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Registry Editing Tips

Remove Pesky Desktop Icons

There are some annoying icons that sitting on your desktop that you find you don't even touched at all. Removing some of these can't be any better. The easy way is to make a few Registry changes. Run your registry editor, and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.

Let's say you want to remove the “Network Neighborhood” icon. With the above key highlighted, right click anywhere in the Registry field, select New, and click DWORD, to create a new entry. Name it NoNetHood When you set its value to 1 and then reboot, the Network Neighborhood desktop icon will be gone! To restore this icon on your desktop, change its value to 0. The good thing about this trick is that you can apply it to all your Desktop system icons.

To make changes to any other unwanted icon, go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Desktop\NameSpace{xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}.

Within this key, each system icon has its own CLSID key (Class ID), a 16 byte value which identifies an individual object) that points to a corresponding key in the Registry:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID{xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}

To delete an icon, remove the 16 byte CLSID value within NameSpace. To change an icon name, change the value of its sister CLSID key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID{xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}\DefaultIcon

Therefore, the Network Neighborhood correspondent keys would be:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\Desktop\NameSpace\{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}

and respectively:

KEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}

Here are the CLSID keys for all Windows 95/98/NT system icons:

You can use the method above for any system icon you want to modify/delete. Go to the CLSID key you want to modify and change its DefaultIcon subkey. Recycle Bin makes an exception, its “Default” value lists the full pathname of the file that contains the corresponding icon. However, the easy way out to change the icons of My Computer, Network Neighborhood or Recycle Bin is the Plus! tab (Windows 95) or Effects (Windows 98) on the Display settings

We personally don't recommend you to remove the My Computer icon. It will cause you some system instability. Try our next tip to make a better use out of My Computer.

Registry Editing Tips 41
Desktop Registry Edit 3

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