Dwight Silverman has an interesting blog post today based on a tweak published at Windows7themes.net. The original post and Dwight’s headline all refer to this as a way to Enable God Mode in Windows 7. The reality is much more prosaic.
The tweak itself is fairly simple: Create a new folder (on the desktop is a good place) and paste this string in as the name:
The shortcut icon for the folder changes to the icon for Control Panel, and double-clicking it displays a folder full of tasks, a snippet of which is shown here:
Miraculous? God-like? Uh, no.
The back half of that mysterious shortcut is actually a globally unique identifier (GUID) that points to a shell folder, in this case Control Panel. The segment at the beginning can be whatever text you want it to be. The resulting list simply opens Control Panel in Windows Explorer, displaying all available tasks and allowing you to group them using standard Explorer techniques. Way back in Windows XP Inside Out we wrote about techniques for creating shell folder views in Explorer using GUIDs; we dropped that coverage in Windows Vista Inside Out and Windows 7 Inside Out because there were other, more useful tasks to explain in our Explorer chapters.
All of the tasks in the "God Mode" list are already available in Control Panel. There is not a single new or hidden tweak here. Many of them are listed under the different category headings there. Some of the specific task links appear only in response to a search for a specific keyword; they represent alternate entry points to tasks that you might not find easily using the conventional navigation. Here, let me give you an example. The image below shows two side-by-side lists of tasks. The one on the left is the one in the folder you create using the Control Panel GUID. The one on the right is what you see if you go to Control Panel and type user in the search box.
See the similarities?
In fact, once you have the entire task list open in Windows Explorer, you can poke around in it and find out how the Control Panel search functionality works. For example, try grouping the list of tasks by Keywords (right-click any empty space and choose Keywords from the Group By menu). That view lets you see exactly what appears when you enter a specific term in the Control Panel search box. Here’s an example:
Notice how the designers of this feature anticipated common misspellings, so if you misspell privileges you still might get the results you’re looking for.
So, bottom line, is this tweak useful? I guess if you like lists, it might be. But you can already find every item on this list by simply typing a keyword in the search box on the Start menu or in Control Panel, which strikes me as being much easier.