Scott Hanselman

Unlocking Windows 8 "God Mode" - A Useful Trick but also Mysterious Nonsense

January 18, '13 Comments [42] Posted in Win8
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Everyone likes the idea of a cheat mode, or "God Mode." Many years ago - I think around 1993 - Doom introduced the idea of switching a player into God Mode within the game by typing IDDQD. You'd then be invincible and get to feel like you'd discovered an exciting secret "easter egg" in the game. How exciting the the developers hid this for us to find!

You may have heard of a "God Mode" hidden in the depths of Windows 8 (or 7 for that matter). The idea is that you make a folder somewhere, I like using my desktop, and name the folder "GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}" and it "unlocks" a bunch of secret functionality.

Let's try.

Make a God Mode Folder for Windows

Now I hit Enter...

God Mode looks a lot like the Control Panel

Hm, the folder icon looks like the Control Panel now, and the long GUID (Globally Unique Identifier) is gone.  Cool.

What's the properties for this folder say? Right Click, Properties. There's the Type with the GUID. It's not just a File Folder, it's a File Folder with some metadata associated..

God Mode is a folder with a GUID at the end

Where is this GUID in the Registry? Let's run Regedit.exe and Find it.

God Mode in the registry is a GUID pointing to the Control Panel

Ah, it's the All Tasks view of the Control Panel. By naming this folder this way, its view is now the Control Panel with All Tasks shown.

But 'GodMode?' That is a little dodgy as a name, right? That might offend. Is it needed? Let me rename it to MagicPants.

You can name the GodMode folder whatever you want

Does it still work? Sure. I can call it whatever I need.

I renamed my folder "Magic Pants"

Is there a reason to have this "All Tasks" folder? No. It's just a view on a list of control panel tasks you already have.

See there where it says "add clocks for different time zones?" What if I just press the Start Button and type "add clocks" and click on Settings?

You can already search settings for ALL these Control Panel tasks

The Control Panel tasks are searched from the Start Screen's settings already. They always have been, even in Windows 7.

If you like the idea of an "All Tasks" or "God Mode" folder, be happy and make yourself one on your desktop. If not, know that ALL those features are already there. Just press the Windows button, type something, and hit settings. If you're a hotkey person, you can press Windows Key + W and access any of these 265 (and growing) helpers to customize your system.

Some cool examples, search for "RAM"

Search for RAM

or "Fonts"

Search for Fonts

or "Mouse"

Search for Mouse

Either way, enjoy the God Mode that your computer already has, or feel free to customize your machine to your heart's content.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Friday, January 18, 2013 9:38:31 PM UTC
Cool post. You discussed that you can change the name from GodMode to something else, so I thought I’d just try to create the folder with a different name, like “All Tasks.” Sure enough, it looks like you can name the first part of the folder anything you like as long as you add “.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}” after the name. The behavior appears to be the same as you describe!
Don Kirkham
Friday, January 18, 2013 9:40:59 PM UTC
I got a bit too excited when I say the title of the post. I thought you were going to show a way to put the Start Menu button back Into Windows 8. :(
Josh
Friday, January 18, 2013 9:43:53 PM UTC
cool!
Dayday Up
Friday, January 18, 2013 9:48:44 PM UTC
Doom codes are IDDQD - "God" and IDKFA - "All full weapons". Not IDDQA :-)
Andrei
Friday, January 18, 2013 9:53:13 PM UTC
Andrei - Oops! Thanks, fixed!
Friday, January 18, 2013 10:11:02 PM UTC
+1 for Andrei!
Friday, January 18, 2013 10:17:08 PM UTC
I also didn't get why is that folder called "GodMode" when it's just a collection of links to settings. Not because the religious concerns that name may carry, I don't care about religion, but because it's not like a secret tweak tool for Windows or something. It's just a bunch of links, even duplicate links.
Fitoschido
Friday, January 18, 2013 10:19:41 PM UTC
" It's just a view on a list of control panel tasks you already have" is one of those statements that's technically true, but misleading. You might as well say "all these functions are available on the command line." Sure, which can be great if you know they're there. But if you don't know the right magic words to incant, the function might as well not exist. The question is, if so many people find this "all tasks" view useful, why is it not included? Is Microsoft trying to be Apple, forcing users to interact with the system in the ways they deem "correct"?
Steve
Friday, January 18, 2013 10:31:01 PM UTC
When reading the title I was expecting to learn how to fully turn off UAC and still have modern apps working.
Donatas
Saturday, January 19, 2013 1:05:44 AM UTC
I found that if you go to the search bar in the control panel and type in the letter a, then a full list of all the tasks available would appear!
This was in windows 7 and I am sure that it will do the same in 8
Dik
Saturday, January 19, 2013 1:22:35 PM UTC
This type of trick has been around forever, in Win9x you could use it to get a cascading control panel in the start menu (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/134849) etc.

