Windows 7 "God Mode", so to speak, revealed

A new "feature" in Windows 7 has been revealed today, by Ina Fried over at CNET. Being dubbed "god mode", the "feature" is actually pretty handy for power users. The hack allows you to pull all of your PC's control panels into one standard class view folder.

Here's how to enable this hack:

Create a folder in Windows 7
Re-name the folder to this exact string "GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}"

And there you have it, a folder with all of your control panels for your PC. Check it out:

Is this feature really a "god mode"? Not really, as our friend Brandon Live pointed out today:

"First, you've discovered a documented feature of the shell whereby filesystem folders can be easily made into namespace junctions, as described here on MSDN. Basically, any folder named . will show up with just the portion visible in Explorer, and navigating into the folder will take you to the namespace root defined by the portion of the name. The second thing you've discovered is the "All Tasks" folder. This is a special shell folder which is used as the source of the "Control Panel" search results seen in the Start menu."

Kudos to thejohnnyq for the news tip.

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Word of caution... If you add this "folder" to your Administrative Tools folder in the Start Menu, it will dramatically slow down all searches from the start button in Vista. As soon as I removed it, my search speed was fixed and went down from several seconds to instant.

Note: I have searching communications and files off in the start menu/orb search dialog, so it only searches programs and favorites, and even with that the impact was significant.

I didn't try placing it in other folders, or other iterations, but if your start menu or Vista search all of a sudden slowed down after adding this "feature", take a look at this as the possible culprit.

ya... i have vista X64. That was no fun, explorer.exe crash loop.

anyways, the fixes above work.

safe mode with command prompt, delete the folder you're good.

Ok. Windows search is wonderful, yes, but you can't exactly type in the first three letters of a feature you don't know exists. To all the people who think this is a waste of time when you can just type where you want to go, your thought process is surprisingly narrow to not realize there are people out there who can still discover new places and menus they didn't previously know about.

well that certainly helps me out 278 items I'm going to too too with beats using windows search or typing in the start menu search

I think its funny that articles keep being posted telling people to name the folder *exactly* "GodMode", as if that has anything to do with it (the name doesn't mean anything, isn't required, isn't descriptive, etc, etc).

I discovuh anover sekrit! Shhhhh. Dun tell anyjuan!


PS: It's called a Control Panel. Ever heard of it? Really? Neither have I.

As a "power user", you should be able to find what you need easier through this. Usually, you'll know what you are looking for, not the general category of what you're looking for. Thus, you can easily see and access everything you want to right off the bat. This is what I find ideal if anything.

Of course, those who do not use such features very often, it would certainly be easier to have category view for what you're looking for.

It is interesting to see a list of all the tasks, but I think I'd rather just type words into the start bar and select them if/when I need them and not have it taking up real estate.

Just goes to show you that even with tips and tricks that have been out or known for some time doesn't always reach the "general masses" as quickly as some technical people think. This has been known to many early Alpha/Beta testers of Windows 7 and it was blogged about and posted. It just got lost along the way as many things do.

I called mine Master Panel when it was first discovered some time back. Figured those who were interested in something like this already knew. As you can see - its a bit much for most consumers to use. Microsoft was right for not showing all these items that "technical" people would appreciate but as a general consumer they would get overwhelmed. Neowin posters and readers are not the "average" crowd when it comes to windows knowledge. I think many of you are not technically challanged and have a better understanding of the windows OS than the "general" population. So this would interest you. Print this up in the New York Times or USA Today and you will get a small reaction to this. It's a neat thing to them but its usefulness would be low on the "OH I NEED THIS" scale.

The posters that have said "I knew about this a long time ago, big deal, etc. " well I think its great that it was posted. Nothing wrong with recycling "old" news sometimes as it is "new" to someone else.

iamwhoiam - good shortcut tip. :)


Okay I'm officially out of my mind about these mini URL substitutes. Honestly, can anybody--ANYBODY--tell me what's so freaking superior about using them instead of the actual URL of the site they forward to? Is somebody making money off of clicks or something? Because they've irritated me for YEARS and in the past year they've exploded in popularity and it makes me want to strangle the infirm.

Omniscience AND Omnipotence (insofar as these are not mutually inconsistent) - godlike indeed!

The main reason I like this is that it has made me aware of numerous things that I never previously knew I had or could do or adjust or change - it's fascinating just to scroll down the list and try stuff.

I was hoping god mode was some super ultra admin mode.
Anyway this shortcut links could be usefull as well.

kaffra said,
I was hoping god mode was some super ultra admin mode.
Anyway this shortcut links could be usefull as well.

There is "some super ultra admin mode"

People discovering the namespace-extension-CLSID-in-filename trick in 2010 instead of 1995!!!!!! Really, the Web 2.0-era is helping n00bs learn Windows. Only bad side effect is they get wowed by the current version when they were supposed to get wowed by Windows 95.

I just tried this on my Vista PC, and it instantly crashed my explorer.exe, and it goes into a loop of restart/crash indefinitely. How can I undo this?? I tried going into safe mode but no go

Johnson said,
I just tried this on my Vista PC, and it instantly crashed my explorer.exe, and it goes into a loop of restart/crash indefinitely. How can I undo this?? I tried going into safe mode but no go

Fixed, never mind

What I want is to be able to bring back the classic icon view in the control panel where you could still have small, medium or large icons, or details view. Why? I dunno.. The new control panel view style seems inconsistent with the rest of the system. Yes we have large icons or small icons instead of category view, however its not the same view style as a normal file folder. They've forced control into single-click, which I admit is easier, but if you don't use single-click throughout the rest of your folder options, its not consistent.

What's great is that some of the shortcuts or tasks in Control Panel that require a couple or more clicks to get to can be reached quickly. For example, under the Personalization grouping, you have shortcuts to stuff like changing the background picture, screensaver, icons on Desktop, and even the Advanced Appearance dialog for Windows metrics (fonts, window background colors, etc.)

That's what I find interesting. Or viewing the Reliability History. I never could remember exactly how to get to that little applet, but now it's just a single click under the Action Center group. Plus, I installed the 'Default Programs Editor' applet, which can be put into Control Panel, and now all the individual tasks from it are also listed. You can even set shortcuts for such things in a new folder and make that folder a toolbar on your taskbar for quick access to the most used ones.

It's really a great thing!!

I'm not sure i'd call it "God Mode" as it doesn't seem to make you invincible or anything God Like.

But it is a good tip for sure, and I will try it out!

Well that's a pretty handy click saver...

P.S. This works in Vista as well.

P.P.S. It says "Re-name the folder to this exact string." To clarify, the part before the "." can be anything as long as the ".{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}" part is intact (i.e. "The Name You Want Displayed.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}" ).

Really? I'll try it out, but offhand I don't see the usefulness... It could very well be me though... After using it some it could feel more useful perhaps...

Well it's a click/type saver but not exactly a time saver. Just type a word of what you're looking for in the start menu, and Windows usually finds it. Since Vista I have stopped trying to use the classic view of the control panel because the number of items in it has become too large.

hardgiant said,
It's kinda lame...a better idea is to pin the control panel to the taskbar.

There isn't an option to pin the control panel to the taskbar.

Eddie ELZ said,
There isn't an option to pin the control panel to the taskbar.

Open Control Panel then right click on the Control Panel icon on the taskbar.