• Internet Explorer tricks were tested on IE6, and may not work with later versions. You're better off with a non-M$ browser like Firefox.
• Windows Media Player tricks were tested with versions 8, 9, 10, and 11.
• Make disk images, restore points, and backups of files and registry keys to repair your system if you fuck things up.

  • Fax Service: Can't send faxes  
If you can't send faxes, the app doesn't even try to dial the numer on your modem, and the fax monitor never loads, make sure you have a location selected in the Phone and Modem Options control panel. Don't leave it blank.

XPs built-in fax app is not installed by default.

Install it from the windows components screen in the add/remove programs control panel:


  •Internet Explorer: Can't download .exe files  
If clicking an exe link doesn't work or pops a blank page, 0pen regedit and delete:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Plugins\Extension\.exe


  • Internet Explorer: Change text in IE title bar  
1) Open regedit and go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
2) Change Window Title

If Window Title is not there, just make it (choose string)

Leave it blank for no title, just the web page name.


  • Internet Explorer: Change the search bar search engine (to google etc.)  
1) Right-click and select "Save Target As..."
2) Merge google.reg into your registry.

Now you'll have Google in the search bar if you display it from within IE and if you hit 'on the internet' in the start menu search menu.

You can use google.reg as a template to use other search engines

Trick: copy the input boxes from all your favorite search engines, online dictionaries etc. into an HTML file and put it in your search bar


  • Internet Explorer: Delete links folder from favorites  
If you delete the 'links' folder in 'favorites' it keeps coming back.

To stop it from coming back:

1) Open regedit and go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\ Internet Explorer\Toolbar
2) Rename LinksFolderName to LinksFolderName_OFF
3) Make a new string called LinksFolderName and set the value to |

If you enter "|" as value in LinksFolderName you'll get a tiny little 'empty' toolbar in windows opened from a javascript.

Make sure the value contains a | or > or / or another character not allowed in a folder name, or else IE will create a new folder with the name you entered in the LinksFolderName string.

Do not leave the value for LinksFolderName blank, because then IE will use the favorites folder as toolbar in windows opened by javascript.


  • Internet Explorer: Get rid of IE autocomplete reminder  
1) Open regedit and go to:

HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel

If the key is missing, make it yourself

2) Set FormSuggest to 1

FormSuggest is missing, just make it yourself (choose DWORD)

  • Internet Explorer: Menu bar on top of address bar  
In IE7 and IE8 the address bar sits on top of the other bars. If you want the menu bar on top:

1) Open regedit and go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser
2) (if the WebBrowser key is not there, just make it: right-click, select "new," then select "key")
3) Make a new DWORD called ITBar7Position and set to 1


  • Internet Explorer: More simultaneous downloads  
The default number of max. simultaneous downloads is 4 downloads on a http 1.0 server, 2 on a http 1.1 server.

To increase the max # of simultaneous downloads:

1) Open regedit and go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings
2) Make a new DWORD called MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server and set to 0000000a
3) Make a new DWORD called MaxConnectionsPerServer and set to 0000000a

This sets the max # of downloads to 10. If you want more, enter the desired number in hexadecimal format.


  • Internet Explorer: New IE windows always maximised  
1) Open regedit and go to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
2) Set fullscreen to no or yes

If IE ignores this setting:

1) Open IE from your startmenu, make the window cover the full screen by dragging the edges, then close it from the file menu.
2) Open IE by double-clicking an HTML file (or right-click and open with IE), make full screen by dragging the edges, and close from the file menu.


  •Internet Explorer: Reinstall IE  
To reinstall IE, or (re)download it from the M$ update site:

1) Open regedit and go to:
  HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{89820200-ECBD-11cf-8B85-00AA005B4383}
2) Set IsInstalled to 0


  • Internet Explorer: Remove search box  
You can remove the search box with the Group Policy Editor:
User Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Internet Explorer->Prevent Internet Explorer Search box from displaying

You can also remove it by editing the registry:

1) Open regedit and go to:
  HKLM\SOFTWARE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\InfoDelivery\Restrictions
2) Edit (or create) a DWORD called NoSearchBox and set the value to 1


  • Internet Explorer: Remove tabs and favorites bar  
You can remove the bar with the favorites button, but this will also remove tabbed browsing.

