Windows 7 Registry Tips and Tweaks

Microsoft has promised to release its new much improved operating system, Windows 7, later this year.  If you plan to invest money in the new operating system it will be worthwhile to understand what it takes to maintain a healthy PC and fine-tune its settings according to your needs. One of the most crucial components of any system is its registry and Windows 7 PCs will be no exception. In this article, we will explain what the registry is, why it is so important to your system’s performance, how to fine tune registry settings to meet your requirements, and finally how to maintain a healthy registry.

What is the registry?

The registry is a central hierarchical database that contains all information related to your hardware, system settings, user profiles and software programs installed on it. Whenever you make any changes on your system an entry is added, removed or modified within the registry. Different entities of your system, be it the operating system or applications installed on the PC, need to constantly refer to the registry to carry out their functions.

Pointers to fine tune registry settings in Windows 7

Windows 7, like earlier versions of Windows operating systems allow users to edit registry entries to customize system settings. Below are some of the tweaks that you can use to do this.

Warning: Remember to backup the registry before implementing any of these tweaks. You can do this from the Registry Editor utility or by using a Windows 7 compatible registry tool.

To implement these tweaks, you need to start the Registry Editor.  To do this, go to Start, select Run and type regedit to open the Registry Editor window.

  1. Customize Windows 7 logon screen to suite your taste. Navigate to the following registry key in the Registry Editor:
    • 0 – The value corresponds to lighter text shadows and darker buttons (this is Windows default setting)
    • 1 – The value corresponds to darker text shadows and lighter buttons (best suitable for lighter backgrounds)
    • 2 – The value corresponds to no text shadows and opaque buttons (best suitable for darker backgrounds)
  2. HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authent ication\LogonUI

    In the right pane add a DWORD value called ButtonSet and set its value ranging between 0-2. Each value is explained below.

  3. Speed up the Desktop. Navigate to the following registry key in the Registry Editor:
    • Automatically end the programs that are taking a long time to respond.
    • Quickly terminate the programs that are hung.
    • Speed up menu display.
    • Speed up the display of sub menus.
  4. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

    Add the following entries in the right pane.

    “AutoEndTasks”=”1″
    “HungAppTimeout”=”1000”
    “MenuShowDelay”=”8”
    “WaitToKillAppTimeout”=”2000”
    “LowLevelHooksTimeout”=”1000

    These entries achieve the following:

  5. Enable Take Ownership option when files and folder are clicked. Navigate to the following registry key in the Registry Editor and add the given entries. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\runas
    @=”Take Ownership”
    “NoWorkingDirectory”=”” 

    This option is useful when you need to quickly replace system files while performing tasks, such as PC customization.

  6. Speed up your PC by preventing the system to perform low disk space checks, look for programs that no longer exist and so on. Navigate to the following registry key in Registry Editor and add the given entries.HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\C urrentVersion\Policies\Explorer”NoLowDiskSpaceChecks”= dword:00000001
    “LinkResolveIgnoreLinkInfo”=dword:00000001
    “NoResolveSearch”=dword:00000001
    “NoResolveTrack”=dword:00000001
    “NoInternetOpenWith”=dword:00000001

These are just a few tweaks. More will be available as the final version of Windows 7 is released. In addition to these tweaks, remember to take care of your system and the registry to prevent unnecessary problems. You can do this easily by performing regular PC and registry maintenance and with the help of Windows 7 compatible tools.