10 Windows 7 power tweaks by ammarrosyad

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									10 Windows 7 power tweaks
                                                                                                                                August 13, 2010




Table of contents
Disable Snap in Windows 7 ...................................................................................................................... 2
Add Internet Search to the Windows 7 Start menu ................................................................................ 3
Change the launch directory to show all drives in Windows Explorer .................................................... 3
Reveal hidden system files in Windows Explorer .................................................................................... 5
Restore the Quick Launch Bar in Windows 7 ........................................................................................... 6
Move and Copy files the old tried-and-true way in Windows 7 .............................................................. 8
Get the most out of Windows XP Mode with these tips ....................................................................... 10
Change and customize Windows 7's Logon screen wallpaper .............................................................. 13
Configure Windows 7 to run only specific applications ........................................................................ 16
Move the Recycle Bin to the Taskbar in Windows 7 ............................................................................. 18




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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Disable Snap in Windows 7
With the introduction of Snap in Windows 7, we now have a completely new way of managing open windows.
This feature allows you to arrange open windows, including maximizing and resizing, just by dragging and
dropping a window to different edges of the screen. When a window is dragged to the correct position, a ripple
effect will emanate from the cursor and you’ll see an animated outline of the window instantly appear in its new
position. As soon as you release the mouse button, the window will snap to that location.
For example, you can maximize a window by clicking and dragging its title bar to the top of the screen. To restore
a maximized window, just click and drag the title bar toward the middle of the screen. To position a window on
half of the screen, click and drag the title bar toward the left or right side of the screen. (The farther to the right
or left side of the title bar you click and drag, the quicker the snap occurs.) To stretch a window that is in the
middle of the screen so that it spans from the top to the bottom, click the bottom or top edge and drag toward
the bottom or top of the screen.
While many of us think that Snap is an awesome feature, many others find it annoying. Good news for those in
the latter category: I recently discovered that you can disable Snap.
Begin by clicking the Start button and typing Snap in the Start Search box. When you do, you’ll see a result titled
Turn Off Automatic Window Arrangement. When you select that result, you’ll see the Make The Mouse Easier To
Use panel in the Ease Of Access tool. Select the Prevent Windows From Being Automatically Arranged When
Moved To The Edge Of The Screen check box, as shown in Figure A. Click OK and that’s it. No more annoying
Snap.




Figure A




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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Add Internet Search to the Windows 7 Start menu
One of the features I like most about Microsoft Windows 7 is the ability to search for applications from the Start
Menu search box. Rather than navigate through a long list of menus, you can just type the name of the
application in the search box and immediately get a list matching what you are typing.
However, there is at least one thing missing from the search the Desktop technique—the ability to search the
Internet directly from your Desktop. But you can change that if you have a version of Windows 7 that
incorporates the Group Policy Editor. These versions support the Group Policy Editor:
        Professional
        Ultimate
        Enterprise

If you have Starter or Home Premium, you will not be able to take advantage of this tip.

The technique
Under the default settings, the Start Menu has no option to search the Internet. To add the option to search the
Internet, you have to run the Group Policy Editor. The easiest way to do that is by typing gpedit.msc into the
search box. Note: You may have to type the whole filename to see it in the search results.
When you get to the Local Policy Group Editor window, navigate to this folder:

User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Start Menu and Taskbar

Double-click the Add Search Internet Link To Start Menu entry to get to the proper configuration screen. On the
Add Search Internet Link To Start Menu configuration screen (Figure D), click the Enabled option and then click
Apply and OK.
Now, the next time you conduct a search from the Start Menu you will have the option of applying those search
terms to your default search engine in Internet Explorer.




Change the launch directory to show all drives in Windows
Explorer
One of the most obvious differences between Windows 7 and the previous versions of the operating system is
the concept of libraries. In Windows 7, files are stored in a library folder, which is essentially a folder that
references other available folders. The idea is that you don’t have to worry about the actual physical folder that
houses the file in question because it is referenced in your library—let the operating system worry about where it
actually sits.
However, there are times when you want to get to a file in its physical location. To help facilitate this, many
people find it useful to use Windows Explorer to follow the folder path to the file location. But by default in
Windows 7, the typical Windows Explorer shortcut starts in the Libraries folder and not in the highest directory
level possible. We can change that fairly easily.




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10 Windows 7 power tweaks


Change the default launch directory
To change the Windows Explorer default
directory, you must access the Properties
dialog box. You can get there a few ways. One
obvious way is to type windows explorer in the
Start Menu Search box. Or if you are like me
and have Windows Explorer pinned to the
Taskbar, you can right-click on the icon and
then right-click the Windows Explorer menu
item.
You should now be looking at the Windows
Explorer Properties dialog box (Figure A).
Notice the default target path (red arrow).
That target path is what we are going to
change.
To change the launch folder default in
Windows Explorer, modify the target path to
this:
%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e,::{20D04FE0-
3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
                                                                    Figure A
as shown in Figure B. Be sure to type it exactly
or it will not work. When you finish, click OK.
The code brings the launch directory all the
way up to the highest level. The next time you
load Windows Explorer from that particular
shortcut, it will launch in the highest directory
level.



Bottom line
Keep in mind that this change modifies only
that particular Windows Explorer shortcut. If
you were so inclined, you could copy the
Windows Explorer shortcut several times and
change the respective target folders to
whatever you wished.




                                                                    Figure B

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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Reveal hidden system files in Windows Explorer
A few days before posting this tip, I published a blog post
and photo gallery explaining how to add hidden
international desktop themes to Windows 7. While that
tip was not terribly difficult, some members didn't know
how to reveal hidden files and folders in Windows
Explorer. Here's a look at how that is done.
Note: I am using Windows 7 for this tip, but the procedure
is similar for Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Open Windows Explorer to any folder. For my example, I
am using the root directory of the C: drive. Click the
Organize menu entry and then click Folder And Search
Options (Figure A). This will bring up the Folder Options
dialog box (Figure B); click on the View tab.
Under the View tab, you will find a plethora of
configuration check boxes. My preference is to reveal all
hidden files and all system files. To accomplish this:

    Make sure the Show Hidden Files, Folders, And                               Figure A
    Drives check box is selected.
    Make sure the Hide Protected Operating
    System Files (Recommended) is unchecked.
    (Windows will admonish you that this is a bad
    idea, but that’s how I roll.)

I also like to uncheck the Hide Extensions for Known
File Types, because extensions help me determine
what I am looking at in Windows Explorer. Click
Apply to implement your changes.
If you want to apply these settings to all folders,
click the All Folders button. When you’re finished,
click the OK button.
One caveat: Folders, files, and drives are often
hidden for a good reason. You do not want to just
haphazardly copy, move, delete, or otherwise alter
these items. Be very careful.




                                                                      Figure B
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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Restore the Quick Launch Bar in Windows 7
I like Windows 7, and I like the
Windows 7 Taskbar interface.
However, judging by the
cacophony of voices in the
Windows blog, there is still a
great deal of affection for the
Windows XP Quick Launch Bar
interface. Now, don’t get me
wrong. I like the Quick Launch
Bar, too. I still use it on all the
Windows XP machines I
interact with—my workstation
where I am writing this, for        Figure A
example. But I also like the
Windows 7 Taskbar and find it
performs the same function as
the Quick Launch Bar, at least
as far as my computing habits
go. But a vocal minority feels
differently, so here is how to
get Quick Launch back.




                                          Figure B
Quick Launch Bar
resurrected
Figure A shows the Windows 7
desktop of one of my test
machines. Notice that there is
a Taskbar, but no Quick
Launch Bar. Right-click on an
empty part of the Taskbar to
get the context menu shown
in Figure B. Unlock the Taskbar
if it is locked and then navigate
to the Toolbars | New Toolbar
menu item.
The New Toolbar - Choose A
Folder dialog box, shown in
Figure C, will be the next
window you see.




                             Figure C
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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Click into the destination bar, type this location exactly, and hit the [Enter] key:

%appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch

You should now see a path similar to the one shown in Figure D. Click the Select Folder button to complete the
process.