1) Open regedit and go to:
  HKCU\SOFTWARE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Active Setup\Internet Explorer\Toolbars\Restrictions
2) Make a Dword called NoCommandBar and set the value to 1

  • Internet Explorer: Remove throbber  
The throbber is the annoying animated logo in the top right corner.

1) Open regedit and back up HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser
2) Merge the "IE Throbber Off" reg file from into the registry

If removing the throbber fucks up your IE toolbar layout, set things back to normal from the "view" menu.


  • Internet Explorer: Reset content advisor password  
1) Open regedit and go to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\Ratings
2) Delete Key

  • MS Office XP (and other versions): Turn off the type a question for help box  
Right-click the menu bar or toolbar, select Customise, right-click the 'Type a question for help' box, turn off the Show Ask a Question box option, click Close.
You'll have to do this in each Office application to get rid of them all.

  • MSN Messenger: Remove ads, allow multi-user login and other tricks  
Go to, click MSN Messenger, and download one of the many patches, add-ons etc.
Messenger Plus contains spyware, so use one of the other programs. Despite the religious propaganda on its website, A-Patch is one of the best programs to tame MSN Messenger.

  • MSN Messenger: Stop Hotmail from opening MSN Messenger  
Open regedit and delete:


  • Notepad: Encoding glitch  
Right-click your desktop, create a new text file, open it, and copy/paste:

bush hid the facts

Close the file, click "yes" when asked to save, and reopen it.

The text has mysteriously changed to a line of squares.

Other lines censored by M$:

jane has big boobs
kill all the irish
this app can break


  • Notepad: Remember settings  
Remember page setup:

1) Open regedit and go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Notepad
2) Edit (or create) a DWORD called fSavePageSettings and set to 1

Remember window size & position:

1) Open regedit and go to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Notepad
2) Edit (or create) a DWORD called fSaveWindowPositions and set to 1

  • Windows Defender: Fix broken install/uninstall/repair function

  • Windows Media Player: Install  
If Windows Media Player (or any other program) spits out did not pass logo testing errors and refuses to install:

1) Delete the contents of the folder \windows\system32\catroot2
      DO NOT DELETE the catroot folder, only delete catroot2
2) Reboot
3) Run the installer again.

  • Windows Media Player: Monitor folders  
"Monitor Folders" is an annoying 'feature' which slows down WiMP.
If WiMP tries to extract data from a corrupt media file to build its media library, it will crash.
Switch it off by clearing the 'monitor folders' box in the options menu:


  • Windows Media Player: Open in "now playing"  
To make Windows Media Player open in "now playing" open the properties of the shortcut and add:

/prefetch:1 /Task NowPlaying

to the command.

For example, my shortcut reads:

"C:\Program Files\Windows Media player\wmplayer.exe" /prefetch:1 /Task NowPlaying

Make sure there are spaces before the two backslashes and after the word Task.  

  • Windows Media Player: Remove right-click menu entries for media files  
WiMP 10 & 11 add a bunch of annoying extra entries to the right-click menu of media files: "Add to ..." and others.
Remove them with ShellExView:

  • Windows Media Player: Stop it from asking to update  
1) Open regedit and go to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\PlayerUpgrade
2) Edit (or create, if it's not there) the string called AskMeAgain and set to No (Disabled) or Yes (Enabled)

  • Windows Picture and Fax Viewer: Multiple instances of Windows Picture and Fax Viewer  
If you open a picture in Windows Picture and Fax Viewer and then you open another, it will replace the original program window.

To open multiple Windows Picture and Fax Viewer windows:

1) Open a picture
2) Click the "Start Slide Show" button or hit F11
3) Move your mouse to the top right corner and click the "Pause" button
4) Hit Alt-Tab to open the folder that holds your pictures
5) Open another picture

Repeat the paused slide show/alt-tab trick to open a third, fourth etc. window.

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