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If you have spent anytime at all customizing your Windows machine to act and function exactly as you want it to then you have definitely come across registry entries. They are all over the net. Ranging from simple changes to exotic or wacky mods. Every single one of them is preceded by a warning that normally looks something like this:

Changes made to the Windows registry happen immediately, and no backup is automatically made. Do not edit the Windows registry unless you are confident about doing so.

Microsoft have issued the following warning with respect to the Registry Editor:

“Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to re-install Windows to correct them. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.”

If warnings like that scare you away from making changes that you want then I have an application for you! It is called WinSecret Professional from the good guys at TweakNow! This 3.9 MB file may look small but it is pretty powerful and idiot-proof. What I mean by that is that it is REALLY hard to fluck up your system using this program – and I tried!

Let’s take a look at the program and see what it can do for you. That is after all what Make Use Of does… We show you how to make use of free applications!

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WinSecret breaks down your tweaks into 11 different categories as seen below:

  • Applications
  • Control Panel
  • Desktop
  • Miscellaneous
  • Network & Internet
  • OEM Info
  • Special Folders
  • Start Menu
  • User Accounts
  • Windows Core
  • Windows Explorer

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite options inside WinSecret. The first one is OEM Branding found under the OEM section. This will allow you to not only change the registered user’s name and company information but, it will also let you modify the manufacturer’s logo and company. I like to put my AskTheAdmin logo on friends machines. Take a look at the options here:

Do you have a USB drive connected to your machine? Do you want to hide the icon from being displayed in my computer? With the Windows Explorer tab you can simply un-check the box next to the drive letter and presto changeo el drievo is gone. This is a neat easy way to hide porn drives from prying eyes. This works for hard drives and CD/DVD drives as well.

Now we have some goodies on the Application tab. From here you can change or add a company name to your Internet Explorer title bar or change the default search engine which you know is MSN by default (this does not touch FireFox guys!). With this tidbit your favorite slogan can sit at the top of your IE like this one I added to my intern’s laptop.

Another good one from the applications/restriction #1 menu is a little check box that allows you to prevent users from clearing the IE browser history!

While these are all fun little things to do, as I promised, there is a way to speed up your machine using the Windows Core tab and checking the box that says: “Improve Core System Performance”. If you have more than 256MB of RAM (do people have less than this nowadays?) then check this box and force the core Windows system to be kept in memory and not paged to disk.

I could continue on but then where would you derive your fun from? We know you love poking around menus!

Hit us up in the comments and let us know what your favorite option from WinSecret is, post your favorite registry mod or tweaking program in the comments and let’s hear what you the readers think!

After all you are what makes Make Use Of so great!

  1. Joe Brazzeal
    April 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Not for us Windows 2000 users. I'll keep looking, though.
    Used a similar program years ago when I had Windows ME or 98 SE. Thanks anyway, Karl!

  2. Bill Mullins
    June 25, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Hey Karl,

    Thanks for giving this old tweak freak another FREE one to play with. Reading your article convinced me to give this one a try. Nice article - well done.

    • Karl L. Gechlik
      July 2, 2008 at 7:28 am

      Thank you for the kind words Bill!

  3. raj
    June 24, 2008 at 8:59 am

    How can I change the name "start" in the start button in windows xp using WinSecret Professional ?

    • AskTheAdmin | Karl Gechlik
      June 24, 2008 at 9:41 am

      I did not see that as an option. Here is a link to the registry mod needed to do this...

      theeldergeek.com/change_text_on_xp_start_button1.htm

  4. Laurence
    June 23, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Hey thanks karl! Most useful.

  5. Scott
    June 23, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    "We show you how to make use of free applications!"

    It's not really free: you either pay $35 up front, or you jump through hoops with "advertising partners" (kind of like those stupid "free iPod" schemes). I'll pass.

    • diverdan
      June 23, 2008 at 11:08 pm

      that licensing scheme crap isn't for this application. winsecret pro is listed in their freeware section.

      lol @ those something for nothing schemes.

    • AskTheAdmin | Karl Gechlik
      June 24, 2008 at 7:14 am

      I downloaded this joint for the low low price of $0... Zippo... Zilch...Nada

      It is free there is no scheme attached to it and if there was would MakeUseOf post it?

      I think not!

      • Aibek
        June 24, 2008 at 7:54 am

        Same here... FREE, no strings attached.... the only thing it costed me is 3.9 MB on my bandwidth. I'll let my ISP handle that.

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