The ultimate 'God Mode' list: 39 secret Windows 7 shortcuts

The ultimate 'God Mode' list: 39 secret Windows 7 shortcuts

Summary: For some reason that only the gods of the blogosphere can explain, an old Windows trick took on new life this week. Even Steven Sinofsky got into the act, sending along his own list of secret 'God mode' shortcuts to CNET's Ina Fried. But that's not all. In the outtakes for my most recent book, I found an even longer list of GUIDs that lead to secret Windows shortcuts. Enjoy.

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Special Report: Windows 7

For some reason that only the gods of the blogosphere can explain, an old Windows trick took on new life this week. If you create a new folder using an arbitrary name, followed by a period and the GUID {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}, you end up with a categorized list of Control Panel tasks. As I explained last weekend, there's nothing new or hidden in this list, but calling it "God mode" seems to have given this tip wings. Even Steven Sinofsky got into the act, sending a list of 15 additional GUID-based shortcuts to my colleague Ina Fried at CNET.

So, that must be it, right? If Sinofsky has spoken then surely there can't be any more.

Ha. I had compiled a list of these shortcuts for use in Windows 7 Inside Out but cut this section for space reasons. (It is slated to appear in the Deluxe edition, due next year.) I found that list the other day and just finished testing all of these shortcuts on a pair of clean Windows 7 installations. Here, then, is my Ultimate List of 'God Mode' shortcuts for Windows 7.

As with the other shortcuts, the process of turning one of these GUIDs into a shortcut that opens a shell folder or Control Panel item is straightforward. Start by right-clicking any empty space on the desktop or in a folder. Right-click and choose New, Folder. Type the name you want to appear under the shortcut, followed by a period and then the GUID shown in the list here, complete with curly braces on either end. Press enter and voila, you're done.

I've divided the list into two groups:

Sorry, XP users, you're out of luck.

Update: For those who are wondering how to make use of these shortcuts, here's one trick I use. Create a shortcut in your Documents folder or on the Desktop. Call it something distinctive, like My Custom Control Panel. Now create a handful of GUID-based folders in here for the Control Panel shortcuts and shell folders you use most often. When you open that folder, you'll see only the items you want, with no additional clutter. Unlike standard shortcuts, there's no little arrow on the icon, and the Address bar always allows you to go right back to your custom folder. If you drag that icon onto the Start menu or onto the Taskbar's icon, you can pin it for quicker access.

'God mode' shortcuts for Windows 7 only -->

<-- Previous page

Windows 7 and later only

[For details on how these shortcuts work, see the introduction.]

[Also note that some users have reported problems when using some of these shortcuts, especially on systems running Windows Vista 64-bit. Please don't try these shortcuts on any mission critical system!]

Action Center {BB64F8A7-BEE7-4E1A-AB8D-7D8273F7FDB6}

Backup and Restore {B98A2BEA-7D42-4558-8BD1-832F41BAC6FD}

Biometric Devices {0142e4d0-fb7a-11dc-ba4a-000ffe7ab428}

Credential Manager {1206F5F1-0569-412C-8FEC-3204630DFB70}

Default Location {00C6D95F-329C-409a-81D7-C46C66EA7F33}

Devices and Printers {A8A91A66-3A7D-4424-8D24-04E180695C7A}

Display {C555438B-3C23-4769-A71F-B6D3D9B6053A}

HomeGroup {67CA7650-96E6-4FDD-BB43-A8E774F73A57}

Location and Other Sensors {E9950154-C418-419e-A90A-20C5287AE24B}

Notification Area Icons {05d7b0f4-2121-4eff-bf6b-ed3f69b894d9}

Recovery {9FE63AFD-59CF-4419-9775-ABCC3849F861}

RemoteApp and Desktop Connections {241D7C96-F8BF-4F85-B01F-E2B043341A4B}

Speech Recognition {58E3C745-D971-4081-9034-86E34B30836A}

Troubleshooting {C58C4893-3BE0-4B45-ABB5-A63E4B8C8651}

'God mode' shortcuts for Windows Vista or later -->

<-- Previous page

Windows Vista and later

[For details on how these shortcuts work, see the introduction.]

[Also note that some users have reported problems when using some of these shortcuts, especially on systems running Windows Vista 64-bit. Please don't try these shortcuts on any mission critical system!]

Administrative Tools {D20EA4E1-3957-11d2-A40B-0C5020524153}

All .NET Frameworks and COM Libraries {1D2680C9-0E2A-469d-B787-065558BC7D43}

All Tasks (Control Panel) {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

AutoPlay {9C60DE1E-E5FC-40f4-A487-460851A8D915}

BitLocker Drive Encryption (Ultimate edition only) {D9EF8727-CAC2-4e60-809E-86F80A666C91}

