Tips and Tricks for WinOS

~~Scoop~~ Shovel - Package Manager for Windows

Go back to the homepage to read more about ~~scoop~~ shovel. The reason for the switch to shovel is due to updates to the core. You can read additional information in Shovel's GitHub Readme.


Using Docker Engine


How to install the Docker Engine versus Docker Desktop on Windows 10/11. The ideal solution would be to install Docker Enterprise on Windows Server.

  • PowerShell curl.exe -o -LO Expand-Archive -DestinationPath C:\ $env:Path = [System.Environment]::GetEnvironmentVariable("Path","Machine") dockerd --register-service Start-Service docker docker run hello-world

  • Scoop - scoop install main/docker

  • Chocolately - choco install docker-engine

Additional Installