10 Tips To Enhance Windows Usability

Here are some of my favorite tweaks in Windows, the list has manual methods & an archive of registry hacks  on all tweaks mentioned can be found at the end for download.

1. Restore Previous Folder Windows At Logon:

My Computer –> Tools –> View –> Check ‘Restore Previous Folder Windows At Logon’ option.

2. Use Check boxes To Select Multiple Items:

Selecting multiple files using the Ctrl+Left Click can be very troublesome at times, you can instead use the check box method to select multiple files:

My Computer –> Tools –> View –> Check ‘Use Check boxes To Select Items’

Multiple Select Hack Windows Explorer

Note: Registry hack for the same in the pack

3. Change Start Menu Power Button To Shut Down:

Control Panel –> System and Maintenance –> Power Options –> Choose What Power Buttons Do (left sidebar) –> Change as per wish

Change power Button behavior WIndows Vista

Note: Registry hack for the same in the pack

4. Add Copy/Move To Option In Right Click Menu:

To make copying & moving of files a lot easier rather than having to select, cut/copy, use this trick to open the explorer browser to directly move or copy files to a location.

Note: Registry hack for the same in the pack

5. Remove “Delete” Option For Recycle Bin On Desktop:

I prefer not to have the delete option for recycle bin on the desktop, use the registry trick to obtain the same.

Advanced Recycle bin Wndows VIsta

Note: Registry hack for the same in the pack

6. Disable Balloon Tips:

  • Start -> Run –> Regedit.exe –> Navigate to

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ Advanced

  • Right Click on empty space –> New –> DWORD, name it  EnableBalloonTips
  • Double-click EnableBalloonTips, and then assign a value data of 0

7. Flip 3D & Show Desktop Missing From Quick Launch:

  • For Show Desktop Shortcut:

Create a text file with the following:


Save it as “Show Desktop.scf” in:

C:\Documents and Settings\<YOURNAME>\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

  • For Flip 3D
  1. Navigate to C:\Users\Leo\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
  2. Create New Shortcut
  3. Enter location as: %WinDir%\System32\rundll32.exe dwmapi #105
  4. Name it ‘Switch between windows’


Simply copy the Window Switcher file in the zip package to C:\Users\Leo\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

8. Take ownership Of Folders:

A script that will add the ”Take Ownership’ option in the right click menu. Screen-shot:

Note: Registry hack for the same in the pack

9. Disable Autorun For Drives:

Control Panel –> Hardware and Sound –> AutoPlay

You can customize the behavior or uncheck the ‘Use Autoplay for…’ to completely disable it.

Note: Registry hack for the same in the pack

10. Add Effects To Thumbnails In A Folder:

  • Start –> Run –> Regedit –>
  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT –> SystemFileAssociations -> image
  • Change values for Treatment as per choice:

0 – No Effect

1 – Drop Shadow

2 – Photo Border

3 – Video Frame


A small bonus :P

11. Reclaim Disk Space After Installing Vista SP 1:

Start –> Run –>  vsp1cln.exe

You can also refer to this article regarding UAC tips.