In the beginning, Bill made Windows. Then his company made God Mode.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983


Make a 'God Mode' super menu in Win 7

July 18, 2010

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2010, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2010, The Post-Standard

   Websites catering to PC fans have been buzzing about a secret feature in Windows 7 called God Mode. It's a way to get a kind of super Control Panel with all sorts of functions.
   Microsoft supposedly hid God Mode because it's a so-called "Easter Egg" -- a bonus feature hidden in software to reward users who like to try every possible combination of keystrokes in a program just to see if there are any hidden functions.
   But my own investigation shows that God Mode is just a function Microsoft used when its engineers were testing pre-release versions of Windows 7. Typing a code to get a Super Control Panel to show up on the screen makes a tester's job easier.
   In fact, some of the functions of God Mode are hidden in Windows Vista, too, and were used for the same purpose while Vista was undergoing tests.
   (But please don't try the God Mode I'm explaining here in Vista. It won't work and probably will mess up your PC. Don't complain to me if you try it in Vista despite my warning and get into trouble.)
   I'll explain how you can activate God Mode in Windows 7.
   First, let's try to make sense of the name. God Mode is an old term in computer gaming, meaning a special function that gives one player full access to all possible advantages -- all the weapons, for example. Programmers put God Mode in games so they can see if various features work. God Mode is always hidden.
   Microsoft didn't give a name to this function, as far as I can tell. (Even "Super Control Panel" is just the name I gave it to describe what it does.) But someone on the Internet gave it the name "God Mode" and it stuck.
   Creating the God Mode super menu is surprisingly simple. You simply create a new folder and give it a special name. The name starts with "God Mode," followed by a bunch of what seems like nonsense characters. The odd name is mapped to an entry in the Windows Registry, and when Windows sees the name, it creates a super menu in place of the folder.
   Make this new folder on your desktop to see how it works. You can always delete it or move it to another location if you wish.
   Right click on a blank area of the desktop and choose "New," then "Folder" from the pop-up menu. The folder will show up with the name "New folder" highlighted. Copy this name and paste it in place of "New folder": GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}.
   Double click on the folder you just created and Windows will create a super menu of all functions that you can adjust in Windows -- all the Control Panel options you normally have plus many others you probably didn't know existed.
   There are super menus you can create that don't operate in full God Mode. (I'd use the term "Moses Mode," but users might assume I was referring to tablet computers.) These super menu names, with all their odd characters, are on Ed Bott's blog, at www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/the-ultimate-god-mode-list-39-secret-windows-7-shortcuts/1615?pg=1. Bott also lists the super menus that work with Vista.
   A final note: In early versions of Windows 7, God Mode worked as you might expect. But Microsoft updates seem to have affected God Mode in at least some installations. On my Windows 7 netbook, the odd characters remain visible in the name; a few months ago, they weren't. This flakiness might be why Microsoft decided not to tell users that God Mode exists.