Windows

Exert your control with GodMode folders in Windows 7

Greg Shultz explores the GodMode folders found in Windows 7 and presents a text file and a script that will create the folders for you automatically.

Over the past week or so, I have read a lot about the so-called "GodMode" folders in Windows 7. Chances are that you have too. While the term originated in video games, such as Doom from id Software, where entering a special code makes a player's character invincible, it has been applied to certain special, undocumented folders in Windows 7.

When playing a video game in GodMode, you are guaranteed to win because no matter how powerful the nemesis, you cannot be killed. So, you might wonder, does that mean that when working in a "GodMode" folder in Windows 7 you can do whatever you want without fear of crashing or locking up the operating system? Unfortunately, no, it does not.

All kidding aside, Windows 7's GodMode folders are simply special folders that are hidden until you enter a special, secret code. The fact that you have to enter a secret code is more likely the source of these folders being called "GodMode" folders.

An explanation

Now, the first of these GodMode folders to make the rounds on the Net is essentially a monster Control Panel that contains an icon for every possible setting you could think of tweaking. In fact, there are 278 items in this monster Control Panel. There's actually nothing new -- all the settings are available in the Control Panel. It's just that they are normally buried deep in categories, tabbed dialog boxes, and other subsections.

In a recent edition of her Beyond Binary column at CNET News, "Windows 7 Has Lots of 'GodModes'" (exclusive), Ina Fried conducted an e-mail interview with Steven Sinofsky, Windows division president, and discovered that there are a lot more of these GodMode folders than just the monster Control Panel. Microsoft shared 16 others that provide quick access to other special settings. As Fried explains in her article, Microsoft's developers create many such undocumented shortcuts to ease access for themselves as they are testing.

As I began my exploration of these GodMode folders, I quickly saw that under certain circumstances many of these folders would be useful to a lot of folks out there. However, I also discovered that typing or even copying and pasting all the special codes while creating the folders was a tedious operation. Each cryptic code is 38 characters long.

Editor's note: To create one of these GodMode files manually, create a New Folder in Windows Explorer, and when it asks for a folder name, type in a name followed by a period and then one of the codes. The resulting file folder will take on the characteristics associated with the code. For example:

Monster Control Panel.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

So I created a short little VBScript program that reads a text file containing the list of "GodMode" folders and, one-by-one, creates each folder. You can download that text file and script in the accompanying free TechRepublic download to this blog post.

In this edition of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report, I'll briefly explore these GodMode folders. I'll then present the text file and script and show you how to use them. That way you can instantly create these GodMode folders on your Windows 7 system and be able to easily conduct your own investigation and discern which of these GodMode folders will be helpful to you and delete those that won't. What could be easier?

The monster Control Panel

The first of the GodMode folders to be revealed is the monster Control Panel, which contains 278 items found nested throughout the standard Control Panel. As you can see in Figure A, this special folder is organized in categories by default.

Figure A

The monster Control Panel folder is neatly organized in a categorical view, making it easier to sort through all the available items.

As you scroll through the huge listing, you can collapse categories to help you more easily locate the items that you are looking for.

The other folders

As I mentioned, the other GodMode folders that Microsoft revealed run the gamut from rarely used items to widely used items. Here's the list of items revealed by the 17 GodMode folders:

Monster Control Panel {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
Enter a default location {00C6D95F-329C-409a-81D7-C46C66EA7F33}
Use biometric devices with Windows {0142e4d0-fb7a-11dc-ba4a-000ffe7ab428}
Select a power plan {025A5937-A6BE-4686-A844-36FE4BEC8B6D}
Select which icons and notifications appear on taskbar {05d7b0f4-2121-4eff-bf6b-ed3f69b894d9}
Store credentials for automatic logon {1206F5F1-0569-412C-8FEC-3204630DFB70}
Install a program from the network {15eae92e-f17a-4431-9f28-805e482dafd4}
Choose the programs that Windows uses by default {17cd9488-1228-4b2f-88ce-4298e93e0966}
Assembly Cache Viewer {1D2680C9-0E2A-469d-B787-065558BC7D43}
Manage wireless networks {1FA9085F-25A2-489B-85D4-86326EEDCD87}
Network {208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}
Computer {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
Devices and Printers {2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}
RemoteApp and Desktop Connections {241D7C96-F8BF-4F85-B01F-E2B043341A4B}
Windows Firewall {4026492F-2F69-46B8-B9BF-5654FC07E423}
Windows Explorer {62D8ED13-C9D0-4CE8-A914-47DD628FB1B0}
System {78F3955E-3B90-4184-BD14-5397C15F1EFC}

The Script

The short little VBScript shown in Figure B will instantly create the 17 GodMode folders on your Windows 7 system. There are basically five sections to the script.

