25 Hidden but Advanced Tools in Windows

facts Sep 25, 2009

To use these tools, goto Start menu & select "Run" (or press Winkey+R), type in the bold texts and press Enter (unnecessary explanation!)

  • Character Map = charmap.exe (very useful for finding unusual characters)
  • Disk Cleanup = cleanmgr.exe (save hard disk space by deleting unnecessary files)
  • Clipboard Viewer = clipbrd.exe (views contents of Windows clipboard)
  • Dr Watson = drwtsn32.exe (Troubleshooting tool)
  • DirectX diagnosis = dxdiag.exe (Diagnose & test DirectX, video & sound cards)
  • Private character editor = eudcedit.exe (allows creation or modification of characters)
  • IExpress Wizard = iexpress.exe (Create self-extracting / self-installing package, very handy tool to make simple installer)
  • Microsoft Synchronization Manager = mobsync.exe (appears to allow synchronization of files on the network for when working offline. Apparently undocumented).
  • Windows Media Player 5.1 = mplay32.exe (Old version of Media Player, very basic).
  • ODBC Data Source Administrator = odbcad32.exe (manage database connections settings)
  • Object Packager = packager.exe (to do with packaging objects for insertion in files, appears to have comprehensive help files).
  • System Monitor = perfmon.exe (very useful, highly configurable tool, tells you everything you ever wanted to know about any aspect of PC performance, for uber-geeks only )
  • Program Manager = progman.exe (Legacy Windows 3.x desktop shell).
  • Remote Access phone book = rasphone.exe (documentation is virtually non-existent).
  • Registry Editor = regedt32.exe [also regedit.exe] (for hacking the Windows Registry).
  • Network shared folder wizard = shrpubw.exe (creates shared folders on network).
  • File signature verification tool = sigverif.exe
  • Volume Control = sndvol32.exe (this one normally stays beside the clock).
  • System Configuration Editor = sysedit.exe (modify System.ini & Win.ini just like in Win98! ).
  • Syskey = syskey.exe (Secures XP Account database - use with care, it's virtually undocumented but it appears to encrypt all passwords, I'm not sure of the full implications).
  • Microsoft Telnet Client = telnet.exe
  • Driver Verifier Manager = verifier.exe (seems to be a utility for monitoring the actions of drivers, might be useful for people having driver problems. Undocumented).
  • Windows for Workgroups Chat = winchat.exe (appears to be an old NT utility to allow chat sessions over a LAN, help files available).
  • System configuration = msconfig.exe (can use to control startup programs, modify system settings. this is a most common tool used by admins)
  • Group Policy Editor = gpedit.msc (used to manage group policies, and permissions , very handy and easy to customise hidden system security and other settings)

I'm not liable if you make your windows corrupted by misusing any of these tools... use at your own risk!

Mohammad Mustakim Ali

I'm a Software Engineer living in London, UK. My passion is to make *very fast* software with great user experience and I have just got little better on this than I was yesterday.