            Figure D

Now your Windows 7 Desktop should have a Quick Launch Bar. However, it may need a little tweaking depending
on your tastes. For instance, I like icon-only Quick Launch bars, so I’d recommend right-clicking the Quick Launch
bar, turning off the Show Text and Show Title settings, and changing the icon size to large.

If you take a look at Figure E,
you can see that the Quick
Launch bar on this test
machine is automatically
populated with Quick Launch
icons for Internet Explorer,
Outlook 2010, Show Desktop,
and Switch Between Windows,
but you can drag-and-drop any
shortcut you want to your
newly rediscovered Quick
Launch Bar.




                                          Figure E


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10 Windows 7 power tweaks


Move and Copy files the old tried-and-true way in Windows 7
I’ve become quite enamored
of using Aero Snap and my
simulated dual-pane file
manager technique. But
when copying and moving
files and folders from one
location to another, there
are times when I reach back
and use one of the tried-and-
true techniques from
Windows days gone by. Of
course, I’m talking about the
good old Send To command
and the Copy To Folder and
Move To Folder commands.
I happened to mention these
old commands to a friend of
mine, and she looked at me
with a surprised expression
and exclaimed that she had
all but forgotten about those
commands. She then told me
that she always uses the
Copy/Cut and Paste
commands when it comes to
copying and moving files. I
                                   Figure A
asked around and discovered
that she isn’t the only one. So
I decided to put together a little
 refresher course.

Send To
To access the Send To command, simply right-click a file or a folder and select the Send To command from the
context menu, as shown in Figure A. When you do, the selected file or folder will be copied to whatever
destination you select.

As you can see, on this example system, there are five destinations on the Send To command’s menu:

        Compressed (zipped) Folder: Creates a compressed folder (a.k.a. a Zip file) and copies the selected files
        or folders to it all in one step.
        Desktop (create shortcut): Allows you to instantly create a shortcut on the desktop to a file or folder.
        Documents: Copies the selected file or folder to the Documents folder.
        Fax Recipient: Allows you to easily send the file as a fax via the Windows Fax and Scan tool.
        Mail Recipient: Allows you to easily attach a file to an e-mail message.

Depending on your system configuration, there may be other destinations on the Send To command’s menu. For
example, you might have a CD/DVD RW drive, a USB drive, or a mapped network drive on the Send To menu.
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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Fortunately, you can
configure the Send To
command to send files to
other destinations, such as a
specific folder, or even to an
executable file, such as
WordPad, simply by adding
shortcuts to those
destinations to the Send To
command’s folder. To do this,
you must use the Shell:
command because he Send
To command’s folder is
referenced by the operating
system as a Junction Point or
a Symbolic Link.
Click the Start button and
type shell:sendto in the Start
Search box. When you do,
you’ll see the results panel
and can press [Enter] or click
shell:sendto. Either way,
you’ll see the SendTo folder,      Figure B
like the one in Figure B. You
can then use the Create Shortcut Wizard to create
shortcuts to specific destinations or executable files.

Copy To Folder and Move To Folder
The Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands
are hidden away on the Edit menu in Windows
Explorer and Computer. Further masking their
existence is the fact that the Menu bar is hidden by
default in both Windows Explorer and Computer.
To access the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder
commands, you first have to make the Menu Bar
visible. The quick way to access the Menu Bar is to
press the [Alt] key.
If you want ready access to the Copy To Folder and
Move To Folder commands, you’ll probably prefer
having the Menu Bar visible all the time. Just click
the arrow next to the Organize icon on the toolbar,
open the Layout submenu, and select Menu Bar.                          Figure C
Now you can easily access and pull down the Edit
menu to reveal the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands, as shown in Figure C. (Keep in mind that the
Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands will be available only if you have a file or a folder selected. If you
don’t, the commands will be grayed out and unavailable.)
Using the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands is easy. For example, if you want to copy a file from one
location to another, you first select the file or files that you want to copy. Then you pull down the Edit menu and

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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

select the Copy To Folder
command. When you do,
you’ll see the Copy Items
dialog box, shown in Figure
D, which as you can see is a
standard Browse dialog box.
You can just navigate the
tree to select between
drives, folders, and even
network resources. If after
you select your destination,
you want to copy the files to
a brand-new folder, you can
click the Make New Folder
button and a new folder will
appear. Once you give the
folder a name, just click the
Copy button.