Folder.{guid} is one of the ways you can create a shellfolder junction (Can also be done with desktop.ini or Explorer\...\Namespace in the registry)
Saturday, January 19, 2013 3:50:01 PM UTC
Start Menu button back Into Windows 8

http://www.startbutton8.com/pt/index.html
Pedro
Saturday, January 19, 2013 3:56:34 PM UTC
@Donatas:

Disabling your OS security almost completely is widely considered a bad move.
K
Saturday, January 19, 2013 4:09:12 PM UTC
I'm able to search all links from the Control Panel without using any "god mode"
Suc
Saturday, January 19, 2013 4:35:24 PM UTC
The start button in Windows is still there! :) Instead of taking pixels, it's hidden at the bottom left of the screen, exactly where it was before... Pretty smart move, I can have more pinned items now on my taskbar.

The best and fastest way to access the start menu has always been pressing the windows key on the keyboard.
Saturday, January 19, 2013 5:38:29 PM UTC
Zork had a God Mode back in the 70s
LaJmOn
Saturday, January 19, 2013 5:45:15 PM UTC
I don't understand how this is any different from just turning on the control panel icon from Personalization > Change desktop icons

Is this just another way of doing the same thing?
Sunday, January 20, 2013 12:24:21 AM UTC
For me, the folder still displays the GUID (I guess becuase I generally opt to show extensions).

A workaround is to create the folder elsewhere and use a shortcut with a friendly name.
Rob G
Sunday, January 20, 2013 2:58:18 AM UTC
IDSPISPOPD, that's all I'm saying.
efdee
Sunday, January 20, 2013 3:29:03 AM UTC
Nice Sir, +1 for me :)
Aji
Sunday, January 20, 2013 11:59:59 AM UTC
What is god mode of windows 8 ?
Fahim Reza Sakib
Sunday, January 20, 2013 1:23:43 PM UTC
>> Andrei:
>> Doom codes are IDDQD - "God" and IDKFA - "All full weapons".
>> Not IDDQA :-)

IDDQA sounds better:
I Develop, Develop – and put it to QA ;)
Monday, January 21, 2013 1:42:29 AM UTC
You can use this GodMode to hide contents of a folder.

Rename an existing folder (with secret docs) to whatever.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} . Poof! Contents vanished. ;)

To get your secret files back, all you need to do is rename the folder back to its original name. You will have to use command prompt to remove {guid} from the folder name.

wromee
Monday, January 21, 2013 1:54:21 PM UTC
Very interesting post! I experimented with creating another folder called xyz.{GUID}, where {GUID} was a COM object in the registry, and got a similar effect. It appears that that filename format has some special meaning to Windows 7 / 8. Any thoughts as to why this is?
MinnesotaMike
Monday, January 21, 2013 2:57:36 PM UTC
This trick has been around since Windows 95
Nothing new here. Move along

http://www.onecomputerguy.com/desktop.htm
Create a Control Panel menu directly below the Start Button
Added 10/2/95

