7 Great Registry Tweaks to Improve Your Windows Experience

Everyone wants to make their experience on their computer more convenient, and possibly even shave off a bit of resource usage. Unfortunately, not many people know how to do these things. Most people are totally oblivious to the fact that there are so many ways to make Windows a better operating system without having to rely on third-party applications. In this tutorial, we’ll teach you ways to modify your operating system with style. It’ll give you bragging rights, after all!

One of the most frustrating parts about modifying the registry is the extra steps one must take to open it and find it. You actually have to remember the name “regedit“, and when you’re not editing the registry, you have to go through the torture of finding the name. That’s not a problem if you have a handy solution to add the registry editor to your Windows control panel. Download the registry editor hack, open the zip file, and double-click the icon representing what you’d like to do. It’s as simple as that. You can now find the registry at this location of your control panel:

registry-hacks-system-security

Windows 7 was wise to think of an idea like Aero Shake. If you don’t know what it is, Aero Shake allows you to maximize a window by shaking it around a bit in its default state. After a bit of a wiggle, Windows maximizes the current window whenever possible. Some people might not like that feature, and Windows doesn’t come with settings to disable it. They assume you’d like it, as usual.

To remove it, open the following path in your registry: 

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

With the “Windows” key folder selected, go to the right-hand side of the window and create a new DWORD value called “NoWindowMinimizingShortcuts“. The value should be a decimal “1″. Actually, in numbers smaller than 10, it doesn’t matter whether you choose decimal or hexadecimal.

Once you reboot your computer, you won’t be bothered any longer by the Aero Shake feature of Windows 7 or 8.

Since Windows XP, Microsoft has implemented balloon tips to notify users of any problems or new events in the computer. Many people are annoyed by the balloon tips that pop up every once in a while and might not take kindly to them. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, here’s the ever-famous image of a balloon tip in action:

registry-hacks-balloon-tips

They always show up in the right-hand side of the taskbar and can be utterly annoying when you’re trying to get work done. To disable them, open your registry editor and navigate to

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

In that key, create a new DWORD variable on the right-hand side called “EnableBalloonTips“. Make the value “0″. Once you restart your computer, you won’t see balloon tips ever again.

We all know what shortcuts we have, and sometimes, it’s a bit redundant for a shortcut to have the “Shortcut” indicator on it. Let’s show you what we mean:

registry-hacks-shortcut

Clearly, the small arrow on the bottom left-hand corner of the image already indicates that it’s a shortcut. Why does Windows have to tell you that it’s a shortcut in other forms? There’s a way around this through the registry, as always. This one’s a little trickier than the others, though.

First, go to

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

in your registry. You’ll find a value called “link” within that key. Its value is “1e 00 00 00″. Change that to “00 00 00 00″. That’s it! After a short reboot, you’ll see that the “Shortcut” text disappeared.

If you get a computer from someone, you might notice that the person’s name is there in “winver.exe.” Here’s what we’re talking about:

registry-hacks-winver

This might not bother you, but if it does, there’s a way to change it. Just navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

in your registry and change the “RegisteredOwner” value to anything you’d like. Restart your computer, open the Start menu, and type “winver”. Once you press “Enter,” you should see the new name in the window that shows up.

You don’t have to always resort to opening the Start menu on your computer to open the control panel. You don’t even have to make a shortcut that occupies space on your desktop. What if we told you that you can modify Windows to add the control panel to the right-click context menu? It’s possible, and we’ll show you how!

First, quickly go to

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell

in your registry. Create a new key under “shell” and call it “command.” Now, modify the “(Default)” value under “command” to “rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL”. After a restart, you’ll see “Control Panel” in your context menu on the desktop.

Have you ever roamed around your computer, wishing to open a command line program from a location, but were too lazy to type its path into the prompt itself? One of the beautiful things about some Linux distributions is the ability to open the terminal from any file location within the GUI. Windows can do this also, but doesn’t do it by default. Instead, you’re going to have to get in the system’s innards and actually improvise.

The registry contains an “Extended” property to every shell command key, so what we’re going to do here is rename the property to nullify it. First, go to

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\cmd

in the registry and have a look at the right-side of the editor. Rename “Extended” to anything you want, like “Extended-BAK.” Do the same at “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\cmd”. Now, when you restart your computer, you’ll be able to see “Open Command Window Here” in the context menu when you right-click on any icon on your computer.

We hope you weren’t so spooked out by the insane convenience of some of these registry hacks. We’ll be back with more in a bit. Leave a comment below if you have any questions about the material. Remember that for values lower than 10, you don’t have to distinguish between decimal and hexadecimal. Just pick one or the other.

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