                                      Figure D




Get the most out of Windows XP Mode with these tips
Windows 7 has several built-in compatibility features that are designed to allow you to run most Windows XP
applications right from within Windows 7. But some older Windows XP applications won't run in Windows 7 even
with those features. For these types of applications, Microsoft designed Windows XP Mode for Windows 7.
Installing and using Windows XP Mode is a straightforward operation. If you have Windows 7 Professional,
Enterprise, or Ultimate and the CPU, and if your PC has the necessary built-in hardware-based virtualization
technology, all you have to do is download and install Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC.
Once you have Windows XP Mode up and running, you can install your XP applications in the Windows XP VM
(Virtual Machine) just like you normally would. You’ll then be able to launch your XP applications right from the
Windows 7 Start menu.
While using Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC is pretty simple, you can get more out of this winning
combination by following a few tips.

Working with Virtual applications
By default, applications installed in the Windows XP VM are auto-published to the Windows 7 host. This means
that your Windows XP applications appear on Windows 7’s Start menu. You can then launch your XP applications
without having to first load the Windows XP VM and then launch them from the virtual Windows XP’s Start
menu.

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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

For a Windows XP application to be auto-published to the Windows 7 host, it must be installed in the All Users
profile in the Windows XP VM. However, not all applications are installed there by default.
What if the application you want to run from within Windows 7 isn’t auto-published? Or what if an application is
auto-published and you really don’t want it to be available from within Windows 7? Fortunately, you can take
control of the auto-publishing.
If the XP application you want to run from
within Windows 7 isn’t auto-published, you
can force it to be so simply by creating a
shortcut to the application in the All Users
profile in the Windows XP VM. The
application will be then auto-published to
the Windows 7 host.
Access the Windows XP VM, right-click the
Start button, and select the Open All Users
command. When Windows Explorer
launches, open the Programs folder. Once
there, you can either drag and drop the
shortcut from Windows XP’s Start menu to
the Programs folder or you can launch the
Create Shortcut wizard.
If an application is auto-published and you
don’t want it to be available from within
Windows 7, you can exclude it by moving the
shortcut from the All Users profile to the
XPMUser profile. That way, it will still be
available in the Windows XP VM but not in
Windows 7.
For example, I installed my vintage copy of
Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8 in the Windows XP VM,
and it also showed up on the Windows 7
Start menu, as shown in Figure A. As you can
see, not only did Paint Shop Pro 8 show up in
Windows 7 Start menu, but so did Animation Figure A
Shop 3 and the Uninstall Paint Shop Pro 8
utility.
Since I really only want to be able to run Paint Shop Pro 8 from within Windows 7, I moved the shortcuts from the
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Jasc Sofware folder to the C:\Documents and
Settings\XPMUser\Start Menu\Programs folder, where I created a new Jasc Sofware folder, as shown in Figure B.

Accessing folders on the host
When you are working in the Windows XP VM, chances are that you’ll want to save your data in the Documents
folder on the Windows 7 host system. While the built-in Windows XP Mode Integration Features automatically
provide you with access to drive C on the host system, you still have to navigate through several layers to get to
the Documents folder.




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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Fortunately, with the help of
the old DOS Subst command,
you can assign the Documents
folder, or any folder on the
Windows 7 host system, to a
drive letter. When you do, that
drive letter will appear in the
Integration Features’ Drive list.
Any time you need to access
the Documents folder, you can
just access that drive letter.
For example, suppose that you
want to assign the My
Documents folder to drive
letter H. To do so, access a
Command Prompt in Windows
7 and type the command:
Subst H: “C:\Users\{your
name}\Documents”
where {your name} is your user
account name. Be sure to
enclose the path in double
quotes if {your name} is two
separate words with a space in             Figure B
between.
Once you add the drive letter
to your Windows 7 host, it will
automatically be picked up by
the Windows XP Mode
Integration Features, and
you’ll find the new drive in My
Computer in the Windows XP
VM, as shown in Figure C.

