Tag Archive: registry

Often I will stroll into my office, drop my gear and power up my computer. Then I’ll buzz around taking care of the normal mundane stuff to start my day. I have Windows set to auto login my password secured main user account using netplwiz.exe which is kind enough to start all the processes that don’t start until a user is signed into the system. Gets my system all ready to go so when I sit down my system is as ready to get to work as I am. I also have my PC and HTPC setup to boot up after a power failure state to make sure my servers are running when the power returns. With the autologin in place it leaves my system open to mischievous co-workers to put pictures of grown men in diapers on my desktop. So I have an event setup in Task Scheduler that gets triggered when any user logs on C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe with the arguments user32.dll, LockWorkStation to lock my desktop immediately to keep my systems safe from outside influence. So I get the benefits of the auto logon, and the security of the password prompt to login.

So here’s the rub. Windows 10’s ( and apparently Windows 8 & 8.1, yuk) Lock Screen has a 1 minute timeout where if you don’t interact to the screen it powers off your display. I don’t know how much strain is put on my monitor powering up, then powering it back down, and then powering it backup if I bump something while sitting down, and then powering down a min later because I still haven’t logged in yet, and then powering back up when I finally log back in. On an almost daily basis, I just don’t think that can be good on the guts, and I can’t be plunking down $$$ on a whim for a new monitor. I want it to power up and stay up for a decent amount of time, and then if I still haven’t logged in yet, then go ahead and save the whales and power down.

Windows doesn’t by default give you a way to adjust the power down wait time at the lock screen. After digging around the net, I found a some gents had shared what I needed. You have to really dig down there into the guts of the registry to


and set Attributes to a value of 2.

Add Option to Adjust Lock Screen Timeout In Power Settings

Once that’s set, open your Power Options, and under Display you should have a new power option ‘Console lock display off timeout’.
Lock Timeout


Get out of my explorer tree OneDrive!

Browse or search the registry to:

Set Dword value System.IsPinnedToSpaceTree to 0 (zero)












Tip provided from TheWindowsClub.com – Thanks guys and gals, and go check them out!

How to remove OneDrive icon from Windows 10 File Explorer

Just a little list I am putting together of tweaks that go beyond the normal for Windows 10 that I have decided to use. These will all be filed under the ‘Windows’ tag, so you can click the tag below to get to them all as I add more. Hope they help others out.

First set of tips will be for cleaning up Explorer. All I want is my drives nice and neat, is that too much to ask for?

Clean Explorer



Image Source: howtogeek.com

Folder Groups: ‘Like gag me with a spoon dude!’ First eye sore on my list is the Folders group that is seemingly just tossed into the mix. We can use Quick Access to add custom jump points to things we want, no reason to have things listed twice at the root of the computer.

I found this tip floating around a few sites, but over at HowToGeek.com they have a nice set of registry files to help get things done fast.
Blog Post: http://tinyurl.com/p6yyk2a
Folder Group Registry Files: http://tinyurl.com/q3jxnus

Using their registry files you can easily remove all of the entries from Explorer. You will need to reboot after running the registry edits or end all instances of Explorer.exe via the Task Manager for things to work. One other thing to note. For some reason if you enable hidden files, sometimes the Desktop Folder will reappear. Usually disabling Hidden Files and closing Explorer will re-hide everything. I would guess that there is one more registry value floating around for that, but for now I don’t have hidden files turned on by default so I can live with it.

HomegroupHomeGroup: HomeGroup is a nice feature and most home networks would probably benefit from understanding how it works and using it. It’s like network sharing for dummies. I use normal Workgroup sharing with normal user account credentials on my home network because I have some special share requirements with how I communicate with work so using HomeGroup doesn’t work out for me and is just taking up space. If you don’t use/need HomeGroup either, you can ditch it too. This tip will work for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 & 10. To disable HomeGroup completely so it’s removed from the Explorer list you need to disable the services that run it. hit you Windows key and type in Services.msc and hit ENTER. Locate the Two entries for HomeGroup, right click on them and STOP them. Then Right click on each one again and click Properties. Set The Startup type for each service to Disabled, and click OK. Reboot or end the Explorer tasks and your all set! If you need to re-enable HomeGroup at anytime reset the both HomeGroup Services’ Startup Type to Automatic and reboot.


Folder OptionsFolder Options: There are a few new options added to the Windows 10 Folder Options dialog, and most of them I want turned off :p Since I only want Quick Access to show links to folders I pick specifically vs. it guessing what I want based on my recent usage, I uncheck both Show Recently used files/folders in Quick Access. With both of these set, if I were to select the Quick Access at the top of the list, it would now only show me the links I setup on the main explorer window instead of a list of recent folders and files which is useless. By Default Windows 10 opens Explorer to this Quick Access location which doesn’t make sense to do anymore since I disabled it’s core functions. So to make sure it opens up to a more useful location, I set Open File Explorer to: This PC. This is where I personally want it to open up but maybe you would like it to open up somewhere else by default? Unfortunately there is not an option to change the default option to a custom path at this time. There were some work arounds for Windows 8 but they don’t seem to work at this point. For now if you want Explorer to open to a location other than This PC or the Quick Access location, you will have to use a custom shortcut that points to the location.






Color Title Bars: Thank the maker for this little gem. Tired already of staring at the stark, eye blinding white title bars? Add a little color by installing a theme that supports colors. Download these Color Theme files and copy them to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. Once the files are copied to the folder, double click on the color.theme file to launch it. Once the theme launches you can use the new Desktop, Personalize, Colors picker to set a custom color for your Title Bars.
















If you want a more custom RGB color selector to set any color you want for the Title bars, you can create a shortcut to the old color picker:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,Advanced,@Advanced



Current User Paths: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

System User Folder Paths : HKEY_USERS\(User SID#)\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders\

Windows 7 is a great operating system so far, and it’s new User Folders have some nice features to help you organize your data. But one little problem I’ve had is that it has hard locked the user folder (previously known as Documents & Settings) location to the system drive, which if your like me you like to keep your data off the system drive so you can quickly reload your OS whenever you want and not worry about loosing your data. Microsoft officially allows you to specify the path using a big mess of tools to create installation images, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Below is what I did to change the location of the User folder and all of it’s contents. It has a few side effects.

1. You may not be able to upgrade to another version of Windows. Which if your like me you always want to do a fresh install anyway.
2. Microsoft does not support moved system folders (even using the above mentioned method using their own tools), so don’t call them with related issues. It’s seems to be working great here though. This is recommended to be done right after a fresh installation. As you will have to delete your first administrator account (install account). Proceed at your own risk.

1. Install Windows as normal.
2. Once windows is installed, locate the registry key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

3. Revise the ProfilesDirectory value to the path you desire. I have chosen D:\Users.
4. Now all NEW user accounts will be created at this location.
5. Reboot your system for the changes to take effect. DO NOT try to just end task on Explorer and start a new shell in any of these reboots.
6. Once rebooted, create a new Administrator account, I’ll call mine CptKemo. This will be a temporary account so you can call it what ever.
7. Log Off and log into your temporary account (CptKemo). Delete your original administrator account created from the install (Mine was called Josh)and reboot.
8. Log back into your temporary account (CptKemo), and create a new Final, administrator account, I’ll call this one Josh once again. Log off and log into your new account (Josh). Delete your temporary account (CptKemo).
9. You should now see your account folder at your specified location ready to transfer all your files to. Make a image of your harddrive once you have your apps installed and you will be all set for quick OS reloads.

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