but now with each machine with 7 I have they all seem to have that. Ideas on what Im missing or is a reg mod you can do?

    Ok, and I went to control panel/options/view before I hit ‘enter’ for this post, just to make sure this wasn’t a stupid noob question but I don’t believe I see options to change this. Thoughts?

  61. raman

    great work , keep it up…
    i was wondering if you could help me in breaking through the fortiguard network security laid down by my college authorities.
    i tried everything that was mentioned on the internet but all in vain.
    hope you would find some solution and help me.
    thanks.
    btw great work by you guys…

  62. Mark Wayne

    Only recently have I discovered your site and now subscripe to your daily news letter. I am really enjoying your daily postings and have learned several useful tips and tricks.
    Yes I got to the bottom of the page, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  63. JDOE0000

    If you arent smart enough to know where to find notepad (J. Anthony Carter) or are dumb enough to type what “Steve Ballmer” said then you shouldnt even be on this site to begin with.

    Great article.

  64. Alejuss

    All this has been excelent! thank you!!
    Greets from Buenos Aires

  65. HCamper

    @raman
    I hope you do not think the following comments this too rude or obfessive just informational.
    I belive most if not all members/visitors here will be of no help in working around a
    university security set-up.
    If a person does provide does provide you with a means to
    break in you now have found a new threat for you personally!
    The security was put in place to protect students
    and university.
    If you wasting energy,much time on working to tear down their system!
    If you have a legite reason to pass some thing thru their network
    get permission. Most university admins when approached with a legite request will
    make a stab at providing help.
    You will find that ethical admins,developers,programmers and users
    all depend on making money,being secure by keeping you from breaking into the university.

    For guidance check the rules of “ACM” and “IEEE” it will bare out what is expected.
    Do your self a favor and move on to something else to worry about.
    Martin :-)
    Windows and Linux Can Work Together

  66. Sandeep

    is there any way to change the background of MY COMPUTER Window?????

  67. Blaine Wilson

    Dear “Your Royal” Geekness,

    I’m a rookie administrator overseeing a small network of 10 computers (WinXP SP3) and a server (SBS 2003). I have a problem on some of the computers where, in the System Configuration Utility, the DCOM, RPC and RPC Locator services are enabled…and I cannot disable them. Even after using Darik’s Nuke program, these services remain locked. After I have gone into the registry to disable them, I’ll reboot a computer and notice the taskbar is not visible, desktop icons are locked and files can’t be copied or pasted and I can’t make shortcuts.

    From the looks of this, it looks like the W32.Blaster.worm, but I couldn’t find anything using various scanning tools from Symantec, Malwarebytes and SpyDoctor.com, among others.

    Also, do you have any good recommendations for software and hardware firewalls?

    B. Wilson

  68. HCamper

    You really need to do some reading. Check out “Black Vipers” service help and tips.
    You need to read in MSDN Library about how DCOM,RPC and RPC locator funtion.
    A little bit of information on each:
    Distributied Communication Services (DCOM), Remote Process Communications (RPC), Remote Process Locator.
    The services provide communications for internal system and application(s).
    By disabling any of these services will cause failures of system at all levels.
    Each of the DCOM,RPC and RPC locator are critical services to run any other operation
    in a Windows system and even more so in a Windows Server System.
    If you do not want to read just go into the configuration and select services and look for descriptions along with dependices for each service. If you look the key services are RPC and WMI every other will have a link plus some additional features. There is nothing in your description to indicate a worm or virus.
    I hope this helps,
    Martin :-)
    Windows and Linux can Work Together

  69. chariot213

    GREAT JOB!! GOD BLESS, GUIDE AND PROTECT YOU “CONTINUOUSLY”…..

  70. HCamper

    @Sandeep
    If you mean to say “My Computer Window” is a reference to the “Desk Top” then right click
    “Desk Top” select back ground and pick one either from the collection of images or browse to where you have one you provide.
    If you mean to say “My Computer Window” is a reference to the file folder window (Explorer View)
    then install a theme management software like “Windows Blinds” to allow for changing all windows and displayed items. If what you meant was “My Computer Window” is a reference to total system
    view conversion then Resource Hacker,System Restore,How-to Geeks,Ask Vg and Hours of twiddling,tweaking until it meets your style. For the “Windows Blinds” you can run a pid for version or a nag type free version. For the Resource Hacker route be rady with restore disk and good back-ups danger lies ahead. For the standard method using avaiable system operations (Since WIN95) a good set of visual changes can be made an low risk. I hope that helps to answer a very a vague question.
    General Note: Most of the themeing changes apply to Linus and Windows alike.
    Martin -:)
    Windows and Linux can Work Together.

  71. anasslv

    You can add This Tips Too it’s Great it’s about How to show IE9 Bar Menu it’s Cool and a Great one
    link: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/29533/always-show-the-menu-other-toolbars-bar-in-internet-explorer-9-beta/

  72. rred4pat

    Read the last line. Great site! Thanks for all the help!

