Windows Registry Hacks/Visual enhancement tweaks

This section deals with registry hacks which enhance the experience of using Windows.


Custom encrypted and compressed folder colorEdit

Description: Windows displays encrypted and compressed folders in green and blue color respectively.

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
Setting Value Type
Compressed folders AltColor REG_BINARY
Encrypted folders AltEncryptionColor REG_BINARY


The format for colors is

 0xRR 0xGG 0xBB 0x00
Sample Registry key to change encrypted folders to red.
Key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
Value Name REG_BINARY
Data Type AltEncryptionColor
Data 0xFF 0x00 0x00 0x00


Custom hot tracking colorEdit

Description: If single click navigation is enabled then on hovering folders, they are shown in a blue color by default. Format for colors is

 RRR GGG BBB 
Sample Registry to change hot-tracking color to purple.
Key HKCU\Control Panel\Colors
Value Name HotTrackingColor
Data Type REG_SZ
Data 128 128 0

Smooth scrollingEdit

Description: Smooth scrolling changes the way windows scrolling works.Turning it ON may consume resources.

Key HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop
Value Name SmoothScroll
Data Type REG_DWORD
Data 0 OR 1

Reorganizing control panelEdit

Description: The default category view in Windows Xp categorizes certain control panel icons in one category. This categorization can be controlled by adding a REG_DWORD value to the required category ID.

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Extended Properties\
{305CA226-D286-468e-B848-2B2E8E697B74} 2


Sample registry to move time-date control panel (timedate.cpl) to appearance and themes category
Key HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\Extended Properties\
{305CA226-D286-468e-B848-2B2E8E697B74} 2
Value Name %SystemRoot%\system32\timedate.cpl
Data Type REG_DWORD
Data 0x00000001


0x00000000 Other options (any tool which doesn't provide category is placed here)
0x00000001 Appearance and Themes
0x00000002 Printers and Other Hardware
0x00000003 Network and Internet Connections
0x00000004 Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices
0x00000005 Performance and Maintenance
0x00000006 Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options
0x00000007 Accessibility Options
0xFFFFFFFF No category. Such tools are started directly e.g. Add/Remove programs