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Making Windows XP Customizations Stick  Popular

Added: 07/29/2008, Hits: 3,519, Rating: 4.5, Comments: 2, Votes: 2
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When customizing certain settings in Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6.0, the settings revert back to the default settings the next time you open them. This can include settings such as the folder view option, IE toolbars and other features. This tutorial will provide a couple of examples which will show you how it works so that you can fix these in other situations. Note that obtaining the latest service pack for XP will take care of the registry problem described later.

The real problem that you are likely running up against is that Windows XP and Internet Explorer have a "Lock the Toolbars" setting which is selected by default. This means that when you make changes, they will reflect for the current Window that you are viewing. If you close and reopen the window, you will see that your settings have reverted back to the default.

The first thing you have to do is fix a Windows bug that affects the view settings and causes them to revert. This involves updating your service pack or editing the registry so please read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer: Editing the registry can damage your Windows installation and/or render it unusable. Use the below instructions at your own risk as we are NOT responsible in any way for problems caused by following these instructions.

First we need to open the registry editor by clicking "Start" then "Run". Type in regedt32 and press enter. In the Registry Editor, we need to browse to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Shell and HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/ShellNoRoam keys. In each of these keys we need to create a new DWORD value called "BagMRU Size" and set the value to 5000 (See figure 1.1 and 1.2 below).

Figure 1.1

Figure 1.2

If you continue to have problems you may need to set this value higher than 5000. Please note that I only know this to work in Windows XP and would not try it in other Microsoft operating systems. After you do this, reboot your computer.

Let's take a look at a couple of examples. The first example will show you how to change your folder view settings. I prefer to view my folders as a list, so that is what I will show you. The process is the same for the other view settings.

Figure 2.1

If I close this window after setting the view to list, when I reopen this folder it will no longer show as a list. Why?

First, you need to unlock your tool bar as shown below.

Figure 2.2

Now select the view setting that you would like as shown in figure 2.1. Once that is complete, you can relock your toolbar if you wish.

Our next example shows how to make the status bar at the bottom of the I.E. browser window appear (and stay). If I select this option as shown in figure 3.1, the status bar will appear in the browser window that I am viewing. If I close IE and reopen it, the status bar is gone. So how do I make this change permanent?

Figure 3.1

First we need to unlock the toolbar as shown below in figure 2.2.

Figure 2.2

Selecting "Lock the Toolbars" while it is checked will unlock it. If you go back to this, you should see that the check next to it has been removed.

Now go ahead and make your changes as shown in figure 3.1. Once that is complete, you can go back and lock your toolbar if you wish. If the new settings still do not work, you can try repeating the above steps and after you have finished, hold down the ctrl key and close the browser window.

Comments (2)

Review By: hareshmca [11/18/2008]
Review Text: This is really nice article ant its content is really helpful, thanks

Review By: jsprague [07/29/2008]
Review Text: This tutorial was updated on 7/29/08 to note the fact that this has been corrected by service packs.

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