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!