Straightforward Hacks

These are a collection of specific, simple-enough hacks that anyone can do.

Email-to-SMS

Step 1 – reverse lookup the carrier (e.g., NumLookup)

Step 2 – email the carrier’s SMS/MMS server (10-digit #, no dashes, no subject)

MNOs (mobile network operators, relatively straightforward)

  • AT&T SMS – @txt.att.net
  • AT&T MMS – [num]@mms.att.net
  • Google Project Fi SMS/MMS – [num]@msg.fi.google.com
  • Spectrum – [num]@mypixmessages.com
  • Sprint SMS – [num]@messaging.sprintpcs.com
  • Sprint MMS – [num]@pm.sprint.com
  • T-Mobile SMS/MMS – [num]@tmomail.net
  • U.S. Cellular SMS – [num]@email.uscc.net
  • U.S. Cellular MMS – [num]@mms.uscc.net
  • Verizon SMS – [num]@vtext.com
  • Verizon MMS – [num]@vzwpix.com

MVNOs (mobile variable network operators, may need an MNO’s geographically-dependent gateway address)

  • Boost Mobile SMS – [num]@sms.myboostmobile.com
  • Boost Mobile MMS – [num]@myboostmobile.com
  • Cricket Wireless SMS/MMS – [num]@mms.cricketwireless.net
  • Republic Wireless SMS – [num]@text.republicwireless.com
  • Straight Talk SMS – [num]@vtext.com
  • Straight Talk MMS – [num]@mypixmessages.com
  • Ting SMS – [num]@message.ting.com
  • Tracfone SMS – [depends on underlying carrier]
  • Tracfone MMS – [num]@mmst5.tracfone.com
  • Virgin Mobile SMS – [num]@vmobl.com
  • Virgin Mobile MMS – [num]@vmpix.com

A few things to note:

  • SMS might glitch out or redirect to MMS server if you don’t limit it to 160 chars.
  • Some MNOs become MVNOs if the phone is geographically located elsewhere, so this isn’t a foolproof system.

Firefox

about:config

  • Disable WebRTC
    • media.peerconnection.enabled=false
  • Toggle browser geolocation
    • Geo.enabled=false
    • Geo.wifi.uri=data:application/json,{“location”: {“lat”: [latitude I want], “lng”: [longitude I want]}, “accuracy”: 27000.0}
  • Toggle Hardware Acceleration
    • layers.acceleration.force-enabled=true
    • layers.force-active=true

about:support brings up troubleshooting information.

Locked Files/Databases

Windows: locked Office file – look for and delete a file at the location titled ~$[filename]

Windows: locked file

  • select Run, enter “mmc”
  • File -> Add/Remove Snap-in
  • Add Shared Folders to applicable computer (likely the local computer)
  • Navigate to Open Folders, right click and select Close Open File

Linux: pacman database not synchronizing/locking

  • Open a console and run the following:
  • sudo rm /var/lib/pacman/db.lck

YouTube

RSS feed

  • https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=[CHANNEL_ID_HERE]

Windows File Paths

Start menu shortcuts

  • C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Windows Store apps (not the old-style Windows Desktop apps)

  • %windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{4234d49b-0245-4df3-b780-3893943456e1}

Temporary folder

  • %temp%

Print folder contents to file

  • dir /a /s /b > filelist.txt

Access all controls

  1. Create a new folder, then rename to:
  2. [anything you want].{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Windows Registry Keys

NOTE: create the registry values and keys if they’re not made, or simply edit them.

Delete what you want, but save a backup just in case, since incorrect registry edits will brick the system, and Windows Update usually won’t auto-fix them.

Optimization

  • Enable L2 and L3 Cache
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Session Manager/Memory Management/SecondLevelDataCache [DWORD] = (in KB, use CPU-Z, bottom right)
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Session Manager/Memory Management/ThirdLevelDataCache [DWORD] = (in KB, use CPU-Z, bottom right)
  • Disable lock screen
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization\NoLockScreen [DWORD] = 1
  • Prevent auto-reboot from updates
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU\NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers [DWORD] = 1
  • Delete ALL temp files during Disk Cleanup
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Temporary Files\LastAccess [DWORD] = 0 (number of days)
  • Display a notice during boot with a click-through
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\legalnoticecaption = [enter your text heading]
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\legalnoticetext = [enter your text body]
    • NOTE: For carriage returns, edit binary data and add “0D 00” where you want it.
  • Disable Cortana and Windows Search
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search\AllowCortana [DWORD] = 0
    • Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\DisableSearchBoxSuggestions [DWORD] = 1