Figure B

Instantly create all 17 of the GodMode folders on your Windows 7 system with this short little VBScript.

In the first section, the script accesses the File System Object, allowing it to manipulate files and folders. The second section determines the folder in which the script is running, gets the name of the text file containing the list of codes for the GodMode folders, and then combines the two. This will allow you to easily create the GodMode folders wherever you want.

The third section opens the file for reading. The fourth section uses a Do loop to sequentially read each line of the file and create the associated folder. The fifth section simply closes the file.

Figure C shows the contents of the GMList.txt file, which contains the list of codes for creating the GodMode folders.

Figure C

The script will read each of the special codes from this text file and create the associated folders.

To create your GodMode folders, just copy both files -- GMList.txt and GMCreate.vbs -- to the folder of your choice and run the .vbs file.

What's your take?

What do you think of the so-called GodMode folders? Have you found them useful? If so, what's your favorite? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

TechRepublic's Windows Vista and Windows 7 Report newsletter, delivered every Friday, offers tips, news, and scuttlebutt on Vista and Windows 7, including a look at new features in the latest version of the Windows OS. Automatically sign up today!

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

101 comments
batnet
batnet

The following code doesn't work for me: Windows Explorer.{62D8ED13-C9D0-4CE8-A914-47DD628FB1B0} Any ideas?

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

Microsoft just keeps falling further and further into the rear view mirror of computing and soon people will discover this.

IT.vgomez
IT.vgomez

Hey thanks this would make my life so much easier.

nomjan
nomjan

What the heck??? this feature is known to me since windows 98, I used control panel and recycle bin GUIDs to hide my personal files in such folders!

rajeshsaini0
rajeshsaini0

this .vbs prog isnt working ... some problem is there in "set thefile = fso.opentextfile(thefullpath, 1)" line... could u help me .

susantabeura
susantabeura

I cant believe there are 17 god mode folders! Thanks for the scripts. I already made a post about GodMode in my blog itestsg.org.

joseph.johnson
joseph.johnson

OK, so say one creates the folders to check out the value they may add. If you decide to delete / remove the so called "GodMode" folders can you delete any or all of the folders without any "stuff" hanging around mucking up the registry etc... ?

bd1235
bd1235

Instead of creating folders and messing up the Explorer folders list why not just create shortcuts from these so called GodModes. Much easier to use. Here is the target for your shortcut for the first GodMode, the super control panel, C:\Windows\explorer.exe shell:::{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

thomasz07
thomasz07

I dowloaded the txt files, but the vbscript wont show.

kapearlman
kapearlman

I just love the title of the folders and the "exert your control with GodMode folders." Makes me feel a bit giddy!

repeters
repeters

This GodMode control panel folder works in Vista, also.

RalphY123
RalphY123

Is there a way to be in a regular user environment and invoke the runas command? Currently when created, you still need to enter ID/Password of the admin in order to run certain features.

Regulus
Regulus

I've been using this for about two weeks already. What a fun place !! I created a folder 'XYZ' on my C drive and then set up the other 16? under it. From there, it was easy to just copy the primary folder to my other Win 7 machines. It's also a real good learning place. If things go wrong, you can still 'FDisk, Format Reinstall' as always!

dlevans
dlevans

Greg, Thank you for sharing your tools to simplify the creation of the folders. I ran the script to create the folders on an XP Pro machine where I have admin rights, and while it created the folders only 4 (GM 9, 11, 12 and 13) seems to have valid codes for XP. Do you have or know of a complete/valid list of codes for XP Pro?

.Martin.
.Martin.

these are all settings I know where to find, and in the case that I needed to use one, I would probably go the normal way, before thinking of this.

