Category Archives: Articles

How to unlock the hidden display off timeout for the Lock screen in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

The Lock screen, new to Windows 8, is a fancy feature which allows you to display an image while your PC/tablet is locked and displays other useful information.

Lock Screen

However, when the PC is locked, the normal display off timeout value has no effect on it and you cannot specify the timeout value after which the screen will turn off while you are on the Lock screen. Turns out, there is a hidden registry setting for this and enabling it even turns it on in the Power Options  control panel GUI - the same window where you specify other power related timeouts. Let me show you how.

Unlock the hidden Lock Screen Slideshow (Picture Frame) feature in Windows 8.1 aka ‘Blue’

There are lots of secrets in the recently leaked Windows Blue build (the upcoming Windows 8.1 update). We already discovered new shell commands and shell locations, covered the new Modern File Manager and the new Bing-powered Search pane. Today, we are going to share few registry tweaks which will allow you to customize the brand new Lock Screen feature - called Picture Frame. Windows Blue allows you to turn your PC/tablet into a picture frame. This feature will swap a set of images from the folder you specify via the "PC Settings" applet.

Picture Frame Settings

When Picture Frame is enabled, it looks as follows:

Picture Frame member Ultrawindows has discovered some hidden registry tweaks which will allow you to customize the "Picture Frame" feature behavior.

How to change a Windows theme from the command prompt

Many people, including my friends, often ask me how to change a Windows theme from the command prompt without opening the Explorer window. They want to apply the custom theme they have installed from the command line. Unfortunately, Windows does not provide any native or user-friendly way to change the current theme and apply *.theme file silently. Today, I would like to provide you with an easy-to-use solution - our brand new release: Winaero Theme Switcher. Winaero Theme Switcher

How to prevent Windows 8 from auto pinning apps to the Start screen

If you have been using Windows 8, you would definitely have noticed that it automatically pins every application shortcut to the Start screen. This is highly unwanted behavior because your Start screen will become cluttered very quickly. Today I would like to share with you a simple and useful trick which will give you a clean and well organized Start screen. Continue if you are interested.

How to remove Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos and Downloads folders from the Computer folder in Windows 8.1

Update: This manual method is no longer needed if you are not comfortable fiddling with the Registry. Use our easy to use tool, This PC Tweaker to hide and show the folders you want.

In Windows 8.1, there are some additional folders that show in the Computer folder. In case you don't like them showing in Computer or don't need them, follow this simple tutorial to learn how to remove them.

  1. Open regedit.exe (See our Windows Registry Editor fundamentals)
  2. Navigate to
  3. Delete the following sub-keys:
    {1CF1260C-4DD0-4ebb-811F-33C572699FDE} (Music)
    {3ADD1653-EB32-4cb0-BBD7-DFA0ABB5ACCA} (Pictures)
    {A0953C92-50DC-43bf-BE83-3742FED03C9C} (Videos)
    {A8CDFF1C-4878-43be-B5FD-F8091C1C60D0} (Documents)
    {374DE290-123F-4565-9164-39C4925E467B} (Downloads)






How to enable the new Bing Search panel in Windows 8.1 (aka ‘Blue’)

Update: This trick is no longer needed for Windows 8.1 RTM where the Bing-powered search pane is already on by default.

Windows Blue comes with a new Bing-powered search pane for the Start screen. Although it is disabled by default, it is easy to enable  it.

  • Open registry editor and navigate to the following key:

    Tip:  See our Windows Registry Editor fundamentals

  • Create here a new DWORD value, name it NewSearchPane and set it to 1.
  • Sign out and sign in back, and you will get the following search pane:

Bing Search Pane

Via h0x0d's twitter

Thanks to my friend Nick for pointing me to this.

New Shell Commands and Shell Locations in Windows 8.1 (aka ‘Blue’)

Just for note: Windows 8.1 (aka 'Blue') features new shell commands and shell locations:

shell:::{A8CDFF1C-4878-43be-B5FD-F8091C1C60D0} - Documents folder pinned in the Computer folder.
shell:::{1CF1260C-4DD0-4ebb-811F-33C572699FDE} - Music folder pinned in the Computer folder.
shell:::{3ADD1653-EB32-4cb0-BBD7-DFA0ABB5ACCA} - Pictures folder pinned in the Computer folder.
shell:::{A0953C92-50DC-43bf-BE83-3742FED03C9C} - Videos folder pinned in the Computer folder.

shell:Camera Roll - A new folder to store pictures taken by the Camera pp
shell:SkyDrive - The SkyDrive shell folder which is synchronized online with SkyDrive
shell:SkyDriveDocuments - The Documents folder inside the SkyDrive shell folder
shell:SkyDrivePictures - The Pictures folder inside the SkyDrive shell folder

Stay tuned for more tips.

How to start the new Modern File Manager in Windows 8.1 (aka ‘Blue’)

Update: This trick is no longer necessary for Windows 8.1 RTM where the bundled Modern File Manager cum SkyDrive app is fully functional.

If you downloaded the build of Windows 8.1 that leaked recently, you may have come across a new hidden Modern File Manager app designed for touch screens. It has no shortcut and is not visible in the application list. The Modern File Manager's files are located in the C:\Windows\FileManager folder.

Windows Blue File Manager

If you have already installed Windows 8.1, you may want to explore Modern File Manager. Follow this simple tutorial to learn how it can be done.

Windows Blue version 6.3.9364 has leaked on the internet

Windows Blue winver

It finally happened - today, on the 57th birthday of Steve Ballmer - the major update to Windows 8, "Windows Blue" has leaked on the internet. The leaked ISO is the installation image for 32-bit systems. The system includes numerous changes related primarily to Modern UI and Modern Apps in the OS.

The file name of the leaked image is 9364.0.FBL_PARTNER_OUT13.130315-2105_X86FRE_CLIENT. As is obvious from the build tag, it was compiled on March 15, 2013 and has been designed exclusively for Microsoft's partners. The size of the ISO image is 2.63 GB.

The main changes are as follows:

How to add any Ribbon command to the right click menu in Windows 8

In Windows 8, Microsoft has introduced the Ribbon in Windows Explorer so that the numerous Explorer commands can be more prominently displayed when you need them. But the Ribbon commands are still split across many tabs unnecessarily making you go through all of the tabs to find the command you need to use. There is the Quick Access Toolbar at the top where you can add custom commands but the problem is that it has only tiny 16 x 16 sized icons and no textual description. You need to hover over each of the tiny icons to see their description. Also, Desktop has no Ribbon, and most of the useful commands are inaccessible via right click.

In contrast, the right-click/context menu is a better option as it has icons as well as textual description, excellent keyboard usability and you don't need to remember which Ribbon tab a particular command is located on. Also, the Ribbon takes a huge amount of vertical space, so once you added the command to the context menu, you can keep the Ribbon minimized or disable it entirely with our Ribbon Disabler. ;)

Today I am going to share with you a cool trick which will let you add any Ribbon commands of your choice directly to the right click (context) menu of files and folders. Let us see how.