Author Archives: Sergey Tkachenko

About Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Internet Explorer 10 RTM is released, offline installers are available

Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 2008 R2 Service Pack 1. As you may know, it is already bundled with Windows 8 and now available for previous versions of Windows after a couple of months.


So, here is the list of what's new:

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The most comprehensive list of shell locations in Windows 8

There are lots of shell locations in Windows, that you can access via shell:::{GUID} commands from the "Run" dialog. They are also known as "Shell Folders". With each version of Windows, many new shell locations are added.

What are Shell Folders

Shell folders are ActiveX objects that implement a special virtual folder or a virtual applet. In some cases, they provide access to physical folders on your hard drive or even to special OS functionality like "Minimize all Windows" or the Alt+Tab switcher.

What you can do with Shell Folders

You can use them in various scenarios, but in the general case you can use them to create a shortcut to a specific Control Panel applet or a Windows feature.  For example, the following command will open the "Network Connections" folder:

shell:::{7007ACC7-3202-11D1-AAD2-00805FC1270E}

Note: Press Win+R keys on your keyboard, copy the command above and paste it in the "Run" dialog.

The following command will open Control panel always in "Category" view:

shell:::{26EE0668-A00A-44D7-9371-BEB064C98683}

And the following command will open Control Panel in icon-view, either small or large, that was set by the user the last time he opened it.

shell:::{5399E694-6CE5-4D6C-8FCE-1D8870FDCBA0}

There are lots of interesting things there. You may already know the famous so called God Mode/All Tasks shell location. Another interesting one that I have found is the "Command Folder" that represents Explorer ribbon/toolbar commands:

shell:::{437ff9c0-a07f-4fa0-af80-84b6c6440a16}

The result looks as follows:

Today I would like to share with you the most comprehensive list of shell locations I have discovered in Windows 8.

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How to properly restart the Explorer shell in Windows

Windows provides several secret ways to exit the Explorer shell. They can be useful when you make registry changes that affect Explorer or for shell developers when testing shell extensions. In case you didn't know them, today I am going to share them with you.

Why you may want to restart Explorer

There are several reasons when you may want to exit the Explorer shell and start it again, such as:

  1. You are trying to uninstall some software with shell extensions, e.g. WinRAR. If you leave Explorer, all shell extensions will be unloaded from the shell and will be cleanly deleted by the uninstaller. All files that are locked for use by the Explorer.exe process will be released.
  2. If you applied some tweak which requires you to log off and log in back, in most cases, it is enough to only restart the shell.

Let's see how this can be done.

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