For many, the Metro interface is a problem and would like to have the desktop similar to Windows 7 and other previous versions. Here is a registry edit to disable Metro UI.
1. Open regedit by typing regedit at the Start screen.
2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
3. Modify the RPEnabled key to a “0” instead of the default “1”.
4. To return to the Metro UI, just change the value back to a “1”.
Windows updates are a necessity and need to be done to keep a stable a secure system. But, there are times when you want to shut your computer down quickly, not having to “Install Updates and then shut down computer”. There are times when you don’t care, and do want to update. So, why doesn’t Windows give you the choice? Well, follow these steps and it will finally give you the choice.
1. Open regedit (Start > type regedit and press enter).
2. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU. If it doesn’t exist, you can right click and create a new key (I had to create both the WindowsUpdate and the AU key).
3. Create a new DWORD (32-Bit), with the name NoAUAsDefaultShutdownOption and modify its value to “1“.
4. Now you will have the regular Shutdown button as well as the Install Updates and Shut Down button. Some users like to have this control over their PC, and this gives it to you.
For some reason, if you decide you don’t want users to use Safe Mode, here is a way to disable access.
1. Open the Registry Editor (Start > Type regedit and press enter.
2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot.
3. Rename the Minimal and Network subkeys to Minimal.old and Network.old.
4. Reboot, and you will not be able to access Safe Mode by pressing F8
Windows 7 has a live preview thumbnail of your running programs when you hover over the icon on your taskbar. Some people love it, like I do, and others don’t care for it so much. Here is how to disable the thumbnails on your taskbar.
1. Open regedit (Start > type regedit and press enter).
2. Naviate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
3. In the right pane, right click and select “New” and “DWORD (32-Bit)”. Give it the name TaskbarNoThumbnail.
4. Right click the new name and select “Modify”. Change the value to “1“.
5. Close regedit, reboot (or log off and back on). You will no longer have the taskbar thumbnails. To reverse it and get your thumbnails back, just delete the new key you created or change the value to “0“.
There is a way to share DLC (downloadable content) to more than one XBox. It is a little known trick to get it working. Some people have multiple XBox 360′s in the home, with two XBox Live accounts. Here is how to buy DLC once, and apply it to both Xboxes.
1. First, you go to the second console (the one you don’t play all the time). Sign in using YOUR Xbox Live account (use the Recover Gamertag option). Puchase the DLC and download it to that console. Sign out of XBox Live. Everyone that logs into the console will have access to the DLC.
2. Now, go to your main console and sign into your account (you may need to use the Recover Gamertag, if needed). Download the DLC again. You will get a notice that you already puchased the content and ask if you want to download it again. Choose Yes. It will download it and you will have the DLC on both consoles. Only the XBox Live account that downloaded the content will be able to use it.
Some people share a PC with multiple users, and each user has it’s own mess of files. They also have separate Recycle Bin’s. When a user deletes a lot of stuff, it sits in the Recycle Bin until it is emptied. Some users don’t know that you need to empty the bin occasionally. Here is a quick command line tip to empty all the Recycle Bin’s on your PC – without having to log into the other users accounts. This could also be scripted if you want to have the Recycle Bin emptied when logging in or off, if you wish.
1. Launch the Command Prompt as an Administrator. Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt (you can press Right Shift and left click the shortcut and select Run as different user, if needed).
2. Type in rd /s c:\$Recycle.Bin and select Y to delete all the files in the Recycle Bin.
The first window is not using an elevated CMD prompt, the second is using Run as different user as Administrator.
This can help you keep your PC clean and stop your hard drive from filling up completely if you have a user that forgets to empty the Recycle Bin!
With the invention of Microsoft’s UAC (User Account Control), users were no longer Administrator. At least, not the full blown administrator. Windows now operates on the more secure least needed privledges. If you’d like to enable the built-in Administrator account, which is hidden by default, follow these few easy steps.
1. Open a Command prompt. You can go to Start and type CMD and press enter.
2. Type net user administrator /active:yes.
3. This will activate your Administrator account. To verify that it has indeed done just that, go to the Control Panel > User Accounts. You should see the Administrator account enabled and ready for use.
Microsoft includes a component in Windows 7 called the Customer Experience Improvement Program that sends back usage data along with error information you may encounter. Microsoft has dedicated a page to answer any questions and details what the program is all about. Some people, however, would rather keep any and all information on their PC without sending anything back to Microsoft. Personally, I take part in these programs to help with future versions and updates to the software. For those that want to disable it, here is how.
1. Open the Start menu, and type Customer Experience Improvement Program. Click on the first entry (it may appear before you finish typing).
2. Select “No, I don’t want to participate in the program.”. Then click “Save Changes“.
Thats it. To enable or re-enable the feature do the same thing, but select the first option.
With the release of Vista came the demise of the built in Telnet command. You can add it again using the Programs and Features tool in the Control Panel, but here is how you can do it with a single command.
1. Open a Command Prompt with administrative permissions. Start > All Programs > Accessories > right click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.
2. Type (or cut and paste) dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:TelnetClient and press enter.
3. Telnet is now available in Windows.
Credit for this tip goes to Steve Sinchak from Tweaks.com.
There are times when Windows takes a long time to start up or shut down, with nothing to show what it’s doing. With a simple registry hack, you can enable verbose output which will let you know what the system is doing when it is starting up or shutting down. Here’s how.
1. Open Regedit (Start, type regedit and press enter).
2. Navigate to HKLM > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies > System.
3. On the right pane, right click and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
4. Name the new value VerboseStatus and press enter.
5. Double click the new VerboseStatus key and change the value to a 1. Click OK.
6. Exit Regedit and restart your PC to see the changes.