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Microsoft® Windows® XP Registry Guide
Author Jerry Honeycutt
Pages 528
Disk N/A
Level Advanced
Published 09/11/2002
ISBN 9780735617889
ISBN-10 0-7356-1788-0
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Chapter 5: Mapping Tweak UI continued


Table 5-14 describes the settings in the Taskbar category. Most notably, you can disable balloon tips by setting the REG_DWORD value EnableBallonTips to 0x00. Create this value if it doesn't already exist.

Table 5-14 Values in Taskbar

Enable balloon tipsEnableBalloonTipsREG_DWORD0x00 | 0x01
Warn when low on disk spaceNoLowDiskSpaceChecksREG_DWORD0x00 | 0x01


The settings in the Grouping category, as described in Table 5-15, enable you to control how buttons group on the taskbar. Using the TaskbarGroupSize value, which you create if it doesn't already exist, you determine the applications that Windows XP collapses into groups first:

  • Group least used applications first. Windows XP groups least frequently used applications first, and groups more frequently used applications as necessary.
  • Group applications with the most windows first. Windows XP groups applications that have the most open windows first, and groups applications with fewer open windows only as necessary.
  • Group any application with at least N windows. Windows XP groups applications that have N windows open on the desktop.

Windows XP uses the same REG_DWORD value for all three cases. If you set TaskbarGroupSize to 0x00, Windows XP uses least-used grouping. If you set it to 0x01, Windows XP uses most-windows grouping. Finally, if you set it to any other value, Windows XP groups any application that has that number of open windows.

Table 5-15 Values in Grouping

Group least used applications firstTaskbarGroupSizeREG_DWORD0x00
Group applications with the most windows firstTaskbarGroupSizeREG_DWORD0x01
Group any application with at least N windowsTaskbarGroupSizeREG_DWORDN

XP Start Menu

Windows XP displays the most frequently used programs on the bottom of the Start menu. This handy feature prevents you from having to hunt for applications you use often. Some applications don't belong on this list, however. I tire of seeing Notepad on the Start menu just because I happened to use it to view a text file. I also don't like seeing Command Prompt on the Start menu every time I type cmd in the Run dialog box. The solution is to tell Windows XP which applications you don't want it to add to the Start menu. Do that in the key HKCU\Software\Classes\Applications.

In Table 5-16, look up the application that you want to keep off the Start menu's list of frequently used programs. If you don't find the program in Table 5-16, find the program's file name by looking in the Program Files folder or at the program's shortcut on the Start menu. Then add a subkey to Applications, in which the name of the subkey is the program's file name (omit the path). Add the REG_SZ value NoStartPage to the program's subkey, and leave it blank. For example, to keep Notepad off the Start menu, create the subkey Notepad.exe in HKCU\Software\Classes\Applications, and add the value NoStartPage.

Table 5-16 Values in XP Start Menu

ApplicationFile NameApplicationFile Name
Accessibility WizardAccwiz.exeNarratorNarrator.exe
Address bookWab.exeNotepadNotepad.exe
BackupNtbackup.exeOn-Screen KeyboardOsk.exe
CalculatorCalc.exeOutlook ExpressMsimn.exe
Character mapCharmap.exePaintMspaint.exe
Command promptCmd.exePinballPinball.exe
Data sources (ODBC)Odbcad32.exeRemote AssistanceRcimlby.exe
Disk cleanupCleanmgr.exeRemote Desktop ConnectionMstsc.exe
Files and Settings Transfer WizardMigwiz.exeSound RecorderSndrec32.exe
HeartsMshearts.exeSpider SolitaireSpider.exe
HyperTerminalHypertrm.exeSystem InformationMsinfo32.exe
Internet BackgammonBckgzm.exeSystem RestoreRstrui.exe
Internet CheckersChkrzm.exeTour Windows XPTourstart.exe
Internet ExplorerIexplore.exeUtility ManagerUtilman.exe
Internet HeartsHrtzzm.exeWindows Media PlayerWmplayer.exe
Internet ReversiRvsezm.exeWindows MessengerMsmsgs.exe
Internet SpadesShvlzm.exeWindows Movie MakerMoviemk.exe
MagnifierMagnify.exeWindows UpdateWupdmgr.exe
MSN ExplorerMsn6.exe  


One of the most popular customizations for Windows 98 was to remove the icons from the desktop. That meant users did not display the My Documents icon and the Network Neighborhood icon. Windows XP caught up with users' tastes and displays only the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop by default.

