How to Enable the God Mode in Win 7 and Why it is Overrated

A rather goofy “trick” has been making the rounds over the last couple days, which was described by Ina Fried on CNET as follows:

“By creating a new folder in Windows 7 and renaming it with a certain text string at the end, users are able to have a single place to do everything from changing the look of the mouse pointer to making a new hard drive partition.”

Apparently people decided to call this “God Mode in Win 7” because to enable this “trick” you make a folder called GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} and double-click on it.  Now you can see… the control panel.  With a slightly different view than you normally see it in.

How to Enable the God Mod in Win 7 and Why it is Overrated

So first off, why is this completely silly?  Well, the text “GodMode” has nothing to do with making the trick work.  You can call the folder “EvilMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}” and now you’ve discovered the magical “EvilMode” feature hidden in Windows!

Well, not really.  What you’ve actually discovered are two things:

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 <DisplayName>.<CLSID> will show up with just the <DisplayName> portion visible in Explorer, and navigating into the folder will take you to the namespace root defined by the <CLSID> portion of the name.  This isn’t a user feature, it’s a developer feature.

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.  This folder was not designed to be browsed to directly, as the normal Control Panel folder (accessible via Start -> Control Panel) contains all the same items but with a custom view designed to be easier to navigate.  The “All Tasks” folder has no custom view, so you just see the standard Explorer list view and little else.

The existence of this folder and its CLSID are implementation details and should not be relied upon by anybody for any purpose. God Mode?  Not really.

Update! Here is “The ultimate ‘God Mode’ list: 39 secret Windows 7 shortcuts” as published on ZDNet.com

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