XP registry hacks

Posted by Shashank Krishna Sunday, January 11, 2009


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Warning: Backup the registry or you may be sorry! If you hose your machine it's on you. Keep track of where you were in the registry. When editing an item, go up to the Favorites option and add where you are to your favorites!

I try to keep this section as small as possible as I feel the average user is better off using a GUI to manage registry changes. If you want to see more registry hacks see the Creating Your Own Registry Files section later in this guide.

These tweaks assume you are using NTFS (if you aren't, you should be). I also highly recommend 512mb of ram.

Those who know how can pick the tweaks you desire, save them (copy and paste) as a .reg file and import into the registry. If you don't know how to do that you can download the following files. You can use the file as is or edit it to fit your needs. To edit the file, right click and open with notepad. To launch the file simply double-click on it. (Please do not link directly to these files.)

Action: Set CPU Priority Levels 3 & 4 only

Purpose: Performance

More Info * I do not use this tweak.

This setting gives a boost to priority of foreground applications. In very overly-simplified terms, what you see on the screen gets more attention from the CPU than what you can't.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PriorityControl]
"Win32PrioritySeparation"=dword:00000026

Download priority_sep.reg

Action: These allow you to end tasks faster, shut down faster and speed up the menu display. *All Levels
Purpose: Performance, responsiveness

More Info: ForegroundLockTimeout, HungAppTimeout, MenuShowDelay, WaitToKillAppTimeout, WaitToKillServiceTimeout

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"ForegroundLockTimeout"=dword:00000000
"HungAppTimeout"="4000"
"MenuShowDelay"="200"
"WaitToKillAppTimeout"="5000"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control]
"WaitToKillServiceTimeout"="5000"

Download app_menu_speed.reg

*note - I have changed the "MenuShowDelay" from 0 to 200. 0 was simply too fast for some people (my wife gave me some grief about it too ). You can edit this as you see fit. The default is 400.

These next 2 tweaks I consider to be optional. One could argue about whether or not they actually have any speed advantage and you may or may not like the result. I strongly recommend you do these two entries manually so that you can easily undo them if you do not like them but you can also copy and paste them into the .reg file.


Action: Disable User Tracking Levels 3 & 4 only
Purpose: Free system resources.

More Info

"A value of 1 prevents the system from tracking the programs users run, the paths they navigate, and the documents they open. The system uses this information to customize Windows features. As a result, the system disables customized menus and other features that require user tracking information." (from this page)

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
"NoInstrumentation"=dword:00000001

Download user_track.reg

Action: Make Google Your Default Search Tool. (in IE) From Google.

Purpose: User preference

More Info

Download Google.reg

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Shashank Krishna
Bangalore, up, India
nothin much to say.........doin B.tech in IIIT allahabad loves bloggingn hacking.... :) and loooves blogging
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