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Windows xp tips

Windows Tips
Clean out the prefetch folder
Windows XP uses a system called 'prefetch' to organize and preload some of the 

data necessary for commonly used applications and files. A folder called prefetch is
used to store the information the operating system needs to carry out this
operation. After several months of use, the prefetch folder may become quite
overloaded with older references to software and files that may no longer be in use.

It's a good idea to manually empty the older files out of the prefetch folder every
few months or so. To do this: Navigate to 'c:\windows\prefetch' and delete all .PF
files that are older than a week or two.

Set priority for individual programs

If you regularly multi-task while you are working at your computer, but some of the
applications you use require more horsepower than others to work effectively (for 
example using Adobe Photoshop along with Word or other less demanding
programs), you may want to consider setting a custom priority for the high-demand 
applications. Priority is how the operating system determines how to share the
processor time among applications. Most applications default to the 'normal'
priority, so by setting your high demand application higher, you can increase its
performance when multitasking. To do this: Load the program you wish to change 
the priority for and press CTRL+ALT+DEL to bring up the Task Manager. Select the
applications tab and highlight your program. Right click the program and select 'go 
to process.' Now right click on the highlighted process and choose 'set priority.'

The higher you set the priority above normal, the more CPU time the program will
steal from other applications when you are multitasking.

Cleaning up unwanted startup programs

Many freeware and commercial software programs have a habit of setting
themselves up to run automatically upon Windows startup. This can contribute to
the gradual decline in startup speed that most Windows XP systems (and windows 
PCs in general) experience. Also, having programs that you only use selectively, or 
not at all, load automatically is a waste of system resources that could be better
used for other things.

To top it off, many internet nasties such as spyware programs, viruses and Trojan 
horses will install themselves into one of the automatic start locations on your 
system in order to make sure that they are run on startup. So the point is, take a 
look at what is currently running every time you load your PC, and disable what you
don't need or can't identify.

To do this: The first place you should go is 'start\programs\startup' which is a
directory Windows XP uses to launch application shortcuts on boot-up. If you
remove the shortcuts from this directory, the applications will not load on startup.
This directory can also be a repository for various badness such as spyware and 
virus software, so if there are files here which are not shortcuts and you don't

recognize them, you may wish to consider removing them anyways, as Windows 
will not place critical files in this directory.

The next location for removing unnecessary startup files is the handy MSCONFIG 
utility that has been resurrected from the graveyard of Windows 9x especially for
XP. Go to 'start\run' and type 'msconfig' to access the utility. The 'startup' tab in
MSCONFIG provides access to several other applications that are started at boot up
and are running in the background. By examining their Filenames and irectories,
you should be able to get a feeling for what is necessary and what is not. Be aware
than several viruses and worms have a habit of disguising themselves with 
authoritative sounding Windows system file names,such as win32.spybot.worm
present in the above screenshot as MSCONFIG32.EXE. Leave these for now if you
are not sure. The other method for removing these programs is through the 
programs themselves, as many applications, for example MSN messenger, contain
the option to remove the software from startup.

Windows Tips

Compressing files and folders to save space

Windows XP includes a built in compression utility which can save you some
valuable space on your hard disk by archiving little used files. Working similarly to
compression programs such as PKZIP and WINRAR, the built in software reduces 
the space your files take up on the disk at the penalty of increased disk access time 
for the compressed files in question. There are several ways of compressing data on
your system: If you have a pre-existing folder and would like to compress
everything in it, right click on the folder, select 'properties' then the 'advanced'
button at the bottom. In the 'compress or encrypt attributes' section, check the
'compress contents to save disk space' option.

If you wish to create a compressed folder for a file or folder separate from the one
it is in now, right click on the item you wish to compress and choose 'send
to\compressed (zipped) folder.' This will create a new compressed folder in the
same location as the original file or folder.

Open explorer window from current command prompt directory

There is a built in command prompt ('start\run' then type 'cmd') command that will
open a Windows Explorer window to your exact current directory location in the
DOS-oriented command prompt. Simply type 'Start .' from the prompt to open up
explorer in that location. And yes, that is 'start(space).

Using Quick Edit in the Command Prompt

The Quick Edit function allows you to cut and paste text to and from the command

prompt window, something which you may have become used to not being able to 
do. To activate Quick Edit: Open a command prompt Window ('start\run' and type 
'cmd'). Right click on the toolbar at the top and select 'properties.' Put a checkmark 
in the Quick Edit mode box. When prompted, opt to apply changes to all similar
windows. Now that Quick Edit is enabled in the command prompt, you can click and 
drag to highlight text, then press ENTER to copy it to the clipboard. To paste text 
from the clipboard, simply right click on the command prompt window.

Select 'No to all' when copying files in XP

Have you ever noticed that Windows XP gives you the 'yes to all' option in its file 
copy dialog box, useful if you would like to overwrite files in a directory with newer
files of the same name from another location, for example, but fails to offer a 'no to
all' option for doing the opposite. Kind of annoying if you think about it. What if you 
have a lengthy file copy operation partially finished, and wish to restart it? If you
use the default options, you essentially have to recopy every file, since saying 'no'
to each and every duplicate file will take just as long, and cause your mouse finger
to fall off. Fortunately, there is a way to tell your computer not to copy all 
duplicated files with a single command:

To do this, when the file copy dialog box appears asking you whether you wish to
overwrite the first file, hold down SHIFT and click 'no.' This will automatically
answer no for all following files. Note that it will ask you again for the first folder it
encounters, so follow the procedure again to answer no automatically for all folders.
This will dramatically speed up the file copying process.
Defrag your hard drive

Defragmentation of a hard drive is the act of re-ordering the data on the drive so 
that each file can be read continuously from the disk. By default, Windows XP 
will attempt to store any files it needs to write to the hard drive in consecutive 
clusters (a cluster is the smallest unit of storage space available on a hard drive) 
on the drive, so that the file can then be read continuously. A hard drive which
has been frequently used over a long period of time will have developed many 
fragmented files, files which are scattered over different clusters on the surface
of the disk. This can occur because of many factors, for example uninstall
programs that leave files behind, system crashes while in the act of writing to
the hard drive, regular deletion of files, etc. A file becomes fragmented when the 
portion of consecutive clusters on the disk that Windows begins to write into is 
not large enough to hold the whole file. The remainder of the file then needs to 
be written to a different physical area of the disk. This does not have any effect 
on the operating system's ability to access the files themselves, but it does slow 
down disk access times (and by extension, any application that depends on disk
access) due to the extra time needed to reposition the read heads of the hard
drive to access the rest of the fragmented file. Windows XP includes a disk
defragmentation utility which you can use to re-arrange the files on the drive 
and eliminate fragmentation. This can have a significant affect on the speed of
your computer. To access this utility, go to 'start\programs\accessories\system 

tools\disk defragmenter.' To begin with, you need to analyze your hard disk(s) to 
see if defragmentation is needed. Select a drive and hit the 'analyze' button. This 
could take a little while depending on the amount of data on the drive. Whille the 
system is analyzing, it is best to leave your computer alone or the process may 
need to restart.

Once the analysis is finished, you will have a graphical representation of your
disk's level of fragmentation. See the pic below for an example of a highly
fragmented drive.

Windows will also inform you if it recommends defragmenting the drive. You 
must have 15% of the drive free in order to fully defragment it. Anything less 
will result in only a partial re-ordering of the files. You may need to delete a few 
things to obtain this free space.

To defragment the drive, select it and hit the 'defragment' button. Note that
depending on the size of the drive and the level of fragmentation, this can take a
long time. It's a good thing to leave overnight, since you should not run anything 
else while doing the defrag either.

