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Part VI: Appendixes > Meet RegEdit

C.1. Meet RegEdit

Windows XP comes with a built-in program for editing Registry entries, a little something called (what else?) the Registry Editor. (There are dozens of other Registry-editing, Registry-fixing, and Registry-maintenance programs, too—both commercial and shareware—but this one is already on your PC.)

TweakU, TweakU Very Much

If you cruise online looking for neat RegEdit hacks, you'll find an awful lot of them that duplicate the functions of the free Microsoft tool TweakUI (which you can download from, for example, the "Missing CD" page at www.missingmanuals com).

For example, TweakUI lets you add folders of your own choosing to the Places sidebar in the Open and Save dialog boxes; log on to your account automatically at startup; turn off the "Unread Mail" counter on the Welcome screen; hide the icons of control panels you never use; hide drive icons in My Computer, for security purposes; change the locations of important folders like CD Burning, Desktop, Programs, and My Pictures; hide drive letters RegEditon disk icons; make My Computer, rather than My Documents, appear at the top of the desktop; prevent certain programs' names from appearing in the Frequently Used Programs section of the Start menu; change or eliminate the little "badge" that appears on a file shortcut's icon; change the colors that identify compressed or encrypted files; and much more.

Using TweakUI is pretty straightforward. Hunt around its options (listed, in Windows Explorer style, in a list at left) until you see something that looks promising—and then just use the buttons and sliders as necessary.

Happy tweaking!



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