| By Scott Dunn |
You’re just minutes away from faster Start menus and shutdowns, shorter application “hangs,” fewer annoying disk-space popups, and easier encryption.
A few simple Registry changes can quash annoyances, improve performance, and add new features to Windows.
Before you begin, create a restore point
Some of the best Windows improvements come from simple edits you can make in the Registry — the central database that stores configuration settings and options for all the hardware and software in a Windows system.
Editing the Registry is pretty easy — some might say too easy. Change or delete the wrong Registry key, and you may create more problems than you solve. So work carefully, and back up the Registry by setting a restore point before embarking on any Registry revisions.
• In XP, choose Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore. Check Create a restore point, click Next, and follow the prompts.
• In Windows 7 and Vista, click Start, type SystemPropertiesProtection, and press Enter. Confirm any security prompts, click Create, type a name for the restore point, and click Create again.