Disable unnecessary services

Windows XP runs many, many services in the background. A lot of these are not 
actually necessary to the day-to-day operation of your PC, depending of course, on 
what you use it for. Creating a guide for which services are useful in which situation
would unfortunately take up the entire remainder of this article just for itself, so
we're not going to go in depth. The simple fact is different people will need different
services enabled. To judge for yourself which are necessary, right click on 'My 
computer' and select 'manage.' From the computer management window, expand 
'services and applications' then click 'services' to open up the window listing all 
available services. The ones labeled 'started' are currently running, and the startup
type 'automatic' denotes a service which is started by windows each time the
operating system loads. 

By highlighting each service, you can see a description of its properties, and make an
informed decision on whether you need it or not. To stop a service from running,
right click on it and select 'properties,' then stop it and make the startup type 
'disabled.' If the description indicates that services which depend on the service you 
are currently examining will fail if it is disabled, you can go to the 'dependencies' tab 
to see which services will be affected. 

Enable clear type
Windows XP allows you to enable Microsoft's Clear Type font smoothing
method. This blends the colours at the edges of type on screen, causing the
letters to appear less jagged. While it is primarily intended to increase text
quality for users of laptops and desktop PCs with LCD (flat panel) screens, it is 
worth experimenting with even if you use a traditional CRT.

Be advised that certain ClearType settings may appear rather blurry on a CRT 
monitor. If you use an LCD monitor on a laptop or desktop, you should definitely
enable Cleartype as the increase in text quality is considerable.

To activate ClearType: Go to 'control panel\display' and select the 'appearance' 
tab.Click the 'effects' button. Ensure that the 'use the following method to
smooth the edges of screen fonts' box is checked and change the drop down box
to 'ClearType.' Press 'OK.'

Once you have enabled cleartype, Microsoft has provided a web location where
you can fine-tune your ClearType settings. Here it is the link.

Create a keyboard shortcut to a folder or program

Shortcuts to programs are very convenient, but only if they are easily accessible.
It can be a pain to have to minimize the window you are currently working in 
just to locate the shortcut you are looking for. To make things easier, XP 
features the ability to link shortcuts to user-defined key combinations, so you
can easily activate the one you are looking for without disrupting what you are
doing. Unfortunately this only works for shortcuts that are placed directly on the
desktop, not in other folders, but it's still a useful little tip. To do it: Select the
folder or program icon that you wish to use. Create a shortcut for it by right 
clicking on the item and selecting 'create shortcut' from the menu. Place your
newly created shortcut on the desktop by dragging or cut/pasting. Right click the 
shortcut and select 'properties.' Select the 'shortcut' tab and enter the key 
combination you wish to use (XP will automatically edit the combination if it is
not acceptable. Just entering 'e' for example, will get you an actual key
combination of ctrl + alt + e). Click 'ok.' 

Now you can open the specified shortcut without altering your workflow

Resize screen fonts on the fly in Internet Explorer

Here's a simple useful tip that you can use in Internet Explorer. While viewing a
web page, hold down CTRL and use the scroll button on your mouse to increase 
or decrease the size of the fonts on the page. Some websites really like using the 
small size 1 fonts, and if you're eyes have a hard time reading such small text,
this little trick can make previously headache ridden websites much easier to
read through.

Mouse Sonar

Here's a good little tip for users who have trouble locating their mouse pointer on 
the screen. Windows XP has a nifty little 'mouse sonar' option available, which 
will cause your mouse pointer to pop-up a little concentric ring around itself to
show you where it is.

Go to 'start\control panel\mouse' choose the 'pointer options' tab and check the 
'show location of pointer when I press the control key' box.

Quick back and forward commands in Internet explorer

Here's a tip that can speed up your web surfing. When viewing a page in Internet 
Explorer, hold down SHIFT and use the mouse scroll wheel to quickly go forward or
back through the pages you have viewed.