  73. armnd

    hoyy
    thanks for that article.
    But i dont find what i’m looking for. Im under Win 7 64bit and my computer keeps telling me “welcome” every time i turn it on, which is the stupidest thing ever, off course i’m welcome, you dum’ass, youre MY computer!!! daaah… and that awfull blue screen with white lines and bird…. i wish everything was black, or white or grey i dunno… i wish i could also erase that terrible windows logo on the black screen. Its really nightmare.
    Instead also of telling me “windows is resuming” or “resuming windows”, its so useless, i know that… So i thought there would be some geekfriend around to help me changing this?. Ok i’m a wannbegeek, i admit. hm
    Or who could help me? any forum suggestion?

    thx

    a.

  74. iceden

    Info such as this is not something you learn in school and it has the extra value of helping/making you understand how other things work also. Kudos to those willing to share it freely.

    Hats off to you and happy holidays.

    and yes, I also read to the last line….

  75. Roy Duhamel

    How can I remove HP Photosmart (hpha2mnm) from my HP Windows Vista? I have done Google searches and not found anything that works so far.

  76. Luis Matoso

    Wrong. I reed it all. Great work.

  77. sam

    whoa!! HOW CAN PEOPLE do all des stuff.really coool”

  78. tita

    This is simply wonderful!

    Is there a hack to skip the anoying confirm dialogue box after replacing a file with save as?

    If a had a penny for each time I have clicked that box….

    It drives me nuts!

    Kindly

    Tita

  79. GrizBear

    Well Greytleader, what can I add……..Nothing…

    But remember, no matter how hard you try, there will always be a critic waiting to shoot you down.

    To the Geeks…..Keep the midnight oil burning…as I do every night.
    And no, I don`t care to make one or two or more clicks..eventually I find 9with patience) a solution here in these tomes.

    Many thanks for your Geek quest, in bringing all the Microshaft secrets to light.

    GrizBear

  80. J. Anthony Carter

    I’ve been having a problem recently with the system icons deleting themselves even though I had them checked to show. In the right-click menu from the task bar, if you select properties then go to the Notification Area, on the bottom half are the Network, Power, Clock and Volume selections. I’ve had all but Power checked for years. Now they seem to randomly drop out (unclick themselves) and disappear from the taskbar. It won’t even let me click them back into existence again and I really need the Network and Volume icons there. Does ANYONE know how to make these choices clickable again?

  81. Tina

    Thanks for saving my sanity!

    The only thing I HATE (yes that word was shouted;) about Windows 7 is being told I’m not important enough to do what I want with my own laptop……………so your “Run as Administrator” tip is perfect.

  82. Steve

    Not only did I read it to the end, but tried one (for now) printed the pages, and read all the comments. Great stuff all the way round. But then did you epect anything less… Steven

  83. Ken

    Great list. The worst W7 ‘feature’, IMO, is the occasional rearranging for desktop icons after a boot. I use fences and this feature causes a real mess. Wish there was a hack to stop W7 from doing it.

  84. yeknab

    I’m NOT a nerd. I didn’t understand most but I liked to read and learn. Great list.

  85. eyeman

    Am I a Geek or Nerd?

    Yes I read through the last one and saw the last line too…I thought I was a graphic designer but I love to read the stuff you do to the registry and Explorer files!

    Thanks for the info…

    eyeman

  86. Brodiemac

    I wonder if there is someone out there adventurous enough to great an autohotkey gui that will do all of these in one interface?

  87. Shashank

    Amazing Tricks

  88. ad3k

    Nice, Im looking forword to see more articles like that!!

  89. Mikeh

    I’ve got one for you. In windows 7 the taskbar buttons are in this annoying white font that you cannot change to any other color. Half of the time it is impossible to see the text. Drives my crazy. Any hack for that?

  90. Keith Goofwin

    I read to last line and last comment. Great work. Hats off to you.

  91. Bobby

    “That was a lot of registry hacks… guessing nobody will even read far enough to see this line.”

    Your work isn’t going unappreciated. (:

  92. Andrew

    Fantastic List!!! I used a whole 15 to 20 off the bat and i will definitely come back here if i need another :) Thanks much

  93. jayaraj

    great job!!!!

  94. Abhay MIttal

    U’re wrong in that case. And I probably think that I’m the first one that has read all the articles above by gong to the different links. I’m also a hacker and I’ve greatest interest in these informations. I can also write some articles for your site that u don’t know. U can contact me if you agree

  95. Moshu

    Is the best way to explain all the tweeks ‘cose you did it for anybody!

  96. David

    I would like to know how to disable or remove the sleep option from the shutdown button on Windows 7 Home premium.

    I have tried the registry hack, of going to HKey_Local_Machine\Software\Policies\Microsoft.

    1. Then right clicking Microsoft, then selecting “new key” then naming it “Power”.
    2. Then right clicking on “Power” then selecting “new key” then naming it “Power Settings”.
    3. Then right clicking “Power Settings” selecting “new key” then naming it “abfc2519-3608-4c2a-94ea-171b0ed546ab”.
    4. Then in the right pane right click and select “New, DWord (32 bit)-value” and name that “ACSettingIndex”.
    5. Finally right clickling “ACSettingIndex” and select “Modify” and set the value at ” 0 “.

    This option does not work on my computer. Are there any other ways to disable the sleep function on the shutdown button? Thanks in advance.

  97. Timo

    @Matt Kammerait
    Me Too

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