Registry Tweaks to Enhance Your Windows XPerience

Registry Tweaks to Enhance Your Windows XPerience Registry workarounds for tedious, but useful XP optimizations. You may ask yourselves, why should this article be any different from all those tweaking tutorials around the Internet or, better yet, why should you read this when you can install a program that does it all for you? Here's why: this article will help you make important changes to your system with just two windows opened: this one and a notepad. That's all! No need to click your way through dozens of windows, no need to go through the risk of pushing the wrong button and crashing your operating system.

Furthermore, you don't have to pay a single cent! Why pay for a program to do what you yourselves can do in just a few seconds? And last but not least, you will be able to choose from a list only the tweaks that you're interested in and then apply them on any computer, at any time with just a double-click. Tweaking can hardly get any easier than that! Think how cool that would be, especially after reinstalling Windows.

Let's start by creating the file that will do all the magic. Right-click on your desktop, create a new text document and name it tweaks.reg. Windows will ask if you're sure that you want to change the file extension – click Yes. Right-click the file and choose Edit: a blank notepad window will appear. There are two things you must keep in mind: first of all, for the magic to work your text document must start with 'Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00'. Secondly, later on, be very patient when copying something to paste it in your document. If you copy an incomplete text, the tweak will not work and you might alter other system settings.

As for the pieces of advice that will make your work easier when creating the tweaking file, just keep in mind two things: remember the purpose of each line (you can use comment lines in which you can write whatever you like as long as they start with a semicolon) and, of course, know that there's no problem in leaving a few lines empty between each tweak, to help you differentiate them.

Now here's a list of system tweaks for you to choose from. The idea is quite simple: I'll provide a few lines (the tweak) and a short explanation for what they do. If you're interested in seeing the tweak applied to your computer, all you have to do is paste the lines at the bottom (no, you can't paste them anywhere you like) of your tweaks.reg file.

To make sure I've got your attention, in this article I’ll post optimizations that are either impossible to apply in a conventional way (from Windows Explorer or Control Panel, for example) or possible, but pretty tedious, so getting your hands dirty in less known parts of Windows would normally be necessary in order to apply them.


It will deactivate the annoying "Low Disk Space" message that appears in your system tray each time one of your drives is almost full.


This baby will remove the window that always pops up when you try opening a file that is not assigned to a program, asking you if you wish to go online and find out which program you should use to open that type of file. After applying this patch, you’ll see just the Open With window.

"Use Search Asst"="no"

I don't know about you, but I'm a big fan of the old, classic search, without any "assistants." So if you don't like the Windows XP default search interface and prefer the classic from its predecessors, just add these lines to your tweaks.reg file.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Sound]

If you haven't got the chance to install a sound driver, you've surely noticed the annoying beeps made by your motherboard each time an alert window pops up. After applying this tweak, you won't need to worry about these beeps anymore.


Add this tweak to your list if you don't want your Windows XP to constantly add the shortcut arrow each time you create a shortcut.


If you find the tool tips containing information displayed by Windows when hovering a file with your mouse rather bothersome, adding this optimization to your tweaks.reg file will help you get rid of them.

I'll stop here and be back soon to continue my list with a lot more interesting tweaks in a future article. So all you have to do now is save the contents of the tweaks.reg window, close it and then double-click it. Windows will ask if you wish to add the information stored in tweaks.reg to your registry. If you're sure you've followed each step correctly, go right ahead and press Yes.

In the meantime, if you know any other cool tweaks or had problems creating the tweaks file, just post a comment to this article and have your say.


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