The first big Windows 7 story of the new year is the “discovery” of “GodMode“–a supposedly undocumented hack that exposes all manner of secret settings in Windows. Except it doesn’t.

Shortly after the news hit the twitterverse, Ed Bott explained what God Mode really is (and isn’t). Today, he follows up with a list of other god mode (demi-god?) shortcuts.

Most of these shortcuts are well documented–if you know where to look. Check “Canonical Names of Control Panel Items” at MSDN, for example.

As Ed noted in his posts, we’ve covered this technique in previous Inside Out editions, but omitted coverage in Windows 7 Inside Out. Why? Frankly, it provides nothing useful in Windows 7. The Search box in Control Panel provides a much faster, easier, and more convenient method for finding Control Panel functions; you don’t need to know the name of the applet (many of which have changed in recent versions of Windows) or where it lives in the hierarchy. You don’t even have to spell correctly, because (as Ed points out in his blog) MS has put in several common misspellings as search keywords. 

Say, for example, you want to change the screen resolution. Begin typing “screen,” “display,” “monitor,” “resolution,” “size,” “pixels,” “adjust,” or “change.” (I’m sure there are other valid keywords; these are just the first few that occurred to me.) The short list invariably includes Adjust Screen Resolution under a prominent Display heading.


This is the official web site for Windows 7 Inside Out, written by Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, and Craig Stinson and published by Microsoft Press. The book is on its way to the printer now and according to the publisher, copies should be available to the public on September 30, well in advance of the October 22 on-sale date for Windows 7 itself.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them here.