XP: Six Essential Registry Hacks to Customize Windows

Posted February 10, 2006 by William_Wilson in Windows

This Tech-Recipes tutorial describes a few simple registry modifications you can use to alter aspects of Windows XP that many users may find bothersome.


The registry hacks in this tutorial can be used to achieve the following changes to XP:
1. Enable/Disable save settings on Shut down/Log off
2. Remove Delay in Windows start menu display
3. Enable/Disable balloon tips
4. Enable/Disable Tool Tip help
5. Enable/Disable Desktop Cleanup Wizard
6. Modify Desktop Cleanup

*NOTE* These modifications change values in your registry (regedit), if you do not know what this is or if you do not feel comfortable with doing so, these modifications are not for you.

The modifications require regedit to be open:
Go to Start\Run.
Type: regedit.

Enable/Disable save settings on shutdown/logoff:

open key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
*If the items listed below already exist, simply modify them. Otherwise, create them.
Create a new DWORD value (2 Byte value), and name it “NoSaveSettings”. Its type will be REG_DWORD
to enabled this feature set data value to 1. To disable, set data value to 0.

Remove Delay in Windows start menu display:

open key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Modify the value of MenuShowDelay *Default is 400
***I warn against making this value 0 as it makes it nearly impossible to get your mouse onto the menu before it tries to close. However, numbers much smaller than 400 can be used.

Enable/Disable balloon ‘help’:

open key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Create DWORD: EnableBalloonTips.
To disable balloons tips, set data value to 0. To enable, set data value to 1.

Enable/Disable Tool Tip help:

open key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Modify REG_DWORD type, named ShowInfoTip
Data value of 0 disables tips; data value of 1 shows these tips.

Enable/Disable Desktop cleanup wizard:

*This one is my favorites because some of us like to keep our unused icons.
open key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer\Desktop\CleanupWiz
*If the items listed below already exist, simply modify them. Otherwise, create them:
Create a new DWORD value, with the name NoRun
A data value of 0 will enable this feature, and a data value of 1 will disable it.

Modify Desktop cleanup (if you do not wish to disable, but only modify its frequency)

open key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ Explorer\Desktop\CleanupWiz
Modify REG_DWORD key Days between clean up

The data value in this key is the number of days between its scan.
*Default is 60, but you may put any value you wish, higher or lower.
*More registry ‘hacks’ coming soon*
*Most of these modifications will require a reboot before they take effect*

Questions/comments: [email protected]

-William. ยง (marvin_gohan)

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