Tips for Windows 95 from Tipworld  


  I got the tips to begin these pages over a period of  months, I personally got some benefit out of this and  I hope you will also.

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Is there a Plus! desktop theme whose sound scheme you'd like to use on its own, without the rest of that theme's features? You can activate it on its own from the Desktop Themes dialog box; or, if you frequent the Sound Properties dialog box, place the scheme there for easy access. To activate just the sound scheme of a Plus! desktop theme, open the Control Panel and double-click on Desktop Themes. Select the theme whose sounds you'd like to use, then deselect all of the options under Settings except Sound events. Click on OK, and that sound scheme is now activated. To access the scheme from the Sound Properties dialog box, while the scheme is activated, open the Control Panel and double-click Sounds. Click the Save As button, type a name for the current scheme --for example, "Nature" -- and click OK twice. From now on, you can select this scheme by name in the Schemes list.


In a previous tip, we introduced the System Policy Editor, which allows you to set up restrictions on your computer. To access this tool, navigate your way to ADMIN\APPTOOLS\POLEDIT (on the Windows 95 installation CD) and double-click POLEDIT.EXE. Select Open Registry under the File menu, then double-click the Local User icon.

If you don't want anyone messing with your Registry, disable the Registry editing tools. Inside the Policy Editor, double-click the System book, then Restrictions. Select Disable Registry editing tools, click OK, then select Save under File.(To undo this restriction, deselect it and save your change.)


In our last tip, we introduced the Windows 95 Briefcase, a tool that allows you to edit files away from their originating computer while keeping both the original and the copy current. To set up a Briefcase, right-mouse click on the desktop, select New, and then select Briefcase. Add to this folder copies of any files you plan to modify away from that computer. If you want to work on the Briefcase files on a laptop, connect the laptop to this system over your office network or via direct cable connection, then move the Briefcase from your office computer's desktop to your laptop's desktop. Now go to work. Make all the changes you want to those files; just don't move them out of the Briefcase, or you'll lose the link to the original. Once you move the Briefcase back to the original system, you'll want to update the original files so they match those in the Briefcase (the same applies if you've edited the originals and want them to match those in the Briefcase). To update, select Update All under the Briefcase menu. Briefcase will now present you with the Update dialog box, which itemizes the updating it's about to do. Click on Update to proceed, and all of your files are now up to date.


Whenever we describe a tip that involves editing the Registry, we recommend backing up the Registry first. A number of you have asked for a review of this technique, so here goes:

Full Backup

1.Open the Registry Editor.
2.Pull down the Registry menu and choose Export Registry File.
3.Navigate to where you'd like to store the backup file, type in a name for the file, select All under Export range, and click on Save.

Partial Backup

1.Open the Registry Editor.
2.Navigate your way to the branch you'd like to back up.
3.Choose Export Registry File under Registry. (Selected Branch will be selected under Export range.)
4.Navigate to where you'd like to store the backup file, type in a name for the file, and click on Save.

Whether you do a full or partial backup, the result is a REG file. To restore this information to the Registry:

1.Double-click on the REG file.
2.Choose Import Registry File under Registry, navigate your way to the REG file, and click on Open.




Does someone you know have the OEM Service Release 2 version of Windows 95? Wish you could use those five new screen savers on your earlier release? Well, you can. Simply copy the following files (from your friend's system) to your C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder:



A few people asked us to rerun this tip on changing your user identity:

When you installed Windows 95, you entered your name and organization. You can change this registered user information using the Registry Editor. (As always, back up the Registry before making a change.)

Click on Start, select Run, type regedit and click on OK to open the Registry Editor. Navigate your way to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion. In the right pane, you'll notice RegisteredOrganization and RegisteredOwner string values (among others). To change one of these values, right-mouse click on it, select Modify, and type new information on the Value data line. Click on OK and close the Registry Editor.


About a month ago, we ran a tip about exiting to DOS. If you don't remember it, here's a quick review:First, configure your system to boot to DOS: In the MSDOS.SYS file, change the line BootGUI=1 to BootGUI=0. In this case, you'll start Windows 95 by typing WIN at the DOS prompt (or perhaps you've added the line "WIN" to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file). Once this condition has been met, you can exit to DOS during the shutdown process. As soon as you see the "It is now safe to turn off your system" screen, type MODE CO80 and press Enter. If you don't want to type MODE CO80 each time you shut down, and you don't care about the "It is now safe to turn off your system" screen (LOGOS.SYS), delete it from your Windows folder. From then on, the shutdown process will take you directly to DOS.




