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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

  1. Jonny permalink

    What can you do if Explorer isn’t behaving, and you’re getting the .{clsid}
    in it’s entirety?

    win7 x64

  2. Jonny permalink

    To answer myself – create a new user folder, observe the normal working behaviour. reboot, and your user folder should be working as expected – no {CLSID}.


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