If you miss the good old days, you can add the icons back to the desktop. Use the Tweak UI category Desktop. Table 5-17 describes the values corresponding to each icon. Add each value to the subkey NewStartPanel, creating it if it doesn't exist, and set it to 0x00 to hide the icon or 0x01 to display the icon.

Table 5-17 Values in Desktop

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons \NewStartPanel   
Internet Explorer{871C5380-42A0-1069-A2EA-08002B30309D}REG_DWORD0x00 | 0x01
My Computer{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}REG_DWORD0x00 | 0x01
My Documents{450D8FBA-AD25-11D0-98A8-0800361B1103}REG_DWORD0x00 | 0x01
My Network Places{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}REG_DWORD0x00 | 0x01
Recycle Bin{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}REG_DWORD0x00 | 0x01

First Icon

Using the First Icon category, choose the icon that you want to appear first on the desktop: My Documents or My Computer. Table 5-18 describes the settings you need to apply for either scenario.

Table 5-18 Values in First Icon

My DocumentsSortOrderIndexREG_DWORD0x48
My ComputerSortOrderIndexREG_DWORD0x54

My Computer

Determine which icons you see in My Computer using the My Computer Category. Table 5-19 describes the settings you must apply to show the Control Panel and Files Stored On This Computer icons in My Computer.

Table 5-19 Values in My Computer

Control Panel{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}REG_DWORD0x00 | 0x01
Files Stored on This ComputerNoSharedDocumentsREG_DWORD0x00 | 0x01


Windows XP can hide drive letters. You hide them by setting NoDrives in the key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer, but it's easier using the Tweak UI category Drives. The trick is figuring out the value to put in the REG_BINARY value NoDrives.

Each bit in NoDrives, right to left, corresponds to the drive letters A through Z. To hide drive A, turn on the first bit. To hide drive B, turn on the second bit. Turn on the bit representing each drive that you want to hide. This math is easier if you use Calculator in Scientific mode. Also, see Chapter 1, "Learning the Basics," for some tips on doing bitwise math.

Special Folders

Windows XP users have special folders in their user profiles, such as the My Documents, My Pictures, and Favorites folders. The default location for these folders is in %USERPROFILE%, but you can redirect them to any location, including a location on the network. That's the purpose of the Tweak UI category Special Folders.

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders is the key where you find each of these special folders. You learn about them in detail in Chapter 4, "Hacking the Registry," and Chapter 17, "Per-User Settings." In Table 5-20 on the next page, look up the folder you want to redirect. Then in User Shell Folders, change the value shown in the Value Column to the folder's new location. I suggest that you use environment variables, particularly when referencing folders in %USERPROFILE% or %SYSTEMROOT%. The next time you log on to Windows XP, Windows XP updates HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders\ to reflect your changes. After relocating a shell folder, you must manually move your files and folders from the old location to the new location.

Table 5-20 Values in Special Folders

FolderValueDefault path
CD BurningCD Burning%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data \Microsoft\CD Burning
Document templatesTemplates%USERPROFILE%\Templates
My DocumentsPersonal%USERPROFILE%\My Documents
My MusicMy Music%USERPROFILE%\My Documents\My Music
My PicturesMy Pictures%USERPROFILE%\My Documents\My Pictures
ProgramsPrograms%USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs
Start menuStart Menu%USERPROFILE%\Start Menu
StartupStartup%USERPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup


All the action in the AutoPlay category is in its subcategories: Drives, Types, and Handlers. In the Drives category, you can prevent specific drives from playing media automatically when you insert them. You use the value NoDriveAutoRun, which is a REG_BINARY value, just like the NoDrives value you learned about earlier. For each drive that you want to stop from playing disks automatically, set the bit, right to left, which corresponds to the drive letters A through Z. NoDriveAutoRun is in the key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.

The next subcategory is Types. In this category, you can control whether CDs, DVDs, and removable drives automatically play when you insert disks. Table 5-21 describes the values that correlate to the settings you see in this category. Just like you did with the value UserPreferencesMask, you must toggle the bit shown in the Data column. To prevent CD drives from automatically playing, for example, set bit 0x20 in the REG_DWORD value NoDriveTypeAutoRun.

