Windows 7 – 4 Registry Hacks to Fix Some Annoyances


Windows 7 Annoyances

What is annoying to one person may not even be noticed by another. I fall into the first category– many things annoy me.

There are a few things about Windows 7 that get under my skin. Answering the same questions over and over again is one of them. Having the word ‘Shortcut’ on a desktop link irritates me as well. I already know it’s a shortcut.

After using Windows for a while, I don’t really need all those pop-up balloons telling me what things are for. Quit pestering me. It’s reminiscent of that terrible dog or paper clip that used to ‘help’ you all the time. Go play in the traffic! Good boy…

You get the idea. Here are four things that bug me and if they bug you, too, I’ll show you a way to alter that irritating behavior.

Important!! You can really mess things up when tinkering in the registry. Always make Registry backups before you change things. If you make a mistake and your system ends up ‘borked’ somehow, you can always restore to the original. You have been warned.

Opening The Registry Editor

To open the Registry Editor, click on the Start Button, type regedit, and hit the <Enter> key.

If you are new to the Windows Registry, our very own Dave Hartsock has written an article right here on DCT that will tell you all about it– The Windows Registry Explained

Open with Notepad

If you’ve ever tried to open a file on your computer that has an extension Windows does not recognize, you will have to go jump through some hoops. It might be something simple like a .DIZ or .NFO file. These are simple text files but Windows doesn’t know that. In fact, in the case of the .NFO file, Windows thinks it’s a system information file, tries to open it with the wrong program and fails utterly.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an option in the context menu that let’s you open it in Notepad? With one click? Here’s how…

Find the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT hive and expand it. Now go to the following sub-key: /*/shell

You should be here:



  1. Right-click on shell and create a new key. Call it: Open with Notepad
  2. Create a new key below that and call it : command
  3. In the right panel, double-click on Default and enter: notepad.exe %1

Refer to the above image to see how it should all look.

Now, when you right-click a file in your favorite file manager, you’ll see the new Open with Notepad option.

Windows Can’t Open This File


Now this is what I’m talkin’ about.  This window will pop-up anytime you try to open a file Windows does not recognize. I don’t think there is a single time in all the years of using Windows that choosing the first option actually worked. I always end up choosing the second option which makes this window perfectly useless and irritating. Here’s how to get rid of it and jump directly to a list of applications from which to choose. That’s what I wanted to do in the first place.

  1. Open RegEdit and drill down to this key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Policies\\Explorer
  2. In the right panel create this new 32-bit DWORD Value: NoInternetOpenWith
  3. Modify this Value by double-clicking and changing it to a 1 (one)

You’ll now bypass the offending window and jump directly to the application list.


If you don’t want a program to be used as the default for the file you are opening, uncheck the indicated box.

Ridding Yourself of those Balloon Pop-Ups

Balloons make me want to pull out what little hair I have left. Here’s how to get rid of them:

  1. Open RegEdit
  2. Find this Key and Value: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\Advanced
  3. Create a new 32-bit DWORD and call it: DisableBalloonTips
  4. Set its Value to 0 (zero)


Note: In the RegEdit status bar it will show you your current location within the Registry in case you get lost. Always be sure you are at the correct location. When it comes to the Registry, the devil is in the details.

Ahhhh…. relief!

Shortcut on Shortcuts

I know it’s a shortcut. I just created it!

I generally rename shortcuts I create, anyway. If I have to do something over and over again, I want it automated; if it’s something I constantly undo, then I want it eliminated.


  1. Open RegEdit
  2. Find this Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer
  3. In the right panel you’ll see a Value simply called: link
  4. It will have a default value of: 1e 00 00 00
  5. We need to change that to: 00 00 00 00

Unlike the previous Registry tweaks, this one does not take effect immediately. You will have to log off, then back on. Also, this will not affect any existing shortcuts– only ones that you create from this point onwards.

Bonus Pro Tip!

There are many articles on the Internet that show you the correct way to correctly clean various computer peripherals including our new state-of-the-art LCD monitors. But have you ever thought about how to clean the inside of your monitor screen? I’m sure it gets dirty, too.

Here’s the correct way and it won’t cost very much, either:


Quite the team, aren’t they? And thorough, too.


I hope these small tips will help you maintain a modicum of sanity. Some would disagree, but I think they’ve helped me in that regard.

Incidentally, ‘borked’ is a geeky term used by those of us in highly respected social circles,


About the Author

Richard Pedersen

Richard received his first computer, a C-64, in 1982 as a gift and began dabbling in BASIC. He was hooked! His love for computing has led him from the old “XT” boxes to the more modern fare and from clunky 10MB hard drives to smooth and fast modern day SSD drives. He has run BBS services, Fido mail, and even operated his own computer repair business.

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