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Registry Hacks for Windows 9x/NT

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Registry Hacks for Windows 9x/NT
Compiled and written by HCTimo787

If you enjoy these hacks, or have any other hacks you would like to send me, my email is [email protected]  Please visit my page @ http://sites.netscape.net/hctimo787/frames.html

*Note: Not all of these hacks will work for Windows NT.  Also, make sure you back up your reg files, user.dat and system.dat before modifying.  Have fun. =)



Adding an Application to the Context Menu of Every Folder

1. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Folder \ shell 
2. Add a key named "NameOfApplication" (without quotes) whether it be Notepad, Calculator,
etc. 
3. Give it a default value of "NameOfApplication" This key can be named how you would like it to
appear on the context menu.
4. Placing a '&' symbol in front of a character will allow you to use that character on the keyboard.
(Characters that are underlined)
5. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Folder \ shell \ NameOfApplication 
6. Add a key command 
7. Give it a default value of the application you want to run. You must include the full path and file
name.
8. The context menu of any folder should now include a command to open your application.



Adding Items to the Context Menu of the Start Button

1. HKey_Classes_Root / Directory / Shell 
2. Create a new key in the 'Shell' folder
3. Type in a name for the key, does not matter what you call it
4. Modify the data for 'Default' and give it a name of whatever you would like to appear on the
context menu.
5. Create another new key named "Command" (without the quotes) inside of the key you just
created in #2. 
6. For the 'Default' value data of 'Command', enter the full path and program you want to execute.
7. Now when you right click on the Start Button, your new program will show up.



Automatically Refresh Explorer; Explorer Refresh Rate

Explorer doesn't always automatically refresh it's contents, you can modify the refresh rate of
Explorer.
1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Update
2. Modify the 'UpdateMode' value from 01 to 00.



Changing Exchange's Mailbox Location

When you create a mailbox in Exchange for e-mail, you specify the location where you want your
mail to go.
You cannot change this in Exchange afterwards.
1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ WindowsMessaging Subsystem \ Profiles 
2. Go to the profile you want to change 
3. Go to the section that has the file location for your mailbox (*.PST) file in the right hand panel 
4. Modify the data to the new file location



Changing the Registered Owner and Organization

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion 
2. Modify the data for the 'Registered Owner' key or for 'Registered Organization'



Changing the Tips of the Day

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \
explorer \ Tips



Changing the Location of Window's Installation Files

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Setup
\ SourcePath 
2. Modify the string 'SourcePath' to the location and directory of your choice



Changing the MaxMTU and other Network Settings

There are four network settings that can be configured to affect your bandwidth when dialing an
ISP: MaxMTU, MaxMSS and DefaultRcvWindow, and DefaultTTL

MaxMTU and MaxMSS 
1. Hkey_Local_Machine / System / CurrentControlset / Services / Class / netTrans / 000n
(where n is your particular network adapter binding) 
2. Create a new string named "MaxMTU" (without the quotes)
3. Modify it's value to the number you want. Most people modify it to 576 
4. You can also add a new string named "MaxMSS" and give it a value of 536

DefaultRcvWindows and DefaultTTL 
1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ VxD \ MSTCP 
2. Create a new string named "DefaultRcvWindow" (without the quotes) and modify it's value to
2144 
3. Create a new string named "DefaultTTL" and modify it's value to 60-64



Changing the Telnet Scroll-Back Buffer Size

By default, the Telnet program has a window size of 25 lines. To increase the amount of lines you
can scroll back do the following.
1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Telnet 
2. Modify the string 'Rows' to the desired value of your choice



Changing your Modem's Initialization String

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ Class \ Modem \ 0000
\ Init 
2. Change the settings to the new values



Clearing the Documents Menu Automatically

The Documents Menu on your Start Menu displays recently opened files. You can have the
Registry clear the contents of this list every time Windows starts. Only do #1 if you are comfortable
with not being able to store files in your Recycle Bin. This mod tells Windows to store the shortcuts
it makes to recent documents in the Recycle Bin, thus deleting them.