Mount a new hard drive as a folder in your C: drive

Actually, this tip works for any partition of any NTFS formatted drive (except the
partition with the Windows system files on it)… Windows XP, like 2000 before it,
allows you to 'mount' drives as folders in a pre-existing logical drive. For example,
if you had a computer with a 20GB disk formatted into a single partition and 
volume (drive c:), you could purchase a second drive, partition and format it from
disk manager and then instead of giving it its own drive letter, add it to your c:
drive as a directory. Any files added to that directory would of course be stored in 
the new HD.This can come in extremely handy, as certain applications (databases 
come to mind) can grow extremely large, but may not support storing data on a
(logically) separate drive.As far as Windows is concerned, a drive mounted as a 
directory is just a directory, so no extra drive letters are involved. This can also cut
down on storage confusion for the average user, and it's easy to do, though it can
only be done with NTFS formatted partitions, and obviously the boot partition
cannot be used this way, though other partitions can be added to the boot partition.

Also note that shuffling the partition around in this way has no effect on the data 
stored in it. You can move an NTFS partition from directory to directory, then give it
back a drive letter if you choose, while maintaining complete access to the data 
inside. No reboot is necessary. One other note: If you have installed software on a 
partition you plan to mount as a directory, it is best to uninstall and reinstall it,
since the move may stop the software from working correctly. Windows will warn
you about this if you forget my wise words.

To mount a partition as a directory: Open disk manager, the right click on the 
partition you wish to mount as a directory in the graphical partition window (lower 
pane). Select 'change drive letter and paths…' Remove the current option (if any),
then click add. Choose the 'mount in the following empty NTFS folder,' browse to
the desired volume and add a directory for your drive. Click 'ok.' That's it.

If you wish to return things back to the way they were, simply repeat the 
procedure, removing the directory location and choosing a drive letter instead. The
data on the drive will be unharmed.

Disable the Disk performance counter(s)
Windows XP contains a built in performance monitor that is constantly
examining various areas of your system. This information can be called up using
the performance monitor application found in control panel\administrative tools. 
Of course, most of us have little interest in this sort of performance statistics
monitoring, that being more the territory of systems administrators than 
individual users. The thing is, XP is still monitoring away, and some of its 
observation tools can use a considerable amount of resources. The disk 
monitoring is an example of this, and it's a good idea to turn the disk monitors
off if you are not planning to use the performance monitor application.

To do this: Go to the command prompt ('start\run' then type 'cmd') and type
'diskperf -N'

Turn Off Windows Indexing service

The 'Indexing' feature is used to increase the speed of file searches within XP by 
creating and updating an index of all files on your system. Unfortunately, it also
reduces the performance of your system, since it is constantly working in the

To turn it off: Go to Control Panel\Add/Remove Programs\Windows Components.
Then uncheck 'Indexing Service.'

Increasing desktop Graphics Performance
If you are running Windows XP on an older computer, you may find turning of
some of the graphical frills that XP uses to render the desktop will improve the 
'snappiness' of your computing experience. To see a list of these effects so that
you can experiment with the effectiveness of turning them off:

Right click on 'my computer' and hit 'properties.' Choose the 'advanced' tab. In
the performance section, click the 'settings' button.

A list of the various graphical effects that can be turned off or on is shown. To
turn them all off, you can choose the 'adjust for best performance' button. Play
around with these settings and see what you think.

Check and set the DMA mode on your drives

Windows XP occasionally sets IDE hard drives and CD drives to the PIO transfer 
mode by default, which is slower than the standard DMA (Direct Memory Access) 
mode used by modern drives. It's worthwhile to check your drive settings to 
make sure that they are not being slowed down in this manner. To check your
drives: Right click 'my computer' and select properties, then the 'hardware tab'
then the 'device manager' button. Expand 'IDE ATA\ATAPI controllers' highlight
'primary IDE channel' and hit the 'properties' button. Go to the 'advanced 
settings' tab, and ensure that the transfer mode is set to 'DMA if available.'
Repeat the above steps for the secondary IDE channel.

Smooth out your mouse movement
Assuming you are using a PS/2 mouse, this tip can help give you smoother and 
more precise mouse control. Good for gaming and for your nerves in general.
Studies have shown that smooth mousing reduces fatigue and stress and 
generally promotes a healthy cheerful glow (your experience may vary).

On to the tip: Right click on 'my computer' and select properties. Choose the
'hardware' tab, then the 'device manager' button. From the device manager 
window, find your PS/2 mouse and select 'properties.' In the 'advanced settings' 
tab, set the 'sample rate' to 200.

