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Take control of system folders using the CLSID

Are you a systems administrator who would like to control the system folders that are displayed on a users machine? System folders with icons like the Network Neighborhood, My Computer, Control Panel, and more? Sometimes controlling these is as simple as taking them out of the sight of the user. You may also want the flexibility to control the right click context menu of any system folder. To do this one must understand the CLSID.

Each system folder has a unique CLSID key or Class ID, which is a 16-byte value that identifies an individual object that points to a corresponding key in the Registry.

If you want to take these system folder icons out of sight, simply go to the following Registry keys and delete the 16-byte CLSID value within "NameSpace".

Here is how:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerDesktopNamespace{xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx}

Here are the CLSID values for the most common system folder icons:

  • My Computer: {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

  • Network Neighborhood: {208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-O8002B30309D}

  • Recycle Bin: {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}

  • Inbox: {00020D76-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}

  • My Briefcase: {85BBD920-42AO-1069-A2E4-08002B30309D}

  • Control Panel: {21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}

  • Printers: {2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-O8002B30309D}

  • Dial-up Networking: {992CFFA0-F557-101A-88EC-00DD01CCC48}

  • History: {FF393560-C2A7-11CF-BFF4-444553540000}

For example, to delete the Recycle Bin, note its CLSID value above, which is: 645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E. Now, go to the Namespace key in the Registry and delete the corresponding key.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionexplorerDesktopNameSpace{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}

Now for the flexibility to control the right click context menu of any system folder...I will again use the Recycle Bin as the example. First, launch the Registry editor and open the following Registry key:

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}ShellFolder.

In the right pane, there will be a DWORD value names attributes. Now consider the following options:

  1. To add the Rename option to the menu, change the value of attributes to: 50 01 00 20

  2. To add the Delete option to the menu, change the value of attributes to: 60 01 00 20

  3. To add both the Rename and the Delete options to the menu change the value of attributes to: 70,01,00,20

  4. Add Copy to the menu, change attributes to: 41 01 00 20

  5. Add Cut to the menu, change attributes to: 42 01 00 20

  6. Add Copy and Cut to the menu, change attributes to: 43 01 00 20

  7. Add Paste to the menu, change attributes to: 44 01 00 20

  8. Add Copy and Paste to the menu, change attributes to: 45 01 00 20

  9. Add Cut and Paste to the menu, change attributes to: 46 01 00 20

  10. Add all Cut, Copy, and Paste to the menu, change attributes to: 47 01 00 20

To reset the default Windows options change the value of Attributes back to: 40 01 00 20

There you have it some basic ways to take control of system folders using the CLSID.


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