1. Set the properties on the Recycle Bin to delete files immediately. 
2. HKey_Current_User \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ User Shell
Folders 
3. If there is no string named 'Recent', create a new string named "Recent"
4. Modify it's value to C:\RECYCLED



Compacting the Registry

1. Exit to DOS, **Not a DOS box**
2. Run the Registry Editor, yes run it in DOS, and then export the entire Registry to
COMPACT.REG. 
3. Exit Regedit and run it again with the following switch. REGEDIT /C COMPACT.REG



Creating a Default File Opener

If you have a unregistered file type you wish to open up with Notepad, you can add Notepad to
the Context Menu of unregistered file types.

1. HKEY_CLASS_ROOT / Unknown / Shell
2. Create a new key named "Notepad" (without the quotes)
3. Create a new key under 'Notepad' named "Command" (without the quotes)
4. Modify the 'Default' value data for 'Command' to the path and filename of Notepad:
C:\WINDOWS\NOTEPAD.EXE %1
5. This modification will work with any program



Creating a Network Logon Banner

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \
Winlogon 
2. Create a new String named "LegalNoticeCaption" (without the quotes)
3. Modify this string's value data to whatever you would like the text to be



Deleting Registry Keys from the Command Line

1. Exit to DOS, **Not a DOS box**
2. The syntax is: "REGEDIT /L:system.dat_location /R:user.dat_location /D Reg_Key" where
Reg_Key is the key you want to delete



Disable Password Caching

1. Create a new text document named "Disable.REG" (without the quotes)
2. Edit this new document in Notepad or any ASCII text editor and insert the following text:

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\
Network]
"DisablePwdCaching"=dword:00000001

3. Either double-click on this new file in Explorer and merge it into the Registry, or you can open
up a DOS box and type REGEDIT DISABLE.REG



Disabling Drives in My Computer

This modification will remove all drives, local and network, from Explorer's view.

1. HKey_Current_User \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ Current Version \ Policies \ Explorer 
2. Create a DWORD item and name it "NoDrives" (without the quotes)
3. Modify it's value to "3FFFFFF"



Disabling Run and Find from the Start Menu

This modification will remove the Run or Find option on the Start Menu.

1. HKey_Current_User \ Software\ Microsoft \Windows \ Current Version \ Policies \ Explorer 
2. Create a new DWORD item and name it either "NoFile" or "NoRun" (without the quotes)
3. Modify it's value to "1"



Disabling File and Print Sharing

This modification will deny network access to local printers or shared files.

1. HKey_Local_Machine \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Network

2. Create a new DWORD Value and name it either "NoPrintSharing" or "NoFileSharing"
3. Modify it's value to "1"



Disabling My Computer from the Desktop

This modification is good for administration of multiple users to prevent access to drives, the
Control Panel, etc. After completing this modification, clicking on My Computer will do nothing.
You may want to export this section if you wish to restore it later.

1. Search for "20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D" (without the quotes)
2. This should be the HKey_Classes_Root \ CLSID section 
3. Delete the entire section. Yes, you read right.



Disabling the Right-Click on the Start Button

This modification is good for administration of multiple users. After completing this modification,
right-clicking the Start button will do nothing. This also disables use of the Windows key in
conjunction with the E (Explorer) and F (Find) keys on some newer keyboards. You may want to
export these two sections if you wish to restore them later.

1. HKey_Classes_Root \ Directory \ Shell
2. Expand section 'Shell' so that you see the folder 'Find'
3. Delete 'Find' along with all of it's contents
4. HKey_Classes_Root \ Folder 
5. Expand section 'Folder' 
6. Delete 'Explore' and 'Open' along with all of their contents



Displaying Hi-Color Icons without the Plus Pack

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ desktop \ WindowMetrics 
2. Create or edit the string 'Shell Icon BPP'
3. Modify it's value data to a number representing the color depth you wish. This number is in bits,
not colors. BPP stands for Bits Per Pixel
4. The default is 8-bit (256 colors)



Easily Opening any File with Notepad (Context Menu)

This modification will enable the context menu with the option to open the file with Notepad.

1. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ *
2. Create a new key under '*' named "Shell" (without the quotes)
3. Create a new key under 'Shell' named "Open" (without the quotes)
4. Modify the string 'Default' inside of 'Open' to whatever you would like to appear on the context
menu. I.E. "Open With Notepad" (without the quotes)
5. Create a new key under 'Open' named "Command" (without the quotes)
6. Modify the string 'Default' inside of 'Command' to "C:\WINDOWS\NOTEPAD.EXE %1"
(without the quotes)



Enable Explorer Thumbnails of Bitmaps

This modification will allow Explorer to show thumbnails of bitmap files (*.bmp) as icons.

1. HKey_Classes_Root \ Paint.Picture \ DefaultIcon
2. Edit the string named 'Default' to value data of "%1" (without the quotes)



Fixing a Corrupt Registry

If your registry has become corrupted, and re-installing Windows over your existing installation
does not fix the problem,
there is a hidden, read-only, system file on the root of your boot drive called SYSTEM.1ST.
This is the initial system registry created when you first installed Windows. To use this file:

1. In DOS, go to your Windows directory.
2. Strip the attributes of your current SYSTEM.DAT with the following syntax: ATTRIB -r -s -h
SYSTEM.DAT 
3. Copy C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.DAT to SYSTEM.BAD as a backup
4. Switch down to the root directory of the drive Windows is installed on.
5. Strip the attributes of SYSTEM.1ST with the following syntax: ATTRIB -r -s -h SYSTEM.1ST
6. Copy SYSTEM.1ST to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.DAT 

This is a last minute fix for the Registry. It will not restore any information about your 32-bit apps
thus you will need to reinstall them or any other programs that modified your system registry. 16-bit
apps do not modify the registry so, those should be able to remain in place. To avoid this problem,
you need to backup your registry on a regular basis!



Get Your Folders to Open the Way You Want Every Time

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
2. Modify the string 'NoSaveSettings' to a value of 1



Getting Rid of Schemes

1. Open up Display Control Panel. 
2. Switch to the Appearance tab.
3. Determine which schemes you wish to delete.
4. If you wish to delete them all, you should create one as a backup.
5. HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Appearance \ Schemes 
6. Right-click each sheme you wish to delete and click delete. DO NOT DELETE "Default"



Getting Rid of or Editing Startup Tips

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \
explorer \ Tips
2. You can edit or delete the tips of your choice



Increasing the Modem Timeout

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / System / CurrentControlSet / Services / Class / Modem /
XXXX / Settings (XXXX = number of your modem) 
2. Modify the string 'Inactivity Timeout' to the number of minutes you wish for the modem to wait
on file transfers before timing out.



Internet Explorer's Bitmap Toolbar Background; How to Change it

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Microsoft / Internet Explorer / Toolbar
2. Modify the string 'BackBitmap' to contain the path and filename of the bitmap you wish to use
(must be a bmp)
3. If this string does not exsist, create one.



Modifying Default Desktop Icons

This can be done to many if not all of your default desktop icons

My Computer Icon
1. Search the registry for "My Computer" or "20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D"
(without the quotes)
2. Modify the string 'Default Icon' to contain the path, filename containing the icon you want to use
followed by the icon number (starts at 0)

The above steps should also work for:
Network Neighborhood - HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\
CLSID\{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D} 
InBox - HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ CLSID\{00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} 
Recycle Bin - HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\
CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} 

Additional icons can be found in:

WINDOWS\MORICONS.DLL 
WINDOWS\SYSTEM\PIFMGR.DLL 
WINDOWS\SYSTEM\SHELL32.DLL



Modifying Icon Cache Size

The default cache size for icons is set at 512, so when the number of icons exceeds this number, it
uses the page file for storage.

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / Software / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Explorer
2. Create a new string named "MaxCacheIcons"
3. Modify this string to contain a value that suits your needs. I've heard of 4000 being used, I don't
think my computer encounters that many icons in one session!