Joyce198608
Joyce198608

I just tried the windows explorer, the code may be wrong, because the folder I created is invalid. I copied the code from this text. GodMode.{62D8ED13-C9D0-4CE8-A914-47DD628FB1B0}

brian
brian

If I want to change my screen resolution, I now have to navigate four separate windows, each of which has only ONE actionable item and an incomplete selection of other sections on the left. Maybe if the developers had to use the same UI that we end users have to use, they would not make the UI into a horribly convoluted web of inadequately labeled and poorly populated mini-controls in the first place. Oh how I'd love to get the MS developers set up with my new, easier-than-ever one-button programming suite. Just to make a point. It's a giant, animated picture of a morse code switch. If you hold it for 10 seconds, you get a menu that asks you if you want to delete a character. Tap once for yes, hold for 5 seconds again if you want a left curly brace.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

figured out yet that we exert no control over Windows or God?

Joyce198608
Joyce198608

I've just heard about the GodMode since I have used the Win7 64Byte for several months. I just had a glance at the GodeMode folder. I found it's worth of Monster Control Pannel.

amos
amos

These were not designed, they are just leftovers. The Monster Control Panel just reflects what is in the Control Panel. The rest are not worth the effort, I know because I tried. I just made shortcuts from the Monster into a folder I will use from now on.

Amnezia
Amnezia

makes more sense than trying to remember what "godmode 15" means, or having to refer to a list. And it works

spaceconsulting
spaceconsulting

This so-called godmode is nothing more than a simple list of feautres in one place - THE WAY IT USED TO BE! Windows has gotten so carried away with pictures and animations and menus, etc, etc, etc, and Microsoft's intent to make it DIFFERENT than the previous version (not better) that no one can find anything any more. Windows needs an entire new rewrite, getting rid of all the junk and going back to basics. Think of all the wasted code and "junk" on your computer. Windows could be easily one tenth the size and much more productive.

carlsf
carlsf

a feature that was there in XP/Vista, to enable me to access features that were standard in XP and Vista, WIN7 offers us nothing better. MS have lost the PLOT. The same goes for Office 2007/10 the"RIBBON" is the most unproductive peice of crap I have seen. BRING back the "CLASSIC" option, in both WIN7 and Office.

rajeshsaini0
rajeshsaini0

m using windows-7 and i wrote mentioned coding in .vbs file for godmode code generation but some error is coming in line 8. I wanna correct coding to generate godmode cods ...

dold
dold

Or, maybe I should have called it a .cmd file, to make it sound more current. I took the list, added mkdir" to the front of each line, and a " at the end, like mkdir "Monster Control Panel.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}"

jlambert
jlambert

There are at least 50, likely more.

Amnezia
Amnezia

You could just rename the folders in the text file to something less responsible - as Mark Kaelin mentions above. Might help keep you "giddy-free". {grin}

tony
tony

1)Hit the windows key 2)Type "windows exp" 3)right-click, select Run as Administrator 4)enter your credentials 5)browse to the GodMode folders and run the desired app. The apps will run under admin priviledges, you will have to click accept for UAC unless you've disabled.

darpoke
darpoke

is "I'm running in a restricted account but I'd like it to have admin privileges without needing to authenticate". Is that correct? In other words, what you would like is for any user on your computer to do anything. Why bother creating regular accounts at all? Just give everyone admin rights. Better yet, just hook it to the web and volunteer it for a zombie botnet. And don't forget to leave your front door open next time you go out! :-)

verd
verd

I just opened it...I am using Windows 7 Ultimate...works fine

carlsf
carlsf

reinstate the "CLASSIC" option as I have requested many times. We will be giving WIN7 a miss unless this becomes an option.....

Realvdude
Realvdude

I'm with .Martin, since I won't b installing this on every computer I use, for myself I think it best I just stick with the normal ways of changing configurations.

verd
verd

Do what you want....who cares?

verd
verd

you may be using the wrong brackets the formatting did not copy

tony
tony

Simply hit the Windows key, type "display res", HIT enter, your there, now you can use your mouse OR hit tab twice and use your up/down arrow keys to the res you want, tab a few more times and hit enter on the OK button. Thanks to the advanced indexing, you can access anything from the windows key and start typing, it's a mini google for your computer.

Realvdude
Realvdude

I encounter two windows if I go through the control panel, or one if I right click the desktop. Windows 7 cuts a step, because you can directly access the resolution without having to switch to a settings tab.