Back up your Windows
XP Mode VM
Even though you probably
aren’t storing any data in your
Windows XP Mode VM,
chances are that you’ve put
some time and effort into
setting it up and configuring it
to work the way that you want.
If so, you’ll definitely want to
back up your VM so that you
can easily reestablish it in the
event of a disaster.
                             Figure C

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10 Windows 7 power tweaks


You will need to back up the following files:

    Virtual Hard Disk/Differencing Disk file
    C:\Users\{your name}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines\Windows XP
    Mode.vhd
    Parent Disk file
    C:\Program Files\Windows XP Mode\Windows XP Mode base.vhd
    Virtual Machine Configuration file
    C:\Users\{your name}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines\Windows XP
    Mode.vmc
    If the Undo Disks are enabled, you will need to back up the Undo Disks file
    C:\Users\{your name}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual
    Machines\VirtualPCUndo_Windows XP Mode_{#_#_##############}.vud

Before you begin backing up your Windows XP Mode VM files, shut down Windows XP Mode VM. You can then
copy the files over to your backup media for safe keeping. Should you need to restore the files in the event of a
disaster, be sure that you restore them in the same folders.

Shut down a VM
By default, when you close the Windows XP Mode VM window, the VM goes into hibernation rather than
shutting down. To really shut down the Windows XP Mode VM requires some extra steps. On the VM Windows’s
toolbar, click Ctrl+Alt+Del menu item. When you see the Windows Security dialog box, click the Shut Down
button. In the Shut Down Windows dialog box, select Shut Down and click OK.



Change and customize Windows 7's Logon screen wallpaper
While experimenting with several Microsoft Windows 7 systems recently, I spent a lot of time staring at the
Logon screen. During that time, I began to think about changing the Logon screen wallpaper. Now, I have
changed the Logon screen wallpaper in just about every version of Windows I’ve used, so I knew there had to be
a way to do so.
For example, the article Tweak Windows Vista’s Logon Screen to Meet Your Needs explained how to perform this
operation using a program called LogonStudio, from the folks at Stardock.
However, when I began to investigate the procedure in Windows 7, I discovered that changing the Logon screen
wallpaper is easy, once you know the steps—and you don’t even need any third-party software to do it.
To make it easy for OEMs to customize Windows 7, Microsoft built in the ability to change the Logon screen
wallpaper. Here's how to do it.

A Registry tweak
The process begins with a minor Registry tweak. Even for those who would not normally feel comfortable editing
the Registry, this one’s a piece of cake. To begin, click the Start button and type Regedit in the Search box. Then,
select the appropriate result and press *Enter+. When you do, you’ll see the User Account Control, shown in
Figure A, and will need to click the Yes button.
Note: Editing the Windows Registry file is not without its risks, so be sure you have a verified backup before
making any changes.


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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Once the Registry Editor launches, locate
and right-click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
key and select the Find command. When
you see the Find dialog box, type
OEMBackground in the text box and make
sure that only the Values check box is
selected, as shown in Figure B.




                                                           Figure A




                                                                                                  Figure B



When this key opens:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background

locate and double-click the OEMBackground value. When you
see the Edit DWORD dialog box, change the value data from 0 to
1, as shown in Figure C. (If the OEMBackground value doesn’t
exist in the Background key, you’ll need to pull down the Edit
menu from that key and select New | DWORD (32-bit) Value).
To complete this part of the operation, click OK to close the Edit
DWORD dialog box and then close the Registry Editor.

Creating folders
In the second part of the operation, you’ll need to create a
couple of folders. To begin, launch Windows Explorer. Then
navigate to the C:\Windows\System32\Oobe folder. Once you           Figure C
access the Oobe folder, click the New Folder button in the
Windows Explorer toolbar. You’ll see a confirmation dialog box like the one shown in Figure D. When you click
Continue, the new folder will be created and you can name it info.

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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Then, open the info folder,
click the New Folder button
again, work through the
confirmation dialog box, and
name the second new folder
backgrounds.

Configuring the
wallpaper
You can use any image you
want for your new Logon
screen wallpaper. It just has
to be in JPG format, and you
must name it
backgroundDefault.jpg.




