Skip to content

The so-called “God Mode”

by Brandon on January 4th, 2010

A rather goofy “trick” has been making the rounds over the last couple days, which was described by Ina Fried on CNET as follows:

By creating a new folder in Windows 7 and renaming it with a certain text string at the end, users are able to have a single place to do everything from changing the look of the mouse pointer to making a new hard drive partition.

Apparently people decided to call this “God Mode” because to enable this “trick” you make a folder called GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} and double-click on it.  Now you can see… the control panel.  With a slightly different view than you normally see it in.

So first off, why is this completely silly?  Well, the text “GodMode” has nothing to do with making the trick work.  You can call the folder “ILikePuppies.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}” and now you’ve discovered the magical “ILikePuppies” feature hidden in Windows.

Well, not really.  What you’ve actually discovered are two things:

First, you’ve discovered a documented feature of the shell whereby filesystem folders can be easily made into namespace junctions, as described here on MSDN.  Basically, any folder named <DisplayName>.<CLSID> will show up with just the <DisplayName> portion visible in Explorer, and navigating into the folder will take you to the namespace root defined by the <CLSID> portion of the name.  This isn’t a user feature, it’s a developer feature.

The second thing you’ve discovered is the “All Tasks” folder.  This is a special shell folder which is used as the source of the “Control Panel” search results seen in the Start menu.  This folder was not designed to be browsed to directly, as the normal Control Panel folder (accessible via Start -> Control Panel) contains all the same items but with a custom view designed to be easier to navigate.  The “All Tasks” folder has no custom view, so you just see the standard Explorer list view and little else.

The existence of this folder and its CLSID are implementation details and should not be relied upon by anybody for any purpose*.

God Mode?  Hardly.

Props to Ed Bott for his earlier post about this “trick.”

* = Update: The intended meaning of this statement was, “please don’t use this folder / CLSID in your app for anything, since it will probably break in the future.”  If you like using this view and are happy with an unsupported untested trick for your own personal use, then by all means, enjoy it.

From → Technology

51 Comments
  1. Brian permalink

    “The existence of this folder and its CLSID are implementation details and should not be relied upon by anybody for any purpose.” Why? I think it’s faster and easier to find the option I’m looking for in a big list rather than to try and drill down the confusing “easier” control panel way. The control panel in XP was very nice. Vista and 7 tried to make it more accessible to the lay person, making it more cryptic to the advanced user. You can still list by icon, which is alright, but things have still moved around a lot since XP. This list solves those confusions. I will rely upon it heavily.

  2. feckineejit permalink

    I think it’s absurdly funny that windows developers think that it’s somehow EASIER to navigate the mess of folders and settings called control panel instead of just viewing them in this list format. I know what folder I’m creating tonight “ScrewWindows.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}”.

  3. Nick permalink

    @Brian:
    I believe that quote was intended to warn you that as an undocumented “implementation detail” Microsoft may change the manner in which it is implemented in the future and thus “break” this “feature”. Go ahead and use it if you prefer, just be aware that while Microsoft does attempt to maintain compatibility in documented features they do not for undocumented ones such as this.

  4. @Brian –

    That note was mainly directed at developers. Some have made a habit of relying on implementation details in the past, which just makes compatibility harder and harder (and overall has a negative impact for users).

    I’ll make sure to pass your feedback about this UI presentation along to the appropriate people.

    @feckineejit -

    I normally use Search or contextual entrypoints to get to control panels. If you find this list format useful, that’s great to know, and as I said above I will pass that feedback along.

  5. remcos permalink

    @Brandon

    I have been using Vista and Windows 7 for quite a few years now and I never realized that control panel items will actually show up as search results. I am pretty sure that this is a very unknown feature. I have seen many people struggle with finding the right items in the Control Panel – especially the more advanced users. Because of your last comment I now finally know a quick way to get to them using Search. And it works great.Thank you…

  6. Jouke74 permalink

    As with all functions, this “Godmode” might not be so harmless as it seems. For Administrators everything seems ok, but for restricted users it might be a shortcut for functions they normally cannot reach / adjust through the control panel. Furthermore, “Godmode” has the tendency to crash explorer under certain conditions and it is difficult to remove the folder afterwards…

  7. @Brandon

    Your commend on Windows XP Control Panel being more “user friendly for advanced users” is completely bogus. Advanced users (like myself) don’t even need to use the Control Panel. They use the .cpl files in System32.

    Also, any “advanced” user would easily be able to figure out Windows Vista/7′s Control Panel easily.

  8. Comment*

  9. bratos permalink

    Users restricted by group policy seem to still be restricted when using this “god mode” folder redirection. Instead of “Godmode” you can call it “show-me-what-I-am-allowed-to-do-mode”.

  10. Hey. I need some help.. I can crate the folder (Vista 32bit) but the first. It’s hidden.. (I know how to show.) And then i show the fil, I get a icon for some sort of a laptop…. But when I open it, I get a windows fail, and disktop restarts…

    My command I used: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

    Can you help me… ?

