10 Best Registry Hacks for Windows

If you are bored with the current look of your Windows 10 or want to stop/remove some unused applications from the system, or if you need to customize some hidden and hard to find settings of Windows 10, then the best way to do that is by Windows Registry. 

Windows Registry is the only one that holds power to perform all those tasks and much more. It contains a lot of useful settings that you cannot find anywhere. You can perform many functions using it, which might be very difficult or impossible to execute normally.

There are a lot of Registry customizations that we can perform. Let us list out the 10 best hacks out of them.

It is worth mentioning that the Registry edits could cause system failure too if some system files are harmed. So it is recommended to perform a backup before tinkering the Registry.

Best Registry Hacks for Windows 10

  1. Add Apps to the Desktop Context Menu
  2. Convert Windows into Dark Mode
  3. Remove the OneDrive Button from the Windows Explorer
  4. Open Last Active Window in Taskbar
  5. Show Detailed information on Startup
  6. Turn Off the Lock Screen
  7. Disable Windows Startup Delay
  8. Increase Taskbar Transparency Level
  9. Show Seconds in the Taskbar Clock
  10. Completely Disable Action Center

All these customizations would be performed on the Registry Editor window. So to open the Registry Editor, press Windows Key + R to open Run Command Window and type regedit then hit Enter key.

Regedit

1. Add Apps to the Desktop Context Menu

Windows desktop context menu comes handy to launch an application quickly. However, there is no direct method to add any app to it, except using the third-party apps. So we would use Registry for that. To add your frequently used application to the desktop context menu, follow these steps:

– In Registry Editor navigate to:

Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell

– We would add Chrome to the context menu. Under shell right-click on the panel and choose New->Key. Name it Chrome.

Chrome Key

– Now within Chrome, create another Key and name it command.

Command Key Under Chrome Key

– Right-click on the default string of the command and modify it. Set Value data as chrome.exe.

Value given chrome.exe

– Close the Registry and check your desktop context menu for Chrome. 

Chrome in context Menu

– Click on it to verify

2. Convert Windows into Dark Mode

If you are bored with the light mode of your Windows, you can convert it into Dark Mode using Registry Editor.

– In the Registry editor go to:

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize

– Right-click on the right panel and select New->DWORD and name it AppsUseLightTheme. 

AppsUseLightTheme.

– Now you do not need to change the value or anything, just reboot your system, and you would see the dark theme enabled on your system.

3. Remove the OneDrive Button from the Windows Explorer

If you are not an active user of OneDrive or you do not use it at all, then you might need to remove it from the explorer. Using Registry, you can do it easily.

OneDrive Icon

– Go to the following path:

Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}

– On right side panel double-click on “System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree” and change its value to 0. It would remove the OneDrive icon immediately. You do not need to restart the device.

OneDrive Icon Removed

4. Open Last Active Window in Taskbar

When you open multiple windows of a single app in Windows 10, it bunches them all together in a single icon in the taskbar, and when you click to open it, thumbnails would be raised to provide you an option to choose which window to open. 

If you want, instead of the thumbnail, the last active window should open; you can do that using the Registry editor.

– In Registry Editor navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

– Here on right panel right-click on an empty space and create a new DWORD and name it ‘LastActiveClick.’

LastActiveClick

– Right-click on it and modify its Value Data to 1.

LastActiveClick Value data 1

5. Show Detailed information on Startup

If recently you felt that your PC is misbehaving and working slowly, then you need to know what is wrong happening. One way to do it is to set Windows 10 startup to ‘Verbose Mode.’ It provides you a detailed breakdown of the processes happening on your PC while it is being booted.

– Go to the following path in Registry Editor:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

– Right-click on the right panel and create new DWORD and assign it “VerboseStatus” name

VerboseStatus

– Again, right-click on this newly created DWORD and modify its value to 1.

VerboseStatus Data Value

6. Turn Off the Lock Screen

The Windows lock screen was originally designed for Windows 8 tablets. However, it continued on Windows 8 and Windows 10 PC too. Though the lock screen comes with beautiful pictures from Windows Spotlight, many people want that they should straightaway be allowed to enter password or PIN. So, to turn Off the lock screen follow these steps:

– On Registry Editor redirect to this path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\

– On the left panel, right-click on Windows and select New->Key and name it ‘Personalization.’

New Key in Windows

– Under Personalization right-click on the right panel, and create new DWORD (32-bit). Name the value “NoLockScreen.” Modify its ‘Value data’ from 0 to 1.

NoLockScreen

Restart the system, and you would notice that the lock screen is gone.

7. Disable Windows Startup Delay

You might not know this that Windows put a short delay on startup so that your startup application gets loaded, and when you are finally on the desktop, you do not have to face any lag. However, if you do not have many startup apps or if you have disabled your startup apps, then that delay is useless for you. Here is how you can disable it:

– On Registry Editor go to:

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

– On the right-side pane, right-click on the Explorer and select New->Key. Name this key ‘Serialize.’

Serialize

– Now right click on Serialize and create new DWORD. Name it “StartupDelayInMSec”

StartupDelayInMSec

– Make sure that the Value data of StartupDelayInMSec is 0.

StartupDelayInMSec value data 0

After a restart, you would notice that Windows startup is slightly boosted.

8. Increase Taskbar Transparency Level

Transparency of the taskbar differs with the different display screen type, like AMOLED and OLED display. However, by modifying the Registry, you can enable OLED transparency on any display.

– Navigate to the following key:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

 Under Advanced right-click and create a DWORD (32-bit) and name it “UseOLEDTaskbarTransparency.” Modify the Value data to 1 from 0.

UseOLEDTaskbarTransparency

– Now restart the file explorer or restart the device to see the changes in the taskbar.

  25 Tips to Master Windows 10 Taskbar

9. Show Seconds in the Taskbar Clock

Using Registry Editor, you can add the second to the taskbar clock for the more accurate time display.

– In Registry reach to the Advanced key by following this path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced

– Create a new DWORD (32-bit) under Advanced key and name it ShowSecondsInSystemClock. Give the Value data 1.

ShowSecondsInSystemClock

– You need to sign-out and then sign-in again to affect the changes.

10. Completely Disable Action Center

If you want to disable the Action Center altogether and ‘Notifications’ along with that, you can do that too by editing Registry.

– Navigate to the Explorer key on Registry:

HKCU\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Wndows\Explorer

– Create a DWORD (32-bit) and name it DisableNotificationCenter.

DisableNotificationCenter

– Restart the system and check whether Action Center is disabled or not.

Final Words

So these are the top 10 Registry hacks that you can perform on your Windows 10 system. All of these are self-tested on Windows 10 November 2019 version. You can try them all or the ones which you feel required.

Leave a Comment