Windows 10 Registry Hacks

22 Dec 2016   -   5 min read

Warning: The following hacks use Registry Editor which is a very powerful Windows tool. Be careful when using it as misuse can render your system inoperable.

Starting Registry Editor: Type regedit in Start Menu and press Enter. Press Yes when asked for Administrator priveleges.

LastActiveClick

Lets suppose you have a dozen documents open in Word at any point in time. You click on another app, then have to get back to the document you were on and click on the Word icon in taskbar, it pops up all the open windows so you have to figure out which one you were on. With this hack, clicking on the taskbar button takes you back to exactly the tab you were on. This works with other apps too!

  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.
  • Create a new 32bit Dword called LastActiveClick.
  • Set it to 1.

Open with Notepad Context Menu

  • Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell.
  • Create a new key inside the shell key named Open with Notepad.
  • Create another key within the Open with Notepad key named command.
  • Set its (Default) value to notepad.exe %1.

To add Notepad icon on the menu:

  • Navigate to Open with Notepad key.
  • Create a new Expandable String called Icon.
  • Set it to notepad.exe.

Making the Command hidden unless Shift is pressed:

  • Navigate to Open with Notepad key.
  • Create a new Expandable String called Extended.

The changes should take place immediately. To test it out, just right-click any file and see if you see the Open with Notepad command.

Adding an App to Desktop Context Menu

Lets add Notepad to the Desktop context menu.

  • Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell.
  • Create a new key inside the shell key named Notepad.
  • Create another key within the Notepad key named command.
  • Set its (Default) value to notepad.exe.

Adding an App to Directory Context Menu

Repeat the steps as for Adding an App to Desktop Context Menu but with HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell key.

Adding Defragment to Drive Context Menu

  • Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell.
  • Create a new key inside the shell key named Defragment.
  • Create another key within the Defragment key named command.
  • Set its (Default) value to defrag %1 -v.

Making Open Command Window Here always visible

Delete Extended value from HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\cmd for drives, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\cmd for folders and HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell for Desktop.

To Revert: Add an Expandable String value to respective keys named Extended.

Note: With Windows 10, you may need to change the security of the keys to be able to delete the value:

  • Right-click the cmd key in the tree.
  • Select Permissions.
  • Click the Advanced button.
  • Change the owner to the current user and check Full Control.

Stopping Windows from Adding -Shortcut to Shortcut File Names

  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer.
  • Locate the value named link. If not found, create new Binary value named link.
  • Set it to 00 00 00 00 (All Zeroes).

You’ll need to restart your computer (or sign out and back in) to complete the change.

Delete the link value to revert to default.

Add Recycle Bin to My computer

  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace.
  • Create a new key inside the NameSpace key named {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}.

Add Control Panel to My computer

  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace.
  • Category View: Create a new key inside the NameSpace key named {26EE0668-A00A-44D7-9371-BEB064C98683}.
  • Icon View: Create a new key inside the NameSpace key named {21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}.

Change Disk Cleanup to Delete Files Newer than 7

  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Temporary Files.
  • The LastAccess value specifies the number of days (default: 7).

Add Run As Administrator to any File Type

  • Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.zip substituting zip with the extension you are looking for.
  • Note the value of (Default) item. Suppose it is WinRAR.ZIP.
  • Then navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WinRAR.ZIP\shell\open\command.
  • Copy the command key and its (Default) value to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WinRAR.ZIP\shell\runas\command.

Remove Programs from Open With Context Menu

  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.
  • Navigate to the subkey for the file type.
  • Delete values for programs to be removed.

Context Menu to Copy Text File to Clipboard

  • Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\txtfile\shell.
  • Create a new key inside the shell key named copytoclip.
  • Set (Default) value of copytoclip to Copy Contents to Clipboard.
  • Create another key within the copytoclip key named command.
  • Set its (Default) value to cmd /c clip < "%1".

Disable Task Manager

  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.
  • Set DisableTaskMgr to 1.

Enable Verbose Service Startup/Shutdown Messages

  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.
  • Create a new 32bit Dword called VerboseStatus.
  • Set it to 1.





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