Falconeer
Falconeer

All the different opinions, your comment rang so true. Falconeer

.Martin.
.Martin.

when we beat it with a stick?

santeewelding
santeewelding

Or, pretend, so that thou may do and explore that.

wescrook
wescrook

Copy and paste below into the .txt file GM01_Monster Control Panel.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} GM02_Default Location.{00C6D95F-329C-409a-81D7-C46C66EA7F33} GM03_Biometric Enable.{0142e4d0-fb7a-11dc-ba4a-000ffe7ab428} GM04_Power Plan.{025A5937-A6BE-4686-A844-36FE4BEC8B6D} GM05_Icons_Taskbar.{05d7b0f4-2121-4eff-bf6b-ed3f69b894d9} GM06_Stored Credentials.{1206F5F1-0569-412C-8FEC-3204630DFB70} GM07_Install Program over Network.{15eae92e-f17a-4431-9f28-805e482dafd4} GM08_Default Programs.{17cd9488-1228-4b2f-88ce-4298e93e0966} GM09_Assembly Cache Viewer.{1D2680C9-0E2A-469d-B787-065558BC7D43} GM10_Manage Wireless Networks.{1FA9085F-25A2-489B-85D4-86326EEDCD87} GM11_Network.{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D} GM12_Computer.{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D} GM13_Devices_Printers.{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D} GM14_RemoteApp_Desktop.{241D7C96-F8BF-4F85-B01F-E2B043341A4B} GM15_Windows Firewall.{4026492F-2F69-46B8-B9BF-5654FC07E423} GM16_Explorer.{62D8ED13-C9D0-4CE8-A914-47DD628FB1B0} GM17_System.{78F3955E-3B90-4184-BD14-5397C15F1EFC}

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

It's true - you can edit the text file to be any name you want.

tony
tony

The monster control panel which contains nearly all the control items list 278 icons, quite a big list to filter thru. That is only a fraction of all the capabilities. Try tell a bluetooth user or Wireless user that the items are junk and you don't need it. Power options, Windows themes, backup and restore, encryption, gadgets, display and text, Ease of access, Font settings, search indexing, folder and file management, language, program and features, recovery, sync center, network management, remote app, speech, user accounts, firewall, defender, and on and on...... If you haven't used these then apparently you only work with data-entry users. If you had to support an entire infrastructure that includes Sales, Marketing, Executives, Remote users. The users deploy any and all possible means/features to make products sell which is the bottom line for any company - making money. Windows 7 is making it much easier for me to allow users what the want and NEED to get to the bottom line and still ensure security while they are doing it.

peterl
peterl

It seems Microsoft never quite "gets it" and they continue to build products that try to be all things to all people. The end result is a product that does far more than any individual user will ever take advantage of, and does none of it all that well. Coupled with the obsessive trend to apply new "eye candy" at every level, we end up with an OS that has no feel of familiarity, and our end users feel they have to relearn computing with every release. It makes it impossible in a business environment to document and apply best practices policy when the tools change radically at the whim of Microsoft. And yet, they are still the only real game in town. If anyone ever manages to develop a Linux distro that is seriously de-geeked, MS WILL loose market share. If you have to continually re-learn how to use your OS, why not take a serious look at alternatives.

verd
verd

Apply for a job there you seems to have all the answers

yagar
yagar

I've thought this for years

wescrook
wescrook

I personally rebuild computers on a weekly basis for local businesses/friends/family. This is a 'GodSend' for those little tweaks I do to each system that are never the same for all of them. I created the folders on my 'techie' jump drive and they work great. I also created an automated script that installs my antivirus, anti-spyware, defragmenting, and cleaning tools - all with one keystroke. I can rebuild a system in an hour, this only makes those tedious changes even faster! Love it.

brian
brian

My old habit of going right-click -> properties was getting in my way. I wasn't even seeing the "resolution" link just above "personalize." Still though even if that example fails, there are not shortcuts for everything. The property pages are drastically underpopulated and oversimplified, which usually just makes it harder for any skill level user to do what he or she wants. Underpopulating property pages just causes you to have to make more pages, and those have become a tangled mess. Putting a shortcut outside of the tangle so that you don't have to navigate the tangle is just a subtle admission that there is a tangle present and you don't want to go in there.

paragonspecialties
paragonspecialties

Thanks wescrook - made this whole thing a breeze for me. Works just fine on my 64 bit Win 7. Pretty slick!

Amnezia
Amnezia

Thanks Mark, that's what I meant.

Amnezia
Amnezia

I can't think of why I'd want to use all these shortcuts, but for those I use often/sometimes it's a great time-saver. Pick what you want and discard the rest - that's what we all do - usually. Well done - seriously. Let the others snipe away while we chuckle behind our hands, knowing exactly what these do for US!!

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