Table 5-21 Values in Autoplay Drive Types

Enable Autoplay for CD and DVD drivesNoDriveTypeAutoRunREG_DWORDBit 0x20
Enable Autoplay for removable drivesNoDriveTypeAutoRunREG_DWORDBit 0x04

The last subcategory is Handlers. When Windows XP detects that you've inserted a CD, DVD, or removable disk, it automatically runs the program that it associates with the type of content on that disk. You control what programs are used with which types of content using the Handlers tab. This setting is much easier to configure in Tweak UI than manually, but we'll try it anyway.

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers \EventHandlers is the key where you find these associations. In Table 5-22, look up the type of content you want to customize. Then open the subkey shown in the Subkey column for EventHandlers. In that subkey, add any of the following handlers as an empty REG_SZ value:

  • MSCDBurningOnArrival
  • MSOpenFolder
  • MSPlayCDAudioOnArrival
  • MSPlayDVDMovieOnArrival
  • MSPlayMediaOnArrival
  • MSPlayMusicFilesOnArrival
  • MSPlayVideoFilesOnArrival
  • MSPrintPicturesOnArrival
  • MSPromptEachTime
  • MSPromptEachTimeNoContent
  • MSShowPicturesOnArrival
  • MSTakeNoAction
  • MSVideoCameraArrival
  • MSWiaEventHandler

Table 5-22 Values in Autoplay Handlers

GenericGenericVolumeArrivalMusic filesPlayMusicFilesOnArrival
Blank CDRHandleCDBurningOnArrivalVideo filesPlayVideoFilesOnArrival
Mixed contentMixedContentOnArrivalDigital imagesShowPicturesOnArrival
CD audioPlayCDAudioOnArrivalVideo cameraVideoCameraArrival

Control Panel

The Control Panel category enables you to hide specific icons in Control Panel. Create a REG_SZ value in the key HKCU\Control Panel\don't load, and name it using the file name of the CPL file you want to hide. Set the value to Yes to display the icon or No to hide the icon. Table 5-23 shows the file names of the CPL files that come with Windows XP. For example, to hide the Internet Options icon, add the REG_SZ value Inetcpl.cpl to don't load, and set its value to No.

Table 5-23 Values in Control Panel

File nameDescriptionFile nameDescription
Access.cplAccessibility OptionsMmsys.cplSounds and Audio Devices Properties
Appwiz.cplAdd Or Remove ProgramsNusrmgr.cplUser Accounts
Desk.cplDisplay PropertiesNwc.cplClient Service for NetWare
Hdwwiz.cplAdd Hardware WizardOdbccp32.cplODBC Data Source Administrator
Inetcpl.cplInternet PropertiesPowercfg.cplPower Option Properties
Intl.cplRegional and Language OptionsSysdm.cplSystem Properties
Joy.cplGame Controllers Telephon.cplPhone and Modem Options
Main.cplMouse Properties and Keyboard PropertiesTimedate.cplDate and Time Properties


Use the Templates category to customize the templates you see when you right-click the desktop or the unused space in a folder window, and then click New. Chapter 4, "Hacking the Registry," and Appendix A, "File Associations," describe how to build customized templates. Table 5-24 describes the values that Tweak UI uses for each of the default templates in Windows XP. Note that if you disable any of the templates shown in Table 5-24, Tweak UI hides the ShellNew key by renaming it to ShellNew- (adds a dash).

Table 5-24 Values in Templates

Bitmap ImageHKCR\.bmp\ShellNew \NullFileREG_SZ""
BriefcaseHKCR\.bfc\ShellNew \CommandREG_EXPAND_SZ%SYSTEMROOT%\system32 \rundll32.exe %SYSTEMROOT% \system32\syncui.dll,Briefcase_Create %2!d! %1
Compressed (zipped) folderHKCR\.zip \CompressedFolder \ShellNew\DataREG_BINARY0x50 0x4B 0x05 0x06 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00
Rich Text DocumentHKCR\.rtf\ShellNew \DataREG_SZ{\rtf1}
Text DocumentHKCR\.txt\ShellNew \NullFileREG_SZ""
Wave SoundHKCR\.wav\ShellNew \FileNameREG_SZsndrec.wav
WordPad DocumentHKCR\.doc \WordPad.Document.1 \ShellNew\NullFileREG_SZ""

Internet Explorer

Table 5-25 describes the settings that Tweak UI establishes when you customize Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer toolbars with a bitmap image. These settings are in the Internet Explorer category.