                                      Figure D


When you copy your file to the Windows\System32\Oobe\info\backgrounds folder, you’ll need to work through
a confirmation dialog box similar to the one shown in Figure D.
Two other things to keep in mind: First, the actual file size of backgroundDefault.jpg cannot exceed 256 KB.
Second, you’ll want to use an image whose dimensions match the screen resolution you are using. If you use a
file whose dimensions are smaller, the image will be stretched and may appear distorted.

Altering shadows
The button and the text used to identify your user account on the Logon screen have shadows behind them to
give them a 3D look, and these shadows work well with the default Logon screen wallpaper. Depending on what
image you use for your new wallpaper, these shadows might not work so well.
Luckily, Microsoft also made it easy to adjust or disable the text and button shadows to accommodate your
particular image. To alter the shadows, launch the Registry Editor again as described above and access:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Window0s\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI folder

Once you open the LogonUI folder, you’ll create a new DWORD value called ButtonSet. You can then configure
the shadow by setting the value data to one of the following numbers:

    0 — Light shadow
    1 — Dark shadow
    2 — No shadow




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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Configure Windows 7 to run only specific applications
There are situations where you, as the administrator of a network or group of machines, want users to be able to
run only certain applications. Kiosk machines, library machines, educational machines, community machines—
there are plenty of reasons for doing this and a few methods for achieving it. One of those methods is built in to
Microsoft Windows 7 (with the exception of Windows 7 Home) with the Group Policy Editor. This tool is powerful
and offers numerous features, including the ability to limit the applications users can run.
Using this method, a network
administrator can limit the users
to executing applications based
on name. So if you allow the
execution of the name
Firefox.exe, that means a user
can execute an application
named Firefox.exe. This will not
stop a user from renaming
ApplicationX.exe to Firefox.exe
and running that. So this
method does presume that
users will either not know how
to get around this basic access
control.
Prior to undertaking this
process, it might be wise to back
up the folder:
C:\WINDOWS\system32
in case this configuration goes    Figure A
south. Should that happen, you
can restore the backup and you will be where you started. This backup method isn’t foolproof, but it sure beats
winding up with a system that can't start any applications. With that said, let's walk through the process of
enabling users to execute only specific applications using the built-in Group Policy Editor of Windows 7.

Step 1
The first thing you must do is open the Group Policy Editor. You won’t find a menu entry for this tool. Instead,
you start the tool by clicking the Start menu and entering the command gpedit.msc. When this tool opens, you
will find yourself looking at a dual-paned window that looks deceptively simple to use (Figure A).

Step 2
The next step is to navigate to the correct location of the configuration option we want to change. This is to be
found in the following path:
User Configuration | Administrative Templates | System
When you navigate to that path, you will want to click on the System entry to reveal the available settings in the
right pane (Figure B).