Not Displaying the Network Neighborhood

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Microsoft /Windows / Current Version / Policies /
Explorer 
2. Create a new DWORD named "NoNetHood" (without the quotes)
3. Modify this new DWORD to a value of 1



Not Saving Settings on Exit

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software / Microsoft / Windows / Current Version / Policies /
Explorer 
2. Create a new DWORD named "NoSaveSettings" (without the quotes)
3. Modify this new DWORD to a value of 1



Opening Explorer from My Computer

By default, double-clicking 'My Computer' gives you a window containing your drives, control
panel, etc. If you would rather have Explorer open when you double-click 'My Computer' do the
following:

1. Search for "My Computer" or "20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D" (without the
quotes)
2. This should bring you to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT / CLSID 
3. Expand the key {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} 
4. Create a new key under the 'Shell' key and name it "Open"
5. Create a new key under 'Open' named "Command"
6. Modify the 'Default' string under command and give it a value of "Explorer.exe" (without the
quotes)
7. If you wish to undo this change, delete the 'Open' key and all of it's contents



Recycle Bin Edits

Modify the context menu of the Recycle Bin

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ CLSID \ {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} \
ShellFolder

Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:50,01,00,20 ... adds 'Rename' to the menu
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:60,01,00,20 ... adds 'Delete' to the menu
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:70,01,00,20 ... adds 'Rename' and 'Delete' to the menu
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:40,01,01,20 ... standard shortcut arrow
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:40,01,02,20 ... another shortcut arrow
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:40,01,04,20 ... and another shortcut arrow
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:40,01,08,20 ... make it look disabled or cut
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:41,01,00,20 ... copy
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:42,01,00,20 ... cut 
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:43,01,00,20 ... copy cut
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:44,01,00,20 ... paste
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:45,01,00,20 ... copy paste
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:46,01,00,20 ... cut paste
Bin Value: "Attributes"=hex:47,01,00,20 ... copy cut paste



Removing Items from NEW on the Desktop Context Meun

1. Search for the string 'ShellNew'
2. This should bring you to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
3. For the items you want to remove, simply rename the 'ShellNew' command as renaming it is
safer than deleting
4. Continue searching for the items you want to remove
5. Be sure they all fall under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT



Removing Open, Explore & Find from Start Button

1. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Directory \ Shell
2. Delete the key 'Find'
3. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ Folder \ Shell
4. Delete the keys 'Explore' and 'Open'
Note: - When you remove Open, you cannot open any folders



Removing Programs listed from the Control Panel's Add/Remove Programs
Section

If you delete an installed program and its files, it may or may not remain in the 'Add/Remove
Programs' Control Panel. In order to remove such programs from the list, do the following:

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion /
Uninstall 
2. Delete the keys or strings for programs you do not want to appear in the list
3. This will only delete them from the list, it will not delete the actual programs.



Removing Sound Events from the Sounds Control Panel

This modification will delete actual events such as 'Asterick' or 'Critical Stop' This does not
unassign any sounds related to events.

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER / AppEvents / Schemes / Apps 
2. From here you can delete any items you don't want to show or no longer need



Removing the Shortcut Arrows

1. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT / LNKFILE
2. Delete the string 'IsShortcut'
3. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT / PIFFILE 
4. Delete the value IsShortcut



Removing Unwanted Items from the RUN Menu

1. Search the registry for the word 'RUNMRU'
2. Delete the strings you don't want 
3. Rename all of the strings so they are all in alphabetical order



User Restrictions without running Poledit

You can create user restrictions by modifying the Registry directly and not using the Policy Editor
(poledit.exe).

1. HKEY_Current_User / Software / Microsoft / CurrentVersion / Policies 
2. There should already be at least an 'Explorer ' key
3. Additional keys that can be created under Policies are 'System', 'Network 'and 'WinOldApp'
4. The below list explains what restrictions can be done under the keys, Explorer, System,
Network, and WinOldApp.
5. They are all DWORDs and consist of a value of '1'