    Please wirte in here, or send me an E-mail: Chaos_killer38@hotmail.com

    /Emil

  11. It’s works now :)

    / EMIl

  12. @remcos -

    Control Panel tasks were not returned in Vista’s start menu, that’s a new Windows 7 feature. Vista would only return control panel’s themselves if you happened to match the exact title.

    @Bender -

    I’m not sure which comment you’re referring to. I’ve said nothing of the sort.

    @Jouke74

    Nothing shown in this folder is any different from what you can access in the normal Control Panel. This has no impact on what restricted users can or cannot access.

  13. Martin Th. Sonne permalink

    “God Mode” ??? *snickers*

    “… and now perterson, you’ve got the whole world at your fingertips”

    “Really?? Does that mean my computer can now make coffee???”

    “HArdly… but we’ve made things easier for you…”

    I am pretty sure that it is not Microsoft that has named that [i]key[/i] “Godmode”.

  14. zowix permalink

    Jouke74 have right, the explorers crash.
    I Have Vista 64 bit and when I tried this the explorer just keep on crashing and I dont know how to fix it. I tried to remove the folder på rmdir but it could not find it.

    So now im having a bit hard to explore the computer if i say so.

    Can someone help me? That would be great.

  15. Typist's Mistake permalink

    The Mode Name is wrong! the real name is “GoofMode”. ^^

  16. Typist's Mistake permalink

    The ultimate ‘God Mode’ list: 39 secret Windows 7 shortcuts
    (= CLSID in Windows 7 + Vista)

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=1615&page=2

  17. Apoxel permalink

    2 zowix

    “The trick is also said to work in Windows Vista, although some are warning that although it works fine in 32-bit versions of Vista, it can cause 64-bit versions of that operating system to crash. ”

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10423985-56.html

    Hope it helps you

  18. Hurray it worked on my vista 32-bit and crashed my friends 64-bit. hahaha now i m enjoying the details lol.

  19. If you’re using this in x64 Vista, make sure to use the shell: ::{} shortcut method, and not the name.{} folder method.

  20. Ian permalink

    To all those who haven’t tried this simple task do so now, go to the control panel, in the search box type in any one letter, say A for this purpose and you’ll see an even longer list than you’d get in godmode. you could create a shortcut on your desktop and give it the same icon.

  21. Ian permalink

    To all of you having trouble removing the item from the desktop, rename it first and then delete

  22. Very good article i described this in my forum also, i must say this article is very good too, appreciate it and keep your good work

  23. everyone, sing along! permalink

    “He’s got the whole CLSID in his hands,
    He’s got the whole CLSID in his hands,
    He’s got the whole CLSID in his hands,
    He’s got the whole *ing CLSID in his hands.”

  24. Great article.The How to Windows blog also has alot of cool articles about the God Mode folder and other Windows 7 related topics, check it out!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. stephenlrose at 01/05/10 04:46:41 | Exectweets
  2. jldavid at 01/05/10 07:36:34 | Exectweets
  3. BlogoFlux – Information Technology Blog » Blog Archive » Windows 7 “God Mode”, so to speak, revealed
  4. Enable the Secret God Mode in Windows 7 - Page 2 - Windows Help Forum
  5. Modo deus e caixas de seleção no Explorer (Windows 7) » WinAjuda
  6. Windows 7 – The so-called “God Mode” ??? | Windows7-Base.de – W7 Blog
  7. click.logg | Trucco per la modalità dio in Windows7. Oppure è solo il Pannello di Controllo?
  8. Windows 7 ha il suo GodMode
  9. photomaniacal.com » Blog Archive » Windows 7 “God Mode” Not Quite So Godly
  10. Windows 7 : une nouvelle fonctionnalité « God Mode » trouvée - Pinnula.fr
  11. Syber News » Windows 7 “God Mode” Not Quite So Godly
  12. Windows 7 “God Mode” Revealed
  13. GodMode i Windows 7 | Nørdit bloggen
  14. Windows 7 Ha Il Suo GodMode « HARDWARE
  15. Windows 7 y su “Modo Dios” « El Blog de NEUBOX Internet
  16. Latest Tech News | Techology Exlpored » Windows 7 “God Mode” Not Quite So Godly
  17. Windows 7 easter egg - Chrysler 300C Forum: 300C & SRT8 Forums
  18. How to Enable God mode in Windows 7 - Windows 7
  19. Windows 7 RTM GodMode « PC Tips Box
  20. Windows 7 e la cosiddetta “God Mode”… :: News Orebla.it
  21. Windows 7 “GodMode”
  22. Tune Up Your PC » Post Topic » 2010 Q1 link clearance: Microsoft blogger edition
  23. links for 2010-03-31 « dstelow notes…
  24. Windows 7 “God Mode” « Patrick's Blog
  25. Windows 7 GodMode >> KaRaBuLuT
  26. Playing God in Windows 7 « Maya Chitchatting's Blog
  27. Windows 7 Gizli Modu:Godmode | Teknokafa.org Bilgi guctur; Paylastikca Buyur!

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS