Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Change Windows Logon Screen, IE8's Title Bar, and Aero Snap


1. Change Your Logon Screen Background
Changing the wallpaper on your desktop is one of the easiest things to do in Windows. But if you can have that display any image you want, why not do the same with your logon screen?
1. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background.
2. Find the "OEMBackground" key; or right-click in the right pane and select "New," then "DWORD (32-bit) Value" to create it (and then give it that name).
3. Double-click on "OEMBackground" to open it.
4. Change the value in the "Value data" field to 1.
5. Click OK.
6. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to your Windows directory, then System32\oobe. If there's a folder in here called "info," go into it; if there's a folder inside of that one called "backgrounds," go into that. If neither exists, you'll need to create them both first.
7. Copy the image (it must be a JPEG, and smaller than 256KB in size) you want to use as your logon screen background into the info\backgrounds folder.
8. Rename the image backgroundDefault.jpg. (Note: If you choose an image that's sized differently than your desktop and you change your resolution, it will be adjusted to fit—with a possible loss in quality. The info\background folder also supports 12 other files of specific resolutions. The files should be named backgroundXXXXX.jpg, where the XXXXX is one of the following: 900x1440, 960x1280, 1024x1280, 1280x1024, 1024x768, 1280x960, 1600x1200, 1440x900, 1920x1200, 1280x768, or 1360x768. For example, background1920x1200.jpg will be used at 1,920-by-1,200 resolution, and so on.)
The next time you restart your computer, or log out, you'll see this image as the new logon screen. If you chose an image that prevents the buttons and text from looking their best on the logon screen, you can adjust their appearance as well.
1. Navigate back to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI (you're not going into Background this time).
2. Add a DWORD value called "ButtonSet."
3. Change its value to either 1 (darker text shadows and lighter buttons, intended for lighter backgrounds) or 2 (no text shadows and opaque buttons, for darker backgrounds); 0 is the Windows default.


7 Windows 7 Registry Hacks - IE8 Title Bar
2. Personalize the IE8 Title Bar
If you use Internet Explorer 8 in Windows 7, you're probably familiar with the browser's title bar, which appends "Windows Internet Explorer" to the end of every page name. Why not change it to something a little more... you?
1. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.
2. Right-click in the right panel, click "New," and then select "String Value."
3. Name the string value you just created "Window Title" (space included).
4. Double-click on Window Title.
5. Type your personalized title in the "Value data" field.
6. Click OK.

3. Turn Off Aero Snap
Implemented as an easier way to arrange windows on your desktop, Aero Snap will automatically maximize a window if you drag it to the top of the screen, or resize a window to use exactly half your display's width if you drag it all the way to the left or the right. If you don't find this feature convenient, you can disable it.
1. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.
2. Scroll down to "WindowArrangementActive" in the right-hand pane, and double-click it to open it.
3. Change the number in the "Value data" field from 1 (Aero Snap is enabled) to 0.
4. Click OK.

Taskbar Tweaks

4. Change Taskbar Button Stacked Window Behavior
By default, the Taskbar groups together multiple windows of a single app, then displays all of them as thumbnails when you click on the program's Taskbar icon. If you think it would be more handy to have Windows automatically open the last window when you click the icon, you can make that happen.
1. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced.
2. Right-click in the right pane, and select "New" then "DWORD (32-bit) Value."
3. Rename the new DWORD value "LastActiveClick."
4. Double-click on LastActiveClick to open it.
5. Change the value in the "Value data" field to 1.
6. Click OK.


7 Windows 7 Registry Hacks - Taskbar Buttons
5. Change the Width of Taskbar Buttons
Windows 7 is set up to always combine Taskbar buttons from the same program and never display their labels. If, however, you've changed the setting to either not combine the windows at all or to only combine them when the Taskbar is full, you can change the icons' width to hide the labels there, too. Here's how.
1. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics
2. Scroll to find the "MinWidth" entry. If it's not there, you'll have to create it yourself. Right-click in the right pane, select New, then Select "String Value," and name the object MinWidth.
3. Double-click MinWidth to open it.
4. Change the number in the "Value Data" field the width you want to allot to the icons. With the default small buttons, 38 is sufficient; with the larger icons, you'll want about 52.
5. Click OK.


6. Change the Delay Time of Taskbar Previews
Among the cooler features in Windows 7 are Taskbar previews, which appear when you hover the mouse cursor over the Taskbar icon of a currently running program. But when you do this, the preview doesn't appear immediately. Luckily, it's easy to speed it up (r, for whatever reason, slow it down.
1. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
2. Right-click in the right pane, click "New," and click "DWORD Value" or "DWORD (32-bit) Value."
3. Name the new DWORD "ExtendedUIHoverTime."
4. Double click on ExtendedUIHoverTime to open it.
5. Click the "Decimal" radio button in the "Base" section. In the "Value data" field, enter the delay time (in milliseconds) for the preview to appear. (The Windows standard is 400ms.)
6. Click "OK" to commit the change.
When you hover the mouse cursor over one of the previews, all your other windows will disappear and show just that window. There's a delay associated with this, too. To change this, add a new DWORD in the same location called "ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime," and edit it the same way as above, setting its value to whatever you want (in ms).


7. Change the Delay Time of Aero Peek
Aero Peek is Windows 7's sleeker replacement for the old Show Desktop button. Just move your mouse cursor over the icon at the right end of the Taskbar to turn all your Windows invisible. But this, too, has a delay time associated with it, so if you find yourself accidentally activating it too often, you may want to increase the delay time. Here's how.
1. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
2. Right-click in the right pane, click "New," and click "DWORD Value" or "DWORD (32-bit) Value."
3. Name the new DWORD "DesktopLivePreviewHoverTime."
4. Double click on DesktopLivePreviewHoverTime to open it.
5. Click the "Decimal" radio button in the "Base" section. In the "Value data" field, enter the delay time (in milliseconds) for the preview to appear. (The Windows standard is 1,000ms.)
6. Click "OK" to commit the change.
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