Explorer:
NoDeletePrinter - Disables Deletion of Printers 
NoAddPrinter - Disables Addition of Printers 
NoRun - Disables Run Command 
NoSetFolders - Removes Folders from Settings on Start Menu 
NoSetTaskbar - Removes Taskbar from Settings on Start Menu 
NoFind - Removes the Find Command 
NoDrives - Hides Drives in My Computers 
NoNetHood - Hides the Network Neighborhood 
NoDesktop - Hides all items on the Desktop 
NoClose - Disables Shutdown 
NoSaveSettings - Don't save settings on exit 
DisableRegistryTools - Disable Registry Editing Tools - NOTE: Be Careful of this one 
NoRecentDocsHistory - Removes Recent Document from Start Menu 
ClearRecentDocsOnExit - Clears the Recent Documents when you Exit 
NoInternetIcon - Removes the Internet Icon from the Desktop

System:
NoDispCPL - Disable Display Control Panel 
NoDispBackgroundPage - Hide Background Page 
NoDispScrSavPage - Hide Screen Saver Page 
NoDispAppearancePage - Hide Appearance Page 
NoDispSettingsPage - Hide Settings Page 
NoSecCPL - Disable Password Control Panel 
NoPwdPage - Hide Password Change Page 
NoAdminPage - Hide Remote Administration Page 
NoProfilePage - Hide User Profiles Page 
NoDevMgrPage - Hide Device Manager Page 
NoConfigPage - Hide Hardware Profiles Page 
NoFileSysPage - Hide File System Button 
NoVirtMemPage - Hide Virtual Memory Button

Network:
NoNetSetupSecurityPage - H 
NoNetSetup - Disable the Network Control Panel 
NoNetSetupIDPage - Hide Identification Page 
NoNetSetupSecurityPage - Hide Access Control Page 
NoFileSharingControl - Disable File Sharing Controls 
NoPrintSharing - Disable Print Sharing Controls

WinOldApp:
Disabled - Disable MS-DOS Prompt 
NoRealMode - Disables Single-Mode MS-DOS



Saving Desktop Settings

This explains how to tell Windows to remember such arguements as window size, position, icon
arrangement, etc.

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \
Explorer
2. Delete the "NoSaveSettings" string.
3. HKEY_USERS \ QWERT \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \
Explorer 
4. Where QWERT is your password profile



Setting the Minimum Password Length

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \
Network 
2. Create a new Bin Value named "MinPwdLen" (without the quotes)
3. Assign it a value you wish to be the minimum password length as a number of how many
characters



Specifying programs to run every time Windows

We all know that you can place shortcuts to programs in the Startup folder of your Start Menu in
order to have that program start on Windows load. Or place a run=path/filename or
load=path/filename line in your win.ini. However, you may wish for users to not be able to change
whether these programs run or not. Unless they are advanced users you can hide these programs
from them by placing command in the Registry to run the programs on Windows load.

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Run
OR HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ RunOnce

OR HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \
RunServices
2. Create a new string and name it whatever you like.
3. Edit the new string's value to contain the path and filename of the program or registered file type
you wish to load at Windows startup.



Stuck Program Timeout Value

This modification can be helpful if you are running unstable programs or an unstable machine. This
modification changes the amount of time Windows waits before considering a program 'Not
Responding'

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Control Panel / Desktop
2. Create a new string named 'HungUpTimeOut' (without the quotes)
3. Modify the new string's value to 1-10000
4. This value is in miliseconds



To speed up the Start Menu

1. Search the registry for the word desktop 
2. This should bring you to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT / CLSID / {00021400... 
3. Create a new string named "MenuShowDelay" (without the quotes)
4. Edit the new string to a value from 1-10, where 1 is the fastest



Turn Off Window Animation

You can turn off the animation displayed when you minimize and maximize windows with this
modification.

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control panel \ Desktop \ WindowMetrics 
2. Create a new string named "MinAnimate"
3. Modify the new string's value for 0 or 1
4. 0 = Off and 1 = On



Wait to Kill Frozen Program Value

This modification changes the amount of time Windows will wait before force quitting an
application, rather it is 'Not Responding' or not, after telling Windows to 'End Task' in the
CTRL+ALT+DEL dialog box.

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Desktop
2. Create a new string named "WaitToKillAppTimeout" (without the quotes)
3. Modify the new string to a value 1-20000
4. This value is in miliseconds