3 More Awesome Registry Tweaks to Improve Your Windows Experience

Just a bit ago, we explained how to use your registry to improve your Windows experience. Today, we’re going to show you even more ways of doing this, with a little touch of ingenuity. Instead of using a program that occupies resources to automatically tweak your computer, you can take control of it yourself and dig into the registry without letting another application intrude in your computer and do things to it without your awareness. While most programs are good for tweaking your PC, you should try as much as you can to do this yourself, as they might sometimes make a change in a manner that’s less than optimal.

registry-hack-encrypt

Microsoft included file encryption in Windows Vista and 7 to allow you to make parts of your file system inaccessible to others. The operating system does this by scrambling the contents of a file or folder with a passphrase determined by a security certificate. As long as you can keep the certificate, you can also decrypt the file. This is especially useful when you share a folder across the network and don’t want peeping toms to see what is in some of your files. Others can also try to access the files using a LiveCD operating system, which will also fail. To quickly encrypt a file or folder through Windows without having to scramble around in the file/folder properties, you can do a simple registry tweak at:

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

Just add a DWORD value called “EncryptionContextMenu” to that key and set the value at “1”. You’re all set!

Remember the programs list from Windows 2000? You can still have this in Windows Vista/7, even if the option doesn’t exist, by a simple registry modification that would help you achieve the given result. People might have their reasons for switching over to the classic list, perhaps because it feels more comfortable, but the Windows 7 programs list blows anything else out of the water. Since we have no objection on the opinion of others, we’ll show you how to bring the 2000 programs list to Windows 7. Time to get retro!

First, go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell

Double-click “Favorites” on the right-hand side of the registry editor and edit the value to “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs”. Replace “C” with the drive letter of your system drive (where Windows is installed).

Now, head over to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

Edit the “Favorites” value on this key to the same value you edited the other one to. Now, right-click the Start button and click “Properties.” Navigate to the “Start Menu” tab and click “Customize.” In the new dialog, make sure that the “Favorites menu” box has a check mark next to it. Click “OK” and reboot your computer. You’ll see a “Programs” menu on the “Start” menu. Enjoy!

Your drives are on it, so why not also see the recycle bin? It’s illogical for Windows not to have noticed the discrepancy. Let’s modify this a bit ourselves, shall we?

registry-hacks-recycle-bin-my-computer

To do this, head over to:

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

Create a new key under “NameSpace” called “{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}.” Now, just open your “My Computer” window. It should show up.

If you have any problems accomplishing the steps in this tutorial, let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to help you!