Context Menu

  • Add/remove context menu items (old shell)
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell
      1. Disable with HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell[Menu Item]\LegacyDisable [String]
      2. Require Shift key to be pressed with HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT*\shell[Menu Item]\Extended [String]
  • Add/remove context menu items (extended shell)
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFileSystemObjects\ShellEx
    • NOTE: Rename the (Default) key to something else (e.g., add a few dashes), or simply delete.
  • Add “New markdown file” to context menu
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.md\(Default) = markdown
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.md\ShellNew\NullFile
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\markdown\(Default) = Markdown Document
  • Add/remove file extension-specific context menu items
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT[the file extension you want]\(Default) – remember the Default’s value
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT[Default’s value]\shell
  • Add/remove folder-specific context menu items
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers
  • Remove “Open with…” programs
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts[File Extension]\OpenWithList
    • NOTE: Delete whatever keys you want.
  • Add encrypt/decrypt
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\EncryptionContextMenu [DWORD] = 1
  • “Open with” in context menu
    • New Key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell[Program Name]
    • NOTE: to allow an ALT-click shortcut set the (Default) value in that key to &[name] (e.g., &Notepad).
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell[Program Name]\command\(Default) = [the program’s path]
  • Open with command prompt
    • Rename the following:
      • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\cmd\Extended -> HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\cmd\Extended-Orig
      • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\cmd\Extended -> HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\cmd\Extended-Orig
  • Open with Notepad
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\Open with Notepad\command\(Default) = notepad.exe %1
  • Run as administrator
    • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT[File Type]\shell\open\command
    • Export the “open” key, edit the file with text editor. Replace “open” with “runas”.
    • Run the exported, edited file.

Diagnostics

  • Edit Windows Defender exclusions
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Exclusions[Paths/Processes/IpAddresses/Extensions]
  • Show more details when crashing (Win10)
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl\DisplayParameters [DWORD] = 1
  • BIG diagnostics
    • Re-enable Task Manager (e.g., a virus)
      • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\DisableTaskManager [DWORD] = 0
    • New install stuck in an error loop while booting – sysprep
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Status\ChildCompletion\setup.exe = 3 (should be 1 when you get there)
    • New install stuck in an error loop while booting – Audit Mode
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Status\ AuditBoot [DWORD] = 0
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Status\ChildCompletion\audit.exe [DWORD] = 0
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Status\SysprepStatus\CleanupState [DWORD] = 2
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Status\SysprepStatus\GeneralizationState [DWORD] = 7
      • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\Status\UnattendPasses\auditSystem [DWORD] = 0

The code for making a .reg file (auto-executing registry script) is relatively easy to make

  1. Make a text file, but change the extension to .reg.
  2. Use the following syntax:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[PUT THE PATH YOU WANT HERE]
@="the value you want for (Default)"

[PUT THE NEXT PATH YOU WANT HERE]
"Value"="the value for the new key, which may be empty"

Windows Reserved Storage

  1. Access command prompt.
  2. Get status:
    • DISM.exe /Online /Get-ReservedStorageState
  3. Enable/disable:
    • DISM.exe /Online /Set-ReservedStorageState /State:Enabled
    • DISM.exe /Online /Set-ReservedStorageState /State:Disabled

Extremely useful to toggle if Windows complains about not having enough disk space.

Disable as much as possible, since Windows devs don’t always use it and it takes up ~8GB of HD space.

Windows Run Commands

  • Windows 10’s drive:
    • \
  • Home folder of current user:
    • .
  • Users folder:
    • ..
  • Control panel:
    • control
  • System config:
    • msconfig
  • Programs/features:
    • appwiz.cpl
  • Disk cleanup:
    • cleanmgr
  • Resource monitor:
    • resmon
  • Common apps:
    • calc
    • notepad
    • mspaint
  • Mouse settings:
    • main.cpl
  • Remote desktop:
    • mstsc
  • System info:
    • msinfo32