Category Archives: Articles

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.

The full list of shell commands in Windows 8

Earlier, we have covered the most comprehensive list of shell locations by their Class ID which you can use to create a shortcut to the specific shell location for quick access. Today I am going to share the list of shell commands using their friendly name. Although these are implemented by the same ActiveX objects, you will notice that not every shell location with a CLSID has a user friendly alias. For example, 'Devices and Printers', the one with the shell:::{A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A} CLSID has no friendly-name equivalent.

In the general case, a shell command looks like this:

shell:Friendly Folder Name

For example,

  • shell:SendTo - the folder with items that you see in the "Send to" menu
  • shell:Desktop - the Desktop folder, and so on.

Read the the full list below of such commands in Windows 8.

How to enable fast XP-like Event Viewer in Windows 8

NT6, whose era started with Windows Vista, has introduced a new Event Viewer with blackjack and hookers filters and categories. Although they are quite useful and allow you to locate any system event/error easily, the Event Viewer is VERY slow. Those of us who have used Windows XP/2000 still remember how fast and compact the Event Viewer was in Windows XP. It can still be useful if you only quickly want to see the last few events which happened on your system. Windows Vista, 7 and Windows 8 still contain the old Event Viewer application, but it is just not enabled by default. Today I am going to share with you how to enable it.