Windows XP Expolorer Tweaks

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This is a collection of registry tweaks for Explorer under Windows XP. They may or may not work under other versions of Windows.

Most of the time when I get onto a XP host the defaults settings of Explorer drive me nuts. Microsoft is trying to protect the common user but I feel like I'm handed crutches.

Registry Tweaks

Disable hidding of known file extensions

One of the worst offenders for me is hidding of known file extensions. So this is one of the first things I do get rid off. Setting the value after /d to 0 will do the trick. To re-enable it set to 1

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced /v HideFileExt /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Show hidden files and folders

Being able to see all the files on the FS is important when digging deep into the underbelly of windows. For example looking for huge files eating up disk space. Setting the value to 1 will show hidden files and folders. Setting it back requires the value of 2

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced /v Hidden /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Show system folder contents

Another barrier that needs to go away. Set to 1 to enable and 0 to disable.

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced /v WebViewBarricade /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Disable hide system files

This will show files like boot.ini. Files that are required for the boot process. Use with extreme care! Set to 1 to show such files in Explorer and to 0 to hide them.

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced /v ShowSuperHidden /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Disable save view option for each folder

Basically do the classic behaviour. Set to 1 to disable and to 0 to enable.

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced /v ClassicViewState /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Show encrypted or compressed files in differnt color

This is will show folders and files in a different color when NTFS' encryption or compression feature is used. Set to 1 to enable or to 0 to disable.

reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced /v ShowCompColor /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

References