These first twelve (12) shortcuts utilize the Windows Key which is located at the 
lower left hand corner and, the lower right hand corner of your keyboard between the 
Ctrl and Alt keys. If it is not there, then you do not have a Windows keyboard. 

Ctrl Windows Key Alt

The keyboard image effects that you see above and below are being controlled through an
external .css (Cascading Style Sheet) file. These are not actual images, but a carefully
thought out list of CSS attributes that gives the appearance of a key on a Windows

Windows Key + E

Opens a new Explorer Window. Probably one of the hottest Windows keyboard 
shortcuts. This one gets a lot of hoorahs! 

1. Windows Key

Displays the Start Menu.

2. Windows Key + D

Minimizes all windows and shows the Desktop. 

3. Windows Key + D

Opens all windows and takes you right back to where you were.

4. Windows Key + F

Displays the Find all files dialog box.

5. Windows Key + L

Lock your Windows XP computer. 

6. Windows Key + M

Minimizes all open windows. 

7. Windows Key + Shift + M

Restores all previously open windows to how they were before you Minimized

8. Windows Key + R

Displays the Run command. 

9. Windows Key + F1

Displays the Windows Help menu.

10. Windows Key + Pause/Break

Displays the Systems Properties dialog box.

11. Windows Key + Tab

Cycle through the buttons on the Task Bar.

12. Alt + Tab

Toggle (switch) between open windows. 

Restoring a Lost Desktop 

If you ever lose the Desktop but Explorer is still running with the Start Button, 
you can do this to bring back your Desktop in a Windows box.

1. Click Start Click Run Type a period " . "
2. Then press Enter 

Creating a New E-Mail Shortcut 

To create a shortcut that will open your default e-mail program starting a new e-mail,

1. Right click on an open area of the desktop Select New / Shortcut For the Command Line, enter
mailto: For the title enter something like New E-Mail
2. When you click on this your default e-mail program should start with a new e-mail form.

Creating 3D window Effect 

You can create a nice 3D effect for your windows

1. Start Regedit Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Control Panel \ Colors
2. Make sure the following setting are there:

• ButtonHilight=128 128 128
• ButtonShadow=255 255 255

Creating Shutdown, Restart and Logoff Icons

To create the icons, create a shortcut on the desktop.For Shutdown, the command is


user.exe,exitwindowsFor Restart, the command


C:\WINDOWS\RUNDLL.EXE user.exe,exitwindowsexecFor Logoff, the command is 
C:\WINDOWS\RUNDLL.EXE shell32.dll,SHExitWindowsEx 0

Having your Favorites and Start Menus Sort Alphabetically

If your Start Menu Program or Favorites are not sorting alphabetically, it is easy to fix this:

1. Start 




Under here is are Favorites and Start Menu folders In each there is a value called Order Simply 
delete (or rename this) and restart Winodws
2. Your Favorites or Start Menus should now sort alphabetically 

Increasing the Icon Cache

1. Run 




HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer Create a new
string called Max Cached Icons Give it a value of 10000
2. This will increase response time in windows and give the Shellicon cache file more elbow room. 

Make Icons 256 Color 16-Bit

1. Open the Registry Hit Ctrl+F Type Shell Icon BPP When found, right click the Shell Icon BPP
icon Click Modify Change the value from 4 to 16 Click Ok Close the registry 
2. Restart your computer

Removing Shortcut Arrows

An easy way to remove those irritating arrows from your desktop shortcut icons and not change their

1. Right click the Desktop / Properties / Appearance tab Select Item Scroll for Icon The default size
is 32 Change this to 30 
2. Clicking Apply

Adding the Control Panel to the Start Menu

1. Open up the Explorer Go to \WINDOWS\Start Menu Right click in the right-hand panel Add a
new folder Name it Control Panel.{21ec2020-3aea-1069-a2dd-08002b30309d} 
2. This makes getting to the Control Panel items a little easier

Making Desktop Changes Permanent 

To make changes to the Desktop like window size, positon after rebooting:

1. Start 




Create a New Binary Value Name it NoSaveSettings
2. Give it a value of 01 00 00 00 

Easy Shortcuts on the Desktop 

Here is an easy way to put shortcuts on the Desktop where they can easily be moved to other group icons.

