Windows 7 Settings

So I ran across a cute little trick today that was apparently doing the rounds in January, but I never ran across it. It’s to make it easier to get to all the settings under Windows 7. It works with earlier versions of Windows as well, but apparently will crash 64-bit Vista.

What you want to do is create a new folder with the name XXX.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}, where XXX can be whatever you want (I called it “Master Settings”, but the rest of it, from the . to the closing }, should be exactly as written. This is a developer feature built into Windows; if you create a folder with the extension {YYY}, where YYY is a class ID, only the first part of the filename is shown and it does cool stuff. In this case, it gives you a search folder containing all the various controls you’d normally find in assorted folders in the Windows Control Panel.

If you’re like me, it can be difficult to remember where everything is. You can use the search to find it, which actually works pretty well, assuming you remember what it’s called, but it’s cool to have all the options available in one place.

One thing people have reported is that, should you decide to delete the folder, you might need to start the computer in safe mode. Additionally, while I haven’t tried it yet, there’s the possibility that this trick could allow users to get into settings that they normally shouldn’t. Depending on how you look at it, that could be a good thing or a bad thing; I’ve definitely been in situations where I had to tolerate a minor annoyance because I didn’t have sufficient access to change a setting!

Anyway, not exactly world-shaking news, but I thought I’d share. I’ve been using Windows 7 since the beta and I’m pretty happy with it; on the whole, it seems to work pretty well.

Granted, my websites are still going to run under Apache! :-)