Microsoft

Quick Tip: Invoke god mode to take control of settings in Windows 8

Control panel settings and configurations are typically scattered all over in Windows 8, unless you know about god mode.

For the record, I like Microsoft Windows 8. However, just like any operating system, it is not perfect - there are always annoyances. For many traditional power users, one of the most annoying things about Windows 8 is that it is not easy find all of the control panel settings and configuration wizards that have traditionally been available in previous versions of the operating system.

All of those settings are available; they are just difficult to put your finger on sometimes. For example, there are two control panels in Windows 8 - one is attached to the Start Screen and one is part of the Desktop environment. Of course, neither of them grants you access to all of the configuration settings you'd like to see. This is where you can employ the power of what has been dubbed "god mode."

I have the power

In Windows 8, god mode is just a special folder that contains links to all of the control panel and configuration settings. Creating the special folder is not difficult, but it does require knowledge of a special code.

First, open the Desktop and start Windows File Explorer. For this to work properly, you have to change two settings under the View tab of Windows File Explorer. As you can see in Figure A, you will want to check the boxes: File name extensions and Hidden items.

Figure A

Check File name extensions and Hidden items
With those changes made, right-click on the Windows 8 Desktop and navigate to New | Folder, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

Create a new folder

This is where the code comes in. Replace the "New folder" temporary name with this string of text:

GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
When you press Enter the new folder will be renamed GodMode and its icon will go from a plain folder to a folder that looks like Figure C.

Figure C

GodMod folder on the Desktop
When you double-click that folder you will be taken to a very long list of control panel settings and configuration wizards, separated into sections. (Figure D)

Figure D

Every configuration tweak at your command
You can leave the GodMode Folder on the Desktop if you'd like, but if you right-click it you can Pin it to the Start Page so that it has its own tile like Figure E.

Figure E

GodMode as a tile
Or you can pin the folder to Windows File Explorer on the Taskbar on the Desktop, as displayed in Figure F.

Figure F

Available from the Taskbar

Also read:

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

30 comments
PaulBinAZ
PaulBinAZ

Great tip.  How do I get ride of all the code in the file name?  When I change the name it changes the file type back to a regular file folder

ebob2k
ebob2k

There are no atheists working on Win8 systems: When working on them, the word God will inevitably be invoked.

jmrk
jmrk

Not only does this work on windows 8 it also works on Windows 7. Just did it and there it be. Linux Pirate Sub-note: Nuttin, I didn't already know how to do. Thanks to years of search and destroy.

miket
miket

This works but only for the desktop control panel. Can you add the PC Settings control panel?

Patrick Gilhooly
Patrick Gilhooly

Good to know - excellent --keep up the good work and good suggestions

PROVIS-DH
PROVIS-DH

This works with Windows 7 too.

telecomman00
telecomman00

This god mode is a god send in my opinion. Wow, I wish I had known about this months ago. I am less thrilled with Windows 8 than the author appears to be, but this will certainly improve my outlook.

wrex
wrex

Followed your instructions to the letter. Just ended up with an empty folder renamed with the code. Didn't work on Win 8 Pro, 32 bit.

Gremeleon
Gremeleon

This is without doubt THE most useful tip I have received so far about Win 8. I have received many (and I have used many) from Greg Shultz and others. I really enjoy the fresh interface (albeit without touch screen) and have gotten used to the nuances of 8. This "Control Folder" puts "total control" into a whole new context. Thanks Mark

FortBragg_Surfgoddess
FortBragg_Surfgoddess

looks like GPedit for local machine policy to me... what a dumb way to hide it and another dumb windows Idea... Heck most businesses are still trying to rid themselves of XP let alone migrating to windows 8.

mswift
mswift

Mark, On desktop hover in the lower left until the tiles icon shows. Right click that icon, done!

DeanosT
DeanosT

Works for Windows 7 too.... Nice trick to know...

bilal_mahmood@hotmail.com
bilal_mahmood@hotmail.com

i enjoyed the read..also very nice to see everything there.. i wasn't aware of nay other way for ALL the options combined in ONE place.. thank you thank you..

w_rigg
w_rigg

Unfortunately it did not work for me. Windows 8 dell desktop

ddreibelbies
ddreibelbies

What a fantastic tip. Very, very useful...

sarai1313
sarai1313

sorry must have forgoten some thing.

rodolfo.jofre
rodolfo.jofre

Thanks for the tip. Excellent. The use of God's name, not good indeed. I prefer to use [i][b]"Windows Master Control Panel shortcut"[/b][/i]. Alas!, I know the nickname is too wide spread...

jdutch
jdutch

Very convenient to have all these items in one place, especially for a new user (like me) to get a quick overview of most system commands.

JJFitz
JJFitz

The same string creates God Mode in Windows 7. Now, why didn't I think to try it out in Windows 8?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Have you been frustrated by the lack of a central location for all of the Windows 8 control panel and configuration settings?

elmarioc
elmarioc

Are you an agnostic? (LOL)

JJFitz
JJFitz

Unlike Control Panel, God Mode presents all control panel items in a File Explorer view as opposed to Categories (default), small icons or large icons. With God Mode, you can select an activity you use frequently (for example Edit Group Policy), right click it and create a shortcut. From then on you don't need God Mode or Control Panel to jump to Group Policy. Now it is one click away. You can not make a shortcut to edit group policy from Control Panel. Rather, you have to open Control Panel, enter "Group Policy" in the search box and click edit group policy every time. That's 2 mouse clicks, 12 key presses, and a click. Or worse, you could navigate through Control Panel Categories to find it. Yuck! The (Metro) Start Screen is even easier than Control Panel for finding group policy. Type "Group Policy", select settings and click edit group policy. That's 12 key presses and 2 mouse clicks. All I am saying is in Windows 8, Control Panel is different from God Mode which is different from the Start Screen and all three have their uses to get to the same end efficiently. Remember the saying, "Work smarter - not harder." :)

k.bertrand
k.bertrand

This Wiki article raises two issues that concern me: 1) "In 64-bit Vista, creating a GodMode folder will cause Explorer to repeatedly crash and restart, requiring that the user boot into Safe Mode to delete the folder." 2) "GUID-based folder names can be exploited by computer worms" The Wiki article was last edited 9 January 2013 at 12:02. So, I assume these are still current outstanding issues to be aware of.

sarai1313
sarai1313

yes this does give a lot more options

K_Green
K_Green

I asked her once. She said she prefers to go by Angelica. ;-)

Gisabun
Gisabun

The girlfriend calls me "God" quite offen in the sack. :-)