1. Using the Explorer, create a SHORTCUT to the \Windows\Desktop directory in your 
\Windows\SEND TO directory. Now whenever you want to make a shortcut and move it to the 
desktop: Just make the shortcut you want using Explorer Right click on that shortcut
2. In the pop up menu select the Send To and Desktop shortcut.

Changing a Folder's Icon

To change the icon of a Folder on desktop:

1. Using the Explorer, move the folder from the Desktop directory to another directory on the hard 
drive Right click on the new folder and select "Create Shortcut" Move the shortcut to the Desktop
2. Right click and select a new icon 

Full Window Drag ( Without Plus! )

1. Start Regedit Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER /ControlPanel /Desktop /DragFullWindows 
2. On "DragFullWindows" properties change 0 to 1

Fixing Corrupted Desktop Icons

Easier way to reset icons then deleting SHELLICONCACHE.There's no need to exit Win95 and delete the 
SHELLICONCACHE file in order to reset icons that you may have changed (like Network Neighborhood).

1. Go to Control Panel, Display, Appearance Tab. Select Icon from the Item drop down list. Change 
the Size up or down one and apply.
2. Change the Size back to your original and apply. 

If your Start Menu is slow or your icons are black for some reason, it means your Shelliconcache file is 











It will be recreated the next time you start Win95

Getting Screen Shots

If you need to get a screen shot, and you do not have a screen capture program, try this:

• Hit the Print Screen key. This copies a bitmap of the full screen into the Windows
clipboard. Start up a graphics editor and paste it in.
• Alt + Print Screen will capture only the active window.

Increasing the Size of the Scroll Bar 

How to adjust the width of the scroll bar:

1. Right Click with Mouse on Desktop Area. Select Properties Select the Appearance tab Go to the 
item list and find scrollbar.
2. Increasing the value in the Size field will increase the scrollbar width.

Unable to Create Shortcuts on the Desktop 

If you can't create shortcuts on your Desktop, you might have a corrupted registry.

1. Start Regedit Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.lnk\ShellNew\Command Make sure it has a value 
of: RunDLL32 AppWiz.Cpl,NewLinkHere %1 if you don't have IE 4 
2. or RunDLL32 AppWiz.Cpl,NewLinkHere %2 if you have IE 4.0 or IE 4.01

Removing the InBox from the Desktop 

A faster way to remove "Inbox" from the Deskop is to

1. Right mouse click on "Inbox" Select delete It will then tell you "you cannot store the inbox in the 
recycle bin. . .etc" Click "Yes"
2. Wait 2 secs and it's gone. 

Customizing Individual Folder Icons

To change a folder's icon:

1. Open Notepad and enter two lines,

1. [.ShellClassInfo]

(e.g. IconFile=C:\Icon\CustomFolder.ico,0) 


Save the file as DESKTOP.INI in the folder you wish to change. Click Start -> Run, type in the 







(e.g. ATTRIB +S "C:\Custom Folder") 

2. Open Explorer or My Computer and refresh (press F5 key). 

This tip only work Windows 95/NT 4.0 + IE 4.0 with shell integration, or Windows 98/NT 5.0.

Removing the Recycle Bin

To remove Recycle Bin from the desktop:

1. Run REGEDIT. Find NAMESPACE key in left pane (HKEY_Local_Macine \ Software \ 
Microsoft \ Windows \ Current Version \ Explorer \ Desktop \ Namespace) Expand NAMESPACE 
(click '+' box)
2. Delete the value RECYCLE BIN in right pane 

Adding Send To the Recycle Bin

Add a SHORTCUT TO THE RECYCLE BIN in your SEND TO folder.That way you can just right click 
on a file you want to delete, and send it to the recycle bin without having to confirm each time.