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/GodMode-Windows-7-How-to,9345.html
I_H8_8
Monday, January 21, 2013 3:50:48 PM UTC
So... if there was a hypothetical God Mode in Windows - what exactly would we expect it to do? My guess is that it would probably look something like the Internet.
Thomas Darlington
Monday, January 21, 2013 6:54:31 PM UTC
For start menu:
Download Pokki start menu(nice) direct link here

http://cdn.pokki.com/pokki/platforms/version50b40f0fa7328.exe
OR
get from sourceforge classic menu
Monday, January 21, 2013 9:25:05 PM UTC
For Old Start Menu in Windows 8:

>>Just go here....>>(http://www.classicshell.net)
Avery
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 3:08:51 AM UTC
Thanks for the cheat Scott! You are the man! I tried the cheat to set Windows 7 to God mode and absolutely love it. I currently do not have Windows 8 but will be sure to archive this little gem.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:46:20 AM UTC
Come on guys, old Start Menu, really? Windows 8 Start is awsome! It should have been like this since Vista.
JL
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 12:28:02 PM UTC
How about a 3D browser for the internet that let you see a miniaturized view of all the websites as you traversed through it and even showed what files where available to be downloaded attached to each site.
You could maneuver around to your hearts content with a touch screen or use your wheel enabled mouse to achieve the same goal, when you've found your site you could double click/tap to select it to a full screen window and continue traversing through the page the same way.
FalloutBoy
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 11:55:45 AM UTC
how to enter code like IDDQD - "God" and IDKFA - "All full weapons?
what is the use of this code plz tell me?
or there is no code.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 4:27:39 PM UTC
God mode is used everywhere. Mostly video games, but who cares. anyways thanks for the code. I need this for windows 8. Windows 8 makes it a bit hard to find some of the more advanced options. also I AM GOD, I READ YOUR EMAIL.
anon13
Monday, March 04, 2013 10:51:06 AM UTC
@efdee
... it's amazing just how many of these cheats stick in memory!
The trick I was taught to help me remember was:
IDSPISPOPD: ID Smashing Pumpkins Into Small Pieces Of Putrid Debris
Thursday, March 07, 2013 6:08:36 AM UTC
It blows up the explorer.exe process on 2008 Server DataCenter "R1" and put the shell into an infinite crash loop until it was deleted from the shell.
That seems like a compatibility lesson or lack of in what is normally a bloated 0perating system of baqckwards compat
OMG NotForServer2008(R1)
Monday, March 11, 2013 11:33:18 PM UTC
Strangely enough, this is already in the Desktop folder although you don't see it in the actual desktop. But if you open the Desktop folder in Windows Explorer, you can see it.
Friday, April 12, 2013 7:22:25 PM UTC
When I open Control Panel, I have two choices, "Category View" or "Classic View". There is no "All Tasks" view to click on, and so, although "God Mode" doesn't provide any additional options to modify Windows settings, the fact that it makes them more easily and directly accessible seems to me to be worth something - rather than being worthy of dismissal.
Thursday, June 06, 2013 6:03:39 PM UTC
You can put your start button back in Windows 8, by installing classic shell, which is free.
amandajeanthomson
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 5:46:38 PM UTC
When trying to implement God Mode (Win8) and I enter GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} it tells me the file is not found.

Suggestions?
Don Innaj
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 7:44:24 AM UTC
The key point I think you miss is that I cant get a list like that in Control Panel. All I can do is By Category / Large and Small Icons.

I personally absolutely Hate, that right with a capital H, Hate the way Control Panel list items from left to right then down. All I want is a details view type list, straight vertical, in alphabetically order thanks.

Sure I can short-cut my way to most functions but if for whatever reason I have to "Control Panel" i.e. dont know a command, then gimme God Mode over doudy old Control Panel any day.
Richard
Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:34:07 PM UTC
Pedro Saturday, January 19, 2013 3:50:01 PM UTC

Start Menu button back Into Windows 8
http://www.startbutton8.com/pt/index.html

Thank you Pedro. Although the download is in Portuguese it translated and added the start button to my task bar and shows all of my programs to choose from in Windows 8 and skips the start tiled start screen when starting up.
Daddyreb
Saturday, November 16, 2013 11:48:33 PM UTC
God mode is not an Easter egg. It was created as a bypass on windows.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.