Ten Networking Hacks for Your Windows Registry - Page 2

Our list of networking-related registry hacks will let you keep your computer from showing up in Network Neighborhood on other computers, fine tune 802.1x settings, and even take some of the load off your CPU.

 By Eric Geier
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6. Change the IP Address of the Wireless Hosted Network

A new feature in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 lets you create a virtual Wi-Fi router, called a Wireless Hosted Network. By default, Windows assigns this virtual interface the IP address of However, you can change this address in Windows Registry.

Change the "ScopeAddress", "ScopeAddressBackup", and "StandaloneDHCPAddress" DWORD values at the following location:


7. Remove the Public Folder Shortcuts

If you don't use the Public folders provided by Windows, you may want to remove the shortcuts in XP or Vista. You find them on most open/save file dialogs and in the Favorite Links section of Windows Explorer windows. A shortcut is even on the main folder list, among the shortcuts to the user folder and to the drives.

These shortcuts do not appear in Windows 7. However, the Public folders are by default chosen as a location for the Libraries, which you might want to change.

To remove the shortcut from the Favorite Links in XP or Vista, open your Links folder (C:Usersyour_user_nameLinks) and delete Public.lnk.

To remove the shortcut from the Folders List, you must delete the following registry key:



8. Remove the Shortcuts to the Shared Documents Folder

If you don't want users to use the Shared Documents folder in Windows XP, you might want to hide the shortcuts to it. Just create the "NoSharedDocuments" DWORD value and set to "1" at the following location:


9. Change the Default IP Address of ICS

As you may know, Windows includes a very useful feature called Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) that lets you share your Internet connection. Windows gives the virtual router the IP address of and hands out addresses via DHCP to computers. This however is the default IP of popular off-the-shelf routers like D-Link. Therefore, you might want to change the default to something else to avoid an IP conflict.

To change the IP address of ICS, modify the "ScopeAddress", "ScopeAddressBackup", and "StandaloneDhcpAddress" DWORD values at the following registry location:


10. Remove the Hand From Icons of Shared Resources

By default, Windows adds an image of a hand to all the icons of shared folders and printers. This makes it easy to distinguish resources that are being shared on the network. Sometimes you might not want this. Luckily, there's a quick registry hack to remove the hands.

Change the "Default" REG_SZ value from "ntshrui.dll" to blank at the following location:


Eric Geier is the Founder and CEO of NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses easily protect their Wi-Fi with enterprise-level encryption by offering an outsourced RADIUS/802.1X authentication service. He is also the author of many networking and computing books, for brands such as For Dummies and Cisco Press.

This article was originally published on Mar 31, 2010
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