Having Icons with No Name 

Normally you have to have a name for an icon, just spaces are not allowed. 
To create an icon with no name attached:

1. Make sure NumLock is on Highlight the Icon you want to change Right-Mouse click and select
Rename While holding down the Alt key, type 0160
2. Now the icon will have no name below it.

To Create Multiple Icons with No Name - 

1. Follow directions detailed above With the second icon simply add one space-bar character AFTER 
the 0160 number.
2. Each successive icon gets an additional space-bar character at the end (to prevent a duplicate
naming error).

Moving the Start Button

How to move or close the start button!

1. Click on the Start button Press the Esc key Press the Alt and the - keys together This will give you 
a menu, you can move or close 
2. But if you move it you need to use the arrow keys and not the mouse. 

Aligning Drop-Down Menus to the Right 










menus with submenus that appear directly to the right.

1. Open the Registory editor (e.g. regedit.exe) Goto \\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control
Panel\Desktop Create a string entry called "MenuDropAlignment" Set its value to 1
2. Reboot

Note: Will not work under NT 4.0.

Repositioning a Background Bitmap

Normally, you only options for displaying a background bitmap are tiled, centered, or stretch to fit (with




You can edit the registry and have a third option which is to place the bitmap anywhere on your screen by 
specifying the X and Y coordinates.

1. Start Regedit Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Control Panel / Desktop Create new Strings
called WallpaperOriginX and WallpaperOriginY Give them values to position them around your 
2. The bitmap must be smaller than your desktop size 

Changing Drive Icons 

To change a drive's icon when you open My Computer

1. Create a file called AUTORUN.INF on the root of your hard drive 
2. Enter the lines

ICON=Name of the ICON file

For the name of the icon file you can either specify the path and name (e.g.

a specific icon in a library (e.g. ICON=ICONFILE.DLL,2)

Adding AnyFolder and Mail to SendTo


Previous examples of adding items to the SendTo usually require editing the Registry. 
An easy way around this is to use the following methods.To add ANYFOLDER:

1. Open the Explorer Go to \Windows\SendTo Right click in the right hand panel Select New / Text
2. Name it anything with a .otherfolder extension

When you want to send files to another folder:

1. Select the files with Explorer Right Click Select Send to and the name you just created
2. You them have the option of copying or moving the file to a folder of your choice 

To add Mail:

1. Open the Explorer Go to \Windows\SendTo Right click in the right hand panel Select New / Text
2. Name it anything with a .MapiMail extension (ignore any warnings about the file extension)

When you want to Mail files as attachments:

1. Select the files with Explorer Right Click Select Send to and the Mail name you just created
2. This allows you to easily mail multiple files

Adding Shortcuts to Desktop Without "Shortcut To" text

1. Start Regedit Go to:HKEY_USERS \ .Default \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion
\ Explorer Add binary value to Explorer:link="00,00,00,00"
2. Now You can make Shortcuts to desktop without Shortcut To" text. 

Easier User Interface

Add a menu item named "Open THIS folder!" to each of your cascading menus off of the Start menu.
This makes it easier to put items wherever you want them!

1. Go to Windows \ Start Menu \ Programs \ (etc.) in the Explorer Start right click/dragging folders
to the desktop, one by one.
2. Rename them and left click/drag them back to the same folder. 

It takes a little while, but when you are finished you have a much easier interface to work with.

Removing the Start Button

1. Click on the start menu button twice, so there is a dashed line around the button Press Alt and the 
minus sign
2. Choose Close to make the start button disappear, or move to move it to the right!