Do you frequently print using two different settings? For example, you might print a color document one minute, then a black-and-white, landscape-oriented page the next. Rather than changing these settings each time you print, trick Windows into thinking you have two printers, each with different Properties settings.Select Start, Settings, Printers; double-click on Add Printer; and then follow the instructions to reinstall your printer the same way you did the first time. When asked, opt to keep the existing driver, and then make sure to give this "new" printer a new name, such as "Landscape B/W." When the setup is finished, the Printers window will display two different items representing the same printer. Adjust their Properties to the settings you need (right-mouse click on the icon, select Properties, and so on) and, if you wish, create shortcuts to each on the desktop for easy access. From now on, just click and drag the document you want to print to your "printer" of choice. (Or, use an application's Print command, and then select the printer you want to use in the resulting dialog box.)


 Do you have a Microsoft Natural Keyboard? Then there are some keyboard shortcuts you don't want to be without. Hold down the Windows key and press:

                         E to open Windows Explorer
                         R to open the Run dialog box
                         F to open the Find dialog box
                         F1 to open Help
                         M to minimize all open windows (Shift-Windows-M to undo minimize all)
                         Tab to cycle through the Taskbar buttons
                         Break to open the System Properties dialog box



Want to know the size of all the files and folders (and files within those folders) in a particular directory (or folder--whatever you want to call it)? In a previous tip, we told you about TreeSize, accessible from


It's a great little shareware utility that provides you with every folder's size at a glance--something Explorer fails to do. However, Explorer does offer a neat little trick. In Explorer's left pane, click on the plus sign of the directory whose size you wish to determine. Now select all the contents of the right pane, files and folders alike, by clicking on the top entry, holding down Shift, and clicking on the bottom entry. Right click on the entire selection, choose Properties, and you'll see the total number of files and folders, as well as their combined size.


When you want to eject a CD from your CD-ROM drive, do you reach all the way over there and press the eject button? If that button is a ways away (for example, your tower is under your desk), you may be getting good and tired of making the stretch. Instead, use menu commands to eject that CD.

In your My Computer or Explorer window, right-mouse click on your CD-ROM drive and select Eject. Phtooey--out comes the CD!


In our previous tip, we showed you how to eject a CD using menu commands. [In an Explorer or My Computer window, right-mouse click on your CD-ROM drive and select Eject.] While you're at it, notice there's another handy command--Play--that appears if you have an audio CD in your drive. This means you can leave a CD in the drive indefinitely. Then every time you want to play it, instead of ejecting the disk and popping it back in to activate your system's AutoPlay feature (assuming you have it--if not, you probably start the CD Player and hit Play), you can simply right-mouse click on your CD-ROM drive icon (which will read "Audio CD") and select Play.


About a month ago, we ran a tip on changing your Recycle Bin's icon. Here's a quick review:

Open the Registry Editor and navigate your way to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ CLSID\                        {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ DefaultIcon.
Right-mouse click on Empty in the right pane, select Modify; and on the Value data line, type the path and number of the icon you want to use for an empty Recycle Bin using the following format: "path, ##."

Repeat these steps for the "full" string value, assuming you want to change that icon as well. A reader, M. K. Hollis, writes: "How do I find out which icon I want to use? Is there a way to look at them?"

There is a way, but the hard part is knowing where to look. Two icon files we can point you to are PIFMGR.DLL and SHELL32.DLL, both of which are in the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder. To view the icons in these files, right-mouse click on any folder shortcut, choose Properties, click on the Shortcut tab, and click on the Change Icon button. The Change Icon dialog box displays all the icons in SHELL32.DLL. Click on the Browse button and navigate your way to PIFMGR.DLL and open it (if you have it) to reveal its contents in the Change Icon dialog box. (Note: If you don't see any DLL files, open any Windows 95 window, select View under Options, and on the View tab, select Show all files.)You surely have other icon files on your system, depending on the applications you've installed. You'll just need to search around for them after clicking on Browse. (For example, the Windows folder includes lots of icons associated with EXE files.) If you select a file that doesn't contain any icons, you'll get a message telling you so. When you find an icon you want to use, just make sure to write down the path of its file and the number of the icon. (Remember, in any icon file, the icons are numbered from zero to whatever.)

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