Table 5-25 Values in Internet Explorer

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar   
Use custom background for Internet Explorer toolbarBackBitmapIE5REG_SZFilename
Use custom background for Windows Explorer toolbarBackBitmapShellREG_SZFilename


This is my favorite customization. The Tweak UI's category Search enables you to add search URLs to Internet Explorer so that you can use search engines from the browser's address bar. For example, add the prefix news and set its URL to /groups?q=%s&hl=en; then you can quickly search Google Groups for Windows XP by typing news Windows XP in the address bar. Figure 5-4 shows a search URL.

Click to view graphic
Click to view graphic

Figure 5-4 You don't need to download any search add-ins for Internet Explorer when using your favorite search engines is this easy.

Add the subkey SearchURL to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer. Then add a subkey for each search prefix you want to use. To use the example I just gave you, create the subkey news. Set the default value of the prefix's subkey, news in this example, to the URL of the search engine. Use the %s as a placeholder for the search string. Internet Explorer replaces the %s with any text you type to the right of the prefix. Continuing the Google Groups example, you'd set the default value to /groups?q=%s&hl=en.

Add the REG_SZ values shown in Table 5-26 to the prefix key you created. The purpose of these values is to describe what to substitute for special characters in your search string, including a space, percent sign (%), ampersand (&), and plus sign (+). These characters have special meaning when submitting forms to Web sites, so you must substitute a plus sign for a space, for example, or %26 for an ampersand. Thus, the browser translates the search string Windows XP Bits & Pieces to Windows+XP+Bits+%26+Pieces.

The only question left now is where to get the URL. That's easy. Open the search engine you want to add to Internet Explorer's search URLs, and then search for something— anything. When the browser displays the results, copy the URL from the Address bar, replacing your search word with a %s. For example, when searching Google Groups for honeycutt, the results are in a Web page with the URL /groups?q=honeycutt&hl=en. Replace the search word honeycutt with a %s to get

Table 5-26 Values in Search


View Source

Use the View Source category in Tweak UI to change the program in which Internet Explorer displays a Web page's source. Set the default value of the key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft \Internet Explorer\View Source Editor\Editor Name to the path and file name of the program you want to use. Create this value if it doesn't already exist.

Command Prompt

If you're a command-line junkie like me, you'll appreciate file name and directory completion. The MS-DOS command prompt supports both of these features, but you have to enable them first. Table 5-27 describes the settings in the Command Prompt category in Tweak UI. Set the value CompletionChar to the keystroke you want to use for file name completion, and set the value PathCompletionChar to the keystroke you want to use for directory completion. You can use the same keystroke for both values. The value you use for key is the ASCII key code. Thus, Tab is 0x09. The value WordDelimiters is a string of characters that delimit words on the command line when you press Ctrl+Right Arrow or Ctrl+Left Arrow. Create these values if they don't exist.

Table 5-27 Values in Command Prompt

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor   
File name completionCompletionCharREG_DWORDkey
Directory completionPathCompletionCharREG_DWORDkey
Word separatorsWordDelimitersREG_SZseparators


In the Logon category, you toggle Autoexec.bat parsing by setting the REG_SZ value ParseAutoexec in the key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion \Winlogon to 0 or 1. Set ParseAutoexec to 0 to prevent Windows XP from parsing Autoexec.bat for environment variables. Otherwise, set ParseAutoexec to 1, and Windows XP will parse it for environment variables.


The last useful category in Tweak UI is Autologon, and it enables you to automatically log on to Windows XP without providing your name, domain, or password. Table 5-27 describes the values you must set to log on to the computer automatically. Name is the user name, and Domain is the domain name. To enable Autologon, you must set the REG_SZ value AutoAdminLogon to 1. Last, set the value REG_SZ value DefaultPassword in the subkey Winlogon to the password you want to use to automatically log on to the computer. You don't see this value in Tweak UI because it stores the password differently.

Table 5-27 Values in Autologon

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon   
Log on automatically at system startupAutoAdminLogonREG_SZ0 | 1
User nameDefaultUserNameREG_SZName


Last Updated: September 11, 2002
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