Note : - You have to re-boot to get it back again, or:

1. Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete Highlight Explorer Click on the End Task button Select No to doing a full
2. Wait a few seconds and the click on the End Task button 

Changing the clock to 24-Hour Time

1. To change the display of the clock on the taskbar to 24-hour format: Open the Control Panel 
Double-click on the Regional Settings icon Click on the Time tab 
2. In the Time style section select H:mm:ss

Removing the InBox and Recycle Bin Icons from the Desktop 

To remove the InBox from your desktop, without needing to run the Policy Editor:

1. Start Regedit Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \
CurrentVersion \ explorer \ Desktop \ NameSpace Below that should be a few keys Rename the 
key {00020D75-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}. I usually put another character before or after
the curly braces. Restart Windows and the InBox icon should be gone 
2. You can do the same for any other items you don't to show such as the Recycle Bin or The 
Internet icons 

Changing or Removing the Start Menu Icons

1. Download Microangelo and install it. Create a blank.ico file. Put it in a directory (C:\Windows. 
Then double click on the Microangelo Engineer to run it. When you get it up on the screen click 
on the "start" tab. You will see a list of all the icons in the start menu. Highlight the first one 
(programs) and select "Change". It will bring up a dialog box - select "browse". Go to the
directory that contains the blank icon and select it. Hit OK until you get back to the main Engineer
window and do all the rest exactly the same way. When you have finished changing them all to the 
blank icon, Hit "Apply". Hit your start button and look to see if all the icons are invisible. (They 
should be.)
2. Close out Micro Engineer and you're finished. 

Adding Drive to the SendTo List

• I have recently found that if you want to send something from A: drive or from any where to any 
drive, you can just make a short cut of that drive in subdirectory SENDTO. For example I have 
two hard drives, a Floppy Drive, and a CDROM 
• After I have make a copy of each of my drive I will be able to send a whole directory of E:\XXX 
from the CDROM drive to A: drive or any other drive that i have had made the short c t in the 

Adding a Protected Briefcase

You can make your briefcase a shortcut on the on desktop so if you have multiple users on your PC and 
you don't want to have a password for your briefcase, you can at least protect it from inadvertent deletion
by just making the briefcase a hidden file or in a different location other than \Windows\Desktop\My 
Briefcase, then send a copy or shortcut to the desktop.

Customizing the Start Button's Name and Icon

To change the name of the Start button:

1. Copy EXPLORER.EXE in your Windows directory to another directory Start a hex editor (I've 
been using Diskedit from Norton) Edit EXPLORER.EXE Search for the string 53 00 74 00 61 00
72 00 74 This is the word Start with the letters separated by a null character The section you are in
should also have the words "There was an internal error..." also separated with the null character
immediately following Now just replace the Start letters with any of your choice (up to 5 
characters only) Exit Windows Boot to DOS 
2. Copy your new Explorer file over the original

To change the Start button icon:

1. Copy USER.EXE in your \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory to another directory Use an icon editor
that can replace icons in executable files Edit USER.EXE and replace the flag icons with the icon
of your choice Boot to DOS
2. Copy the new USER.EXE

The same can be done with NT 4.0, just the offset will be different but the location to just before "There 
was an internal error..." is the same.

Adding the Device Manager to your Desktop 

This allows you to quickly see all the devices attached to your computer. 
I use it a lot to select Refresh when I add new external SCSI devices that were not 
powered up at startup. This way you do not need to restart the computer. To add the Device Manager Icon:

1. Right click on an open area of your desktop Select New / Shortcut Type in
directory you installed Windows95 Click on the Next box At the next dialog box type in Device 
2. Click on the Finish when you are done 

Note: Replacing the 1 with a 3 will bring up the Performance Status

Adding Options to the Right-Click of the Start Menu

To add an option to the Right-Click of the Start button:

1. Go to Control Panel, View, Options Click on the File Types Tab Scroll down until you see File 
Folder Click on Edit Click on New Type in the Name you want to in the Action box
2. Type in the Application you want to use 

A good option to add is an MS-DOS Prompt:Try this c:\ /k cd %1 










This command will open a DOS window with that folder as the current directory.

How to make the task bar Auto Hide

1. Click the right button on a blank area of the task bar Select Properties Select Autohide
2. Click OK 

This will make the task bar slide off the screen when the cursor moves away from it,
and it will slide back on when the cursor is moved near it again.The same can be done for the MS Office
task bar. The "sliding" effect is nice, and can free up some desktop space.

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