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I have been saying repetitively how wonderful Windows is. The registry particularly can make customization easy and definitely fun. Today, we will be looking at just a few registry tweaks that can increase your ability to customize Windows to an extreme level.

WARNING : BEFORE making any changes to the Windows registry, it is highly recommended to make a backup in case anything goes wrong. To backup your Windows registry, tap your Windows key on the keyboard and “R”. When the Run box comes up, type regedit. When the Registry box comes up, go to ‘File’ then ‘Export’. Save the resulting file to your hard drive.

backup windows registry

Lets get started!

Tweak 1 – Become Your Own Computer Manufacturer

It is common for computers to come with information about the manufacturer in Start Menu under the “Run” entry. Wouldn’t it be cool, though, to be your own computer manufacturer?

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Well, it is possible with Windows! Let’s do it then:

    Step 1: Open Notepad (“Start,” “Run,” notepad.exe)

    Step 2: Copy the following into it:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{2559a1f6-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}]
    @=”TITLE HERE”

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{2559a1f6-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}DefaultIcon]
    @=”ICON HERE”

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{2559a1f6-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}InProcServer32]
    @=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,
    00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,73,00,68,00,
    64,00,6f,00,63,00,76,00,77,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,00,00
    “ThreadingModel”=”Apartment”

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{2559a1f6-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}Instance]
    “CLSID”=”{3f454f0e-42ae-4d7c-8ea3-328250d6e272}”

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{2559a1f6-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}InstanceInitPropertyBag]
    “CLSID”=”{13709620-C279-11CE-A49E-444553540000}”
    “method”=”ShellExecute”
    “Command”=”TITLE HERE”
    “Param1″=”FUNCTION HERE”

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{2559a1f6-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}shellex]

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{2559a1f6-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}shellexContextMenuHandlers]

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{2559a1f6-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}shellexContextMenuHandlers{2559a1f6-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}]
    @=””

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{2559a1f6-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}shellexMayChangeDefaultMenu]
    @=””

    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{2559a1f6-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}ShellFolder]
    “Attributes”=dword:00000000

    Step 3: Change the following values to whatever you like:

    TITLE HERE – Add the text that you want to be shows, ex. John’s PC

    ICON HERE – The image that is used as a brand logo. It must be a .ico and 24×24. (E.g. C:\mylogo.ico. The has to be replaced by two \’s.)

    FUNCTION HERE – This should be replaced with the function that will be used when clicked. (E.g. A website, a windows executable, etc. http://google.com will redirect to Google when clicked.)

    Step 4: Save the file as brand.reg and double-click it. Now, simply log off and back on and you should have your own branded version of Windows!

 

Tweak 2 – Create Your Own Run Command

I talk a lot about Windows, and using the “Run” command is a large part of it. It is a simple and easy method of accessing programs quickly. If you happen to want to make a shortcut to an application your own way, guess what, you can!

Let’s do it:

    Step 1: Go to “Start,” “Run,” (told you we use it a lot) and type regedit.

    Step 2: Navigate to the following:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionApps Path

    Step 3: Create a new folder/key under Apps Path. (Right-Click Apps Path and click “New,” “Key.”)

    Step 4: Title the new folder/key the name of the application, e.g. firefox.exe.

    Step 5: Right-Click the default string value (the thing automatically created in your new folder) and click Modify.

    Step 6: Change the value to the path of the executable you are attempting to run. E.g. C:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxfirefox.exe.

    Step 7: Create a new “String Value” by right-clicking under the default value (the thing we just edited) and select “New,” “String Value.” Name it Path and enter the value as the same path you previously entered.

    Step 8: Done! Now, all you need to do is go to “Start,” “Run,” and type the name of your command!

Tweak 3 – Change Windows Start Menu Delay

The MenuShowDelay registry key sets a delay for different menus. This registry key is one of the most useless keys in Windows.

If, for some reason, you want your start menu to delay for 900 milli-seconds, then you do not need to mess with this at all. If you do, though, want to speed up your computer just a little more then here is how you lower the menu delay:

    1. Go to “Start,” “Run,” and type regedit.

    2. Navigate to the following:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktop

    3. Find the key labeled “MenuShowDelay” and right-click, then click Modify.

    4. Change the value to whatever you like. (The range is 0-999 in milliseconds.)

Hope these tweaks helped you get closer to a nearly perfectly tweaked computer! Are you aware of any other cool registry tweaks? Please share them in comments.

  1. Vertx
    March 28, 2009 at 8:44 am

    utterly useLESS.

    :(

  2. FRANK
    March 8, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    thank alot that has made a big differance to my computer it runs faster than I have ever seen it run, thanks again

  3. Umopepisdn
    January 6, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Hello. Good article, although step 7 of tweak 2 has a slight inaccuracy.

    You use the same value for (Default) and Path. This might work in practice, but it is not the correct setting: the Path value is used to express the working directory under which the program should be run -- not the .EXE that it is running. (In Vista, this value is frequently followed by a semicolon; this may imply that support for adding multiple working paths exists at least in Vista).

    Appropriate settings for this key shuld be:

    (Default) REG_SZ C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe
    Path REG_SZ C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox;

    Also, this is just as useful in Vista as it is in XP, as the bar below the start menu uses the same App Paths entries as the run box. In fact, it is critical for me in Vista 64-bit: The default iexplore.exe is the 64-bit version, where many plug-ins just don't work. To solve this problem -- because, let's face it, sometimes you just need to use IE -- I remapped my IEXPLORE.EXE to the 32-bit version, and added a new IEXPLORE64.EXE entry in case I need to get to the 64-bit version later:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\IEXPLORE.EXE
    (Default) REG_SZ C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE
    Path REG_SZ C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer;

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\IEXPLORE64.EXE
    (Default) REG_SZ C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE
    Path REG_SZ C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer;

    Maybe someone else will find this useful. :)

  4. EverybodyGeek
    October 13, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    About the Run tweak... I don't think that is very useful in Vista, as you can just type the name of your program directly into the start menu. So no need for a run command anymore.

  5. Chris
    October 11, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    With the tip about the run command.... I find it easier just to create a shortcut in C:\windows, and call it what you like. That way you can just go Start > Run > excel [enter]

    ...much safer than a regedit, and a lot less work.

  6. Aibek
    October 11, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Agree, the "Windows Start Menu Delay" is the most useless setting ever. That's one of the first things I change when customizing my new PC.

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