While there are several freeware Windows Tweaking Utilities , like the freeware portable Ultimate Windows Tweaker , available, there are some who just love to tinker with the Registry. This article is for those such. Most ot these tweaks are applicabe to Windows 7 too.
Type regedit in Vista’s start menu search box and hit enter to open the registry editor.
Navigate to the following key:
Here you will see a lot of DWORD valuenames.
To customize your start menu options, you have to modify the DWORD value data and set it to either 0 or 1. To modify the value data, you rt click on the name and select modify. Then in the value data box, you set its numeric value.
Setting the value of respective DWORD to 1, means that it will have the effect as described in the Value Name.
Setting the value of respective DWORD to 0, means that it will have the OPPOSITE effect as described in the Value Name.
If the DWORD ValueNames do not exist, you will have to create them. To create them, rt click in any blank space in RHS Panel > New >Dword value.
The following are some of the recognized DWORD ValueNames.
NoTrayItemsDisplay : Hides the Task Bar notification area
NoToolbarsOnTaskbar : Do not display any custom toolbars in the taskbar
QuickLaunchEnabled : Enable QuickLaunch bar display in the TaskBar
NoSimpleStartMenu : Disabling it will force the Classic Start Menu
NoStartMenuPinnedList : Remove Pinned Programs list from the Start Menu
NoStartMenuMorePrograms : Remove “All Programs” list from the Start menu
NoStartMenuMyGanes : Remove Games from Start Menu
NoStartMenuMyMusic : Remove Music from Start Menu
NoStartMenuNetworkPlaces : Remove Network from Start Menu
NoTaskGrouping : Prevent grouping of Task Bar items
HideClock : Hides from the Task Bar notification area
NoSMBalloonTip : Remove Balloon Tips on Start Menu items
NoAutoTrayNotify : Turn off Task Bar area cleanup notification
LockTaskbar : Lock the Taskbar and prevents the User from moving or resizing it
NoSearchCommInStartMenu : If enabled Start Menu search will not search for Communications.
NoSearchProgramsInStartMenu : If enabled Start Menu search will not search for Programs.
NoSearchInternetInStartMenu : If enabled Start Menu search will not search for Internet History
NoSearchFilesInStartMenu : If enabled Start Menu search will not search for Files
This list is not exhaustive. You can simply study the registry key’s DWORD’s, illustrated above and see that there would be many more such tweaks or hacks available. The ValueNames are roughly indicative of what they would do.
Take the example of NoRun. Its value is set at 0. If you open Taskbar & Start Menu Properties > Star Menu Tab > Start Menu > Customize. You will see a checkbox to Add Run command to the Start Menu. But if you now go back to regedit, and change the DWORD of NoRun to 1, and now go back to the Start Menu properties box, you will see that the item to Add Run itself will be missing ! So, enabling or disabling such options through Vista Registry, will allow or prohibits users, from executing such actions through the Properties box.
Incidentally, there used to be a Registry Restriction Tool from Microsoft, which went on to become a part of the Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit which went on to become Windows SteadyState. You may find SteadyState of interest.
If you are interested in such Registry Hacks you may find this Registry Guide for Windows of immense interest. It provides an extensive range of registry tweaks, tricks & hacks for optimizing, enhancing and securing the Windows® operating systems including Vista.