Microsoft


Microsoft invented a new way to force users into using their online accounts

It became apparent that new Microsoft installations are getting increasingly aggressive, forcing users to create an online Microsoft account on their machines.

Please note that we created a new online Microsoft account in the end… We do not have a working solution to this issue.

Backstory: we purchased a new laptop that had Microsoft Windows 10 pre-installed. The first time we booted it, we did not want to sign in using a Microsoft online account, so we did not give internet to the laptop. Doing so allowed us to create a local account on the computer without associating it with an online account.

After several updates, we tried to install Firefox, and besides the usual annoying Microsoft advertisements about Bing, we got the following messages for Microsoft Windows S Mode.

For security and performance, this mode of Windows only runs Microsoft-verified apps
Initial notification of Microsoft S Mode – For security and performance, Windows 10 in S mode runs Microsoft-verified apps

After clicking on the “Learn More” button, we got the following:

Microsoft S Mode – Switch out prompt

Clicking on the “Get” button got us to the Microsoft Online Account login form…

Microsoft sign-in form appears when you try to switch out of S mode.

We then closed all windows, disabled internet access, and tried installing Firefox again. This time, we got the following message:

After disabling the internet connection, we tried to bypass the SmartScreen and the S mode settings

After clicking on the “Run” button, we got stopped again by the Microsoft Windows S Mode settings.

As this post mentioned, we eventually created a new online Microsoft account and used it to log in and disable Microsoft S Mode.


Microsoft Windows “God Mode” and other shortcuts

Recently, it came to our attention the existence of the so-called Windows “God Mode.” In reality, the “God Mode” is an alternative Control Panel with many options listed on one page. The most important feature of this “God Mode” Control Panel is that it makes it easier to find specific options and settings that Microsoft Windows developers hid for no apparent reason.

In the following video, we tried two methods to create the shortcut to the “God Mode” option, which was most likely named like this by people online rather than Microsoft.

Folder Method

The first method was to create a new folder and add the following string as the name of the folder:

GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

The result was the following: the folder’s icon changed, and the folder’s name disappeared.

When we double-clicked the new icon, it opened a window with the variety of options that we mentioned before.

Shortcut Method

The second method involved creating a shortcut. We used that method to preserve the folder’s name and select the icon we would keep.
The first step was to create a new shortcut on the Desktop.
In the popup window, we set the following value at the “Type the location of the item:” option:

%windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Then we clicked on the “Next” button.
On the new page, we filled the “Type a name for this shortcut:” option with the value that we wanted to appear on the shortcut name. In our example, we used the word “Administration.”

After this, we clicked on the “Finish” button.
On the Desktop, our new shortcut appeared with the correct name. As we did not like the predefined icon, we right-clicked the shortcut and selected the “Properties” option. We clicked the “Change Icon…” button in the new window. Another window opened, we pressed the “Browse…” button and navigated to the file:

%windir%\System32\imageres.dll

After clicking the “Open” button, a new list of icons appeared from which we selected one that we liked, then clicked on the “OK” button. We clicked the “Apply” button on the remaining window, and Windows applied the icon change to our shortcut.

Additional “God Mode” codes

The following values allow you to create folders to specific items on your Windows PC.

Bytefreaks.net.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
TaskBarIcons.{05D7B0F4-2121-4EFF-BF6B-ED3F69B894D9}.
MyComputer.{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}.
WinVault.{1206F5F1-0569-412C-8FEC-3204630DFB70}.
Firewall.{4026492F-2F69-46B8-B9BF-5654FC07E423}.
Network.{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}.
NetworkApplicationInstallation.{15EAE92E-F17A-4431-9F28-805E482DAFD4}.
Wireless.{1FA9085F-25A2-489B-85D4-86326EEDCD87}.
RDPConnecitions.{241D7C96-F8BF-4F85-B01F-E2B043341A4B}.
Printers.{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}.

Microsoft Outlook: Auto Reply

1) Click the File tab at the top-left corner of the Outlook display.

2) Click the box to Automatic Replies box to the immediate left of the Automatic Replies (Out of Office) text.

3) In the Automatic Replies box that appears, click the circle to the left of the Send automatic replies option.

4) Fill the box with the desire information and click ok
You don’t need to add rules, as you want the auto reply to be sent for every incoming email.


Microsoft Outlook: Auto CC in Emails

1) Click File in your Outlook Inbox.

2) Go to the info category.
3) Make sure the account for which you want to set up automatic Cc copies is selected under Account Information.
4) Click Manage Rules & Alerts.

5) Go to the E-mail Rules tab.
6) Click New Rule….

7) For Step 1: Select a template, make sure Apply rule on messages I send is selected (under Start from a blank rule).

8) Click Next >.
9) Click Next > again.
You can pick criteria for the messages you want to copy via Cc; if you select nothing, however, all emails will be added the CC: recipients.

10) If you are prompted:
Under This rule will be applied to every message you send. Is this correct?, click Yes.

11) Under Step 1: Select action(s), make sure CC the message to people or public group is checked.

12) Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click people or public group.

13) Double-click any recipients (or lists) from your address book, or enter email addresses directly under To ->; these addresses will receive the CC: copies.
Separate email addresses under To -> with semicolons (;).

14) Click OK.
15) Now click Next >.
16) Optionally, under Are there any exceptions?, specify any exceptions to the Cc: sending rule .
17) Click Next >.
18) Typically, precede the email address or addresses entered under Step 1: Specify a name for this rule with something like “Automatically Cc “.

19) Also typically, make sure Run this rule now on messages already in “Inbox” is not checked.
20) Click Finish.

21) Now click OK.