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Registry Tweaks for Windows XP

Below are a collection of some cool and useful registry tweaks for Windows XP.

As always, be very careful when editing the Windows registry as one incorrect edit can cause severe problems. All edits are at your own risk.

The tweaks listed below are in no particular order, but they include features that will speed up your system, make things more useful, get rid of annoyances or just do something cool. If you are new to editing the registry, you access the registry by clicking "Start", click on "Run", then type in "regedit".

Open Command Prompt From Right Click Menu
If you use the command prompt alot, this is a very handy little hack. It will become available in the right-click menu thus saving a good bit of time.

Go to the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Classes/Folder/Shell

Create a new key called "cmd". For the default value enter whatever you want to appear in the menu. I used the value "Command Prompt". This is what then shows up when i right-click.

Now create a key under the "cmd" key called "command". For the default value, enter: "Cmd.exe /k pushd %L"

Done. Now when you right click on a folder for example, you will see the "Command Prompt" option.


Speed Up AVI Browsing
If you open a folder of AVI files, you may notice it can be very slow. To speed this up, delete the following key (Avi properties handler):

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{87D62D94-71B3-4b9a-9489-5FE6850DC73E}


Stop Automatic Reboots After Windows Updates
Have you ever been in the middle of something and Windows keeps bugging you to reboot because of an update. This is highly annoying. Use this tweak to stop it happening:

In the location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU

Set "NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers" to 1.


Make Thumbnails Bigger
When browsing folders with thumbnail view, you might find them a little small. Here is how you can make them bigger.

In the location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

Edit the key "ThumbnailSize". Set the value anywhere between 32 and 96.

If the key does not exist, simply right-click on the "Explorer" key and select New->DWORD value. Call the new value "ThumbnailSize" and give it a value from 32 to 96.


Disable CD Autorun
Disabling the CD autorun is a good idea as it can make your PC more secure from viruses/malware that execute with the autorun.

In the location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

If "NoDriveTypeAutoRun" does not exist, Right click on the "Explorer" folder, select New -> DWORD value. Call the key "NoDriveTypeAutoRun".

Set the value of this key to B1. To turn it back on, set the value to 91.


Change Internet Explorer 6 User Agent

Browse to the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent

There should be a key called “Version”. Just change the value in that key to whatever you want your user agent to be. If there is no “Version” key, then you will need to create one.

To create the key, just select New->String Value. Call it “Version”. Then enter the value you wish to show up for your user agent.


Force Applications to Close at Shutdown
When you shutdown your computer, it can often get delayed by programs that are not responding. To force applications to close and increase shutdown performance, do the following:

In the following location,

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

Set the value of "AutoEndTasks" to 1.


Clear the Pagefile on Shutdown
Clear the Windows pagefile when you shutdown:

In the following location,

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

set the value of "ClearPageFileAtShutdown" to 1, or 0 to disable.


Get Rid of the Links Folder from Your Favorites in IE

In the following location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar

Double click on the key "LinksFolderName". Set its value to blank (ie: delete the value of "links" that is currently there).

Then in Internet Explorer delete the Links folder from the favorites (organize favorites). It won't show up again.


Disable Balloon Tips
If you are annoyed as me with the balloon tips, then you might just want to switch them off. Do so with the following registry edit:

In the following location,

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

double click on "ShowInfoTip", and set it to 0.


Defrag System Files on Bootup
To automatically defrag the system files when your computer starts up, run the following registry edit:

In the following location,

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction

double click on "Enable" and set its value to "Y".


Speed Up the Start Menu
This one is fairly self explanatory

Change the value of "MenuShowDelay" in the following location. A lower value means the start menu shows up faster.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop


Remove the Shared Documents Folder
If you want to remove the shared documents folder from XP, just run the following edit:

In the following location,

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion
\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\DelegateFolders\

delete the key: {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}


Disable the Caps Lock Key

In the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout

Right click on the "Keyboard Layout" folder and select "New -> Binary value"

Call the new key "Scancode Map" and give it the following value:

0000 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0008 02 00 00 00 2A 00 3A 00
0010 00 00 00 00


Turn Off System Beeps
System beeps can be extremely annoying. This will turn them off:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Sound

Create a new "String Value". Call it "Beeps". Set the value of "Beeps" to 0.


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