2017 Donald R. Snow - This page was last updated 2017-11-13.
These Freeware Corner notes are published in TAGGology, our Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG) monthly newsletter. They are also posted on my Freeware Corner Notes page on where the links are active and there may be corrections and additions, as well as other related notes and articles.


Windows 10 is the current version of Windows and is a major improvement over earlier versions, but it takes some getting used to. For example, the basic feature of finding where things are and getting the settings the way you want them, is a problem. It still has carry-overs from earlier versions of Windows and not all the setting links are in one place, but are in several locations. To help with this someone made what they call a MASTER CONTROL icon for your desktop that contains links to all the features and settings of Windows 10. It is easy to set up the icon by first forming a new folder on your desktop. Do this by right-clicking in any blank space on your desktop, click New > Folder and then rename the folder to "Master Control.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}" (without the quotes). Just copy and paste this in for the name of the folder. The title before the dot is what the icon will be called on your computer and you can rename this to anything you want. Some people call this "GODMODE", since it contains all the links to change anything in Windows 10. I prefer MASTER CONTROL, but suit yourself. The letters and numbers in the curly braces will make it list all the URLs for changes in all settings in Windows 10 and they are shown in categories. Even though this icon starts out as a folder, it won't be shown as a folder after you rename it.


Here are the categories and the numbers of settings in each in the MASTER CONTROL. I'll discuss some of these below.
  • AutoPlay (3)
  • Color Management (1)
  • Date and Time (4)
  • Devices and Printers (10)
  • File Explorer Options (5)
  • Fonts (4)
  • Indexing Options (1)
  • Internet Options (15)
  • Language (2)
  • Network and Sharing Center (11)
  • Power Options (6)
  • Region (6)
  • Security and Maintenance (14)
  • Speech Recognition (3)
  • Sync Center (1)
  • Taskbar and Navigation (6)
  • User Accounts (8)
  • Work Folders (1)
  • Backup and Restore (Windows 7) (2)
  • Credential Manager (2)
  • Default Programs (2)
  • Ease of Access Center (26)
  • File History (2)
  • HomeGroup (3)
  • Infrared (1)
  • Keyboard (2)
  • Mouse (8)
  • Phone and Modem (1)
  • Programs and Features (8)
  • RemoteApp and Desktop Connections (1)
  • Sound (4)
  • Storage Spaces (1)
  • System (21)
  • Troubleshooting (14)
  • Windows Firewall (2)

You can see the types of settings there are. While writing this article, I used FastStone Capture and made a pdf copy of the entire scrolling list of the contents of all the categories and it's 8 page long!


This is where you set the programs you want to run automatically whenever you click on a file. The extension, e.g. .pdf, or .jpg, determines the file type and you have the option of having a particular program run whenever you click on a file of that type. For example, go to this DEFAULT PROGRAMS category and click on Make a file type always open in a specific program. You'll see a list of hundreds of file extensions that are on your computer and the default program your computer is set to run when you click on a file of that type. To change any of these, click on the extension, e.g. .pdf, and click Change Program (upper right corner) and set the one you want. The list will be regenerated with the new default program listed for that extension. In this category clicking Set your default programs, lists all your programs and gives you the option of setting each of them to open the kinds of files you want it to. For some programs you might want to set them to open any file type they can, but for others you might want them to only open some types of files.


When you click on Print, then clicking on Change allows you to set any printer as your default. For example, I set my default printer to print to pdf and not to my paper printer. I find that I don't really need to print to paper very much and when I do, I first print to pdf and make sure everything is exactly the way I want and then print that to paper. That way, I always have an exact copy of the original that I can reprint again, if needed, and I don't have to open the original program and make sure the settings are just the way they were to reprint it.


This category contains lots of ways to make your computer easier to work with. For example, you can make the mouse cursor larger and have it show a trail as you move it, so it's easier to find on the screen. There is a magnifier that can be set for various magnifications and it follows the cursor. I frequently use this when renaming files since it lets me see more details without have to open the file in another program. But I haven't found a simple way to turn this magnifier off when I'm through with it, so I have to find the option again and click on the red X in the upper right corner to get it turned off. This EAST OF ACCESS CENTER also has ways to make your default text larger for easier readability and even turn on higher contrast on your screen. It also has the links for better visual display and even for test narration to have your computer read everything aloud on the screen.


This has options to change your home page on your default browser, change your default search engine, e.g. Google or DuckDuckGo or Bing, and block or allow pop-up ads. There are many more options here, but I don't know what many of them even mean.


In the FONTS category you can change the default fonts to suit yourself. In the SYSTEMS category you can see the name of your computer, change it, allow remote access to it, get to the Task Manager, create a restore point, and see your home network information, among many other things.


This article has just scratched the surface of what you can do in this MASTER CONTROL mode, but it's enough for you to see how to set it up and use it. It makes life a lot simpler on your Windows 10 computer.