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Manipulating and Editing Windows System Folders
We continue the discussion of Windows system folders begun on the previous page. If you wish to carry out an editing operation or manipulate one of these special folders, you may have to use a name that includes a special hexadecimal code known as the class ID (often abbreviated to CLSID). The Registry uses these to identify all objects, each of which has its own unique number.

CLSIDs for some System Folders

Whenever the Windows shell needs to access a system folder, it uses the CLSID to search the Registry to find the appropriate DLL or other object. It then loads the DLL, asks for the right interfaces, and calls the methods of these interfaces to enumerate the contents of the system folder.

Below are some of the system object CLSID codes and their associated folder names.

Administrative Tools




Control Panel








Microsoft Network


My Computer


My Documents


My Network Places


Network Connections


Printers and Faxes


Recycle Bin


Scanners and Cameras


Scheduled Tasks


Temporary Internet Files


Web Folders


Creating convenient access to System Folders

For some of the system objects, it is possible to create a folder giving access to the object in a convenient place like the Start Menu, the Desktop, or the Quick Launch bar. Create a new folder and give it a name of the form Folder.CLSID. An example would be to name a folder "Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}". The curly brackets are part of the CLSID and must be included. Note the dot between the name and the CLSID. The CLSID is, in effect, like an extension. Adding a cascading version of the Control Panel to the Start Menu in this way used to be a favorite tweak for many PC users but is no longer necessary in Windows XP. However, it still remains a way to put Control Panel on the Desktop or Quick Launch bar. Right-click an empty spot on the Desktop and choose "New-Folder" from the context menu. Then name the folder as given above. If you use the Quick Launch bar, the folder can be moved there for easy access. Right-click drag the folder from the Desktop onto an empty place in the Quick Launch bar and choose "Move". Printers and Briefcase can also be set up this way. Not all CLSIDs will work, however.

Special folders in scripts

It is often desirable to access a system or virtual folder in a script. For convenience, constants have been assigned to represent some special folders and these are listd on the next page.

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