Windows Enterprise Desktop

Jan 8 2010   7:21PM GMT

GUIDs, Shortcuts, and “GodMode” in Windows 7 and Vista

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Last week, I read with great interest about a well-worn Windows trick. If you couple a folder name with a specific globally unique identifier, usually called a GUID, and save it in a directory, presto! you’ve created an Explorer-centric way to jump straight into specific┬ánamed Windows facilities. Ina Fried started this with a 1/4 blog entitled “Understanding Windows 7’s ‘GodMode’” followed quickly by “Windows 7 has lots of ‘GodModes’.” This morning, my favorite Windows wizard, Ed Bott, polished off this topic du jour with his own offering entitled “The Ultimate ‘Gode Mode’ list: 39 secret Windows 7 shortcuts.”

The technique for building such a shortcut is simple. Take a descriptive name, such as System (which equates to the System applet in Control Panel as it happens), then append a period, followed by a hyphenated hexadecimal string surrounded in curly brackets (which happens to be {BB06C0E4-D293-4F75-8A90-CB05B6477EEE} for the aforemented system applet. Use the whole thing


as a folder name in Explorer, and you’ve got your shortcut.

Over the past week 39 such shortcuts have surfaced for Windows 7 only (14) and for Windows 7 and Vista (25 more). I spent a half-an-hour this morning creating a directory called GUID-Central where I defined all of these items so you can see how impressive they look in the aggregate.

Complete list of GUID shortcuts

Complete list of GUID shortcuts

Items that begin with W7 work only with Windows 7; items that begin with WV work with both Windows 7 and Windows Vista. But because pretty pictures go only so far, I also created a text file that contains all these strings so you can cut’n’paste between your favorite text editor and explorer to re-create any or all of these folders for yourself.

I’ve pasted that material below inside a preformatted text block on my Viztaview blog (GUID Shortcuts), so you can follow that link, then cut’n’paste as you will. I’d recommend dropping it into a text editor, then creating a folder on your Vista or Windows 7 machine, then using the text strings with the Rename command on New folders you create therein. Enjoy!

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