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10 Windows 7 power tweaks



Step 3
Double-click on the entry for
Run Only Specified Windows
Applications to open the
preferences for this setting.
When this is opened (Figure
C), you will need to make
sure Enabled is checked.
Once you have done that, the
Show button will become
available.
The next step is to click the
Show button, which will open
a small window where you
can enter the allowed
applications. In this window,
you will add, one per line, the
executable filename
(including extension) for each
application you want users to
be allowed to execute.
                                          Figure B
Once you have completed
your list of allowed
applications, click the OK
button and then click OK in
the remaining windows to
dismiss them. Once these
windows are gone, you have
completed this task.
Now, when users attempt to
launch an application that is
not on the allowed list, they
will receive a warning
message.
It’s not a perfect system, and
savvy users can get around it.
But it will stop average users
from launching anything not
on an allowed list. Also note
that this method does not
disable any applications that
are system processes. So you
won’t stop everyone using
this method, but you will
stop plenty of users from
launching applications you
don’t want them to launch.
                                          Figure C
                                                                      Page 17
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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Move the Recycle Bin to the Taskbar in Windows 7
After writing “Take Advantage of the Taskbar Features in Windows 7,” I found myself focusing on the Taskbar to
make sure that I was taking advantage of all the features it has to offer. While I was doing so, I began to think
about the only icon I had on the desktop—the Recycle Bin—and wondered whether there was a way to put it on
the Taskbar.
When the Recycle Bin first made its appearance in Windows 95, I really enjoyed dragging and dropping unneeded
files on the trash can icon and watching them disappear. It was just so cool! (Keep in mind that was 15 years ago,
and the drag-and-drop capability was a new feature.)
However, more often than not, the desktop and the Recycle Bin icon were buried behind a bunch of open
windows, and as time went by and the operating system evolved, I began using the other methods to delete files.
Most often, I would select a file and click the red X Delete button on Windows Explorer’s toolbar. I also would
right-click on a file and select the Delete command or after selecting a file, just press the [Delete] key on the
keyboard. I still use these techniques today, as I am sure that most of you do too.
However, there’s just something innately satisfying about dragging a file to the trash can icon and dropping it in
there. My wife says that it must be a guy thing. And then she reminds me of how excited my buddies and I get
throwing beer cans halfway across the room to the trash can in the corner on Poker Game nights. We raise our
fists in the air and yell “Score!” when someone makes it in.
Anyway, I discovered a way to put a working copy of the Recycle Bin on the Taskbar in the lower-right corner
adjacent to the notification area. That way it is always visible on the screen no matter how many open windows
you have on the desktop. Here's how to do it.

Working with the Recycle Bin icon
To begin, the Recycle Bin icon must be
visible on the desktop. If it's not, right-
click on the desktop and select the
Personalize command from the context
menu. When the Personalization window
appears, select the Change Desktop Icons
command on the task pane. You’ll then
see the Desktop Icon Settings dialog box
and will need to select the Recycle Bin
check box. You’ll use these steps to clear
the Recycle Bin check box later.

Creating the Recycle Toolbar
Now, you’ll create a folder that will
become a toolbar. To begin, right-click
anywhere on the desktop and select the
New | Folder command. Once the new
folder appears, name it Recycle Toolbar.
Then, drag the Recycle Bin icon on the
desktop and drop it on the Recycle
Toolbar folder, as shown in Figure A.
Windows 7 will create a shortcut to the
Recycle Bin inside the Recycle Toolbar.                     Figure A
At this point, you’ll need to move the Recycle Toolbar folder to any folder of your choice. If you implemented the
technique I described in the article Add the Copy To and Move To Folder Commands to the Windows Explorer
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10 Windows 7 power tweaks

Context Menu, you can right-click on the Recycle Toolbar folder, select the Move To Folder command, and
choose a folder from the Move Items dialog box.
You can now return to the Desktop Icon Settings dialog box, as described above, and clear the Recycle Bin check
box. When you do, the Recycle Bin icon will no longer appear on the desktop.

Unlocking the Taskbar
Once you have created and then moved the Recycle Toolbar folder from the desktop, you need to unlock the
Taskbar. To begin, right-click anywhere on the Taskbar and select the Lock the Taskbar command to remove the
check mark. This will unlock the Taskbar.

Adding the Recycle
Toolbar folder to the
Taskbar
Now, you’re ready to add the
Recycle Toolbar folder to the
Taskbar. Right-click on the
Taskbar again and this time
select the Toolbars | New
Toolbar command. When you
see the New Toolbar – Choose
a Folder dialog box, locate and
select the Recycle Toolbar
folder, as shown in Figure B.
As soon as you click the Select
Folder button, the Recycle
Toolbar will be added to the
Taskbar, as shown in Figure C.
Take note of the divider on
the left side of the new
toolbar.
You’ll need to right-click on    Figure B
the divider three times and
select various options from the context
menu to complete the next set of steps.
First, you’ll select the Show Text option to               Figure C
remove the check mark. Second, you’ll
select the Show Title option to remove
the check mark. Third, you’ll select the
View | Large Icons option.
Now, lock the Taskbar as described above. Figure D
When you do, the Recycle Bin will appear
as a standalone icon on the Taskbar, as shown in Figure D. You can now drag and drop files on the Recycle Bin
icon to delete files, double-click the icon to open the Recycle Bin folder to restore files, and right-click on the icon
and select the Empty Recycle Bin command.




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