Computer Folder {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

Default Programs {17cd9488-1228-4b2f-88ce-4298e93e0966}

Ease of Access Center {D555645E-D4F8-4c29-A827-D93C859C4F2A}

Font Settings {93412589-74D4-4E4E-AD0E-E0CB621440FD}

Get Programs {15eae92e-f17a-4431-9f28-805e482dafd4}

Manage Wireless Networks {1FA9085F-25A2-489B-85D4-86326EEDCD87}

Network and Sharing Center {8E908FC9-BECC-40f6-915B-F4CA0E70D03D}

Network Connections {7007ACC7-3202-11D1-AAD2-00805FC1270E}

Network Folder {208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}

Parental Controls {96AE8D84-A250-4520-95A5-A47A7E3C548B}

Performance Information and Tools {78F3955E-3B90-4184-BD14-5397C15F1EFC}

Personalization {ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921}

Power Options {025A5937-A6BE-4686-A844-36FE4BEC8B6D}

Programs and Features {7b81be6a-ce2b-4676-a29e-eb907a5126c5}

Sync Center {9C73F5E5-7AE7-4E32-A8E8-8D23B85255BF}

System {BB06C0E4-D293-4f75-8A90-CB05B6477EEE}

User Accounts {60632754-c523-4b62-b45c-4172da012619}

Windows Firewall {4026492F-2F69-46B8-B9BF-5654FC07E423}

Windows SideShow (Warning, caused my system to slow down briefly) {E95A4861-D57A-4be1-AD0F-35267E261739}

Windows Update {36eef7db-88ad-4e81-ad49-0e313f0c35f8}

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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95 comments
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  • Like Godmode, this is still kind of

    pointless. Most, if not all of these GUID's are already easily accessible in the Control Panel in one form or another. There are couple neat little settings you can do in the GodMode Panel, but still nothing that is really crazy neat. Like in GodMode it may remove a couple of steps to get to the control you want to activate.
    Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
    • Yes, I agree

      It does offer the ability to create a custom Control Panel in its own namespace, which is cool for geeks. If you did it with shortcuts it wouldn't be as neat. I updated the post to give an example...

      Frankly, I was surprised that the original tip (which actually was a couple years old) took on such life. But since people seem to want this stuff, I thought it was worth publishing a complete list.
      Ed Bott
    • I'd be on board if...

      ... there was some little hack or GodMode utility for changing the animated boot sequence during boot. Or the actual login window UI. Would love to customize my PC a little bit more.
      WarhavenSC
      • RE: The ultimate 'God Mode' list: 39 secret Windows 7 shortcuts

        @WarhavenSC There is, its called tuneup utilities, look reviews etc up if you want, plenty of personalization, everything you asked for, also you can prioritize program to load too, for example google chrome on mine loads fastest so that i can go straight on the internet as soon as the screen comes up.
        phil256
  • I think the reason it took on such a life

    is because it demonstrated that there are undocumented tricks in Windows, never mind what they do exactly. And that fact opens the door for all sorts of possible FUD (backdoors, secret admin access, etc.).
    Michael Kelly
    • Except this is documented

      It's been on MSDN for years. Shell folders use GUIDs. That's a documented fact, indeed a part of the architecture of the file system. How does that make it possible to have secret backdoors?
      Ed Bott
      • It doesn't for all I know.

        He preceded his statement with "FUD".
        People
        • Indeed

          Subtlety is apparently overrated.
          tim.hobbes
          • Ahem...

            From the original comment: "it demonstrated that there are undocumented tricks in Windows"

            My response: It is fully documented.

            You need to work on your snark, buddy.
            Ed Bott
      • Well then perhaps that is part of the FUD

        because it is certainly being reported as if it was undocumented. Or at least that is the impression that it has left on some people.
        Michael Kelly
        • Yes, I know

          " it is certainly being reported as if it was undocumented"

          You are being charitable with the word "reported." ;)

          The technical press gets things wrong about 80-90% of the time. The echo chamber effect guarantees it.

          I write about it often...
          Ed Bott
        • The media knows full well...

          ...how certain people will react to sensationalistic headlines, especially involving Microsoft (witness D. T. Schmitz's conspiracy-minded post below). Who would be interested in the article if the headline were "Little-Known Windows 7 Shortcut Tips for Developers"?

          Carl Rapson
          rapson
  • RE: The ultimate 'God Mode' list: 39 secret Windows 7 shortcuts

    It's been well documented for years, and it's nothing
    new, nothing special. But, there is a new generation
    of PC users that haven't used this before, and they
    haven't heard of this trick before. It makes it's
    rounds every couple of years, when a new OS is
    released. And people feed on it for a while. I say we
    spread the word, help these people out.

    It doesn't open any backdoors or anything. All the
    options are already there in the Control Panel. This
    is just a shortcut to those options, and a better
    organized, one-click, shortcut at that.
    DustinHarper
    • Makes Sense

      I agree with everything mentioned about this article.The thing is, I love Win 7, but I am no computer geek for anything Linux as mentioned by another person on this blog.

      Windows 7 Rules !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      marykmac07
  • One can also access many of these another way.

    Simply by setting the Control Panel on the Start Menu to "Display as a menu" in "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties|Customize Start Menu".

    This has worked for DECADES.
    IT_Guy_z
  • Now back to talk about new stuff

    "What did you think of the Windows Mobile 7 sneak preview that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer slipped into his CES keynote?"

    Oh, wait. That didn't happen.
    tim.hobbes
    • World Mobile Congress next month

      I'm told that WM7 will be publicly unveiled in Barcelona.
      Ed Bott
      • Awesome

        That will be great! Thanks for the update.

        Hope you have enough shortcuts until then.
        tim.hobbes
  • RE: The ultimate 'God Mode' list: 39 secret Windows 7 shortcuts

    This can make you look really cool on service calls. Just copy the folder full these things onto a USB stick, then copy it out to the machine you're servicing, and suddenly you're even more awesome than usual.
    BigGoodWolf
    • Perhaps for those that need parlor tricks...

      however it is cool to show admins who are testing Win 7 for deployment. Not sure why an end user would be impressed or even care. Unless you called it GodMode, which to me sounds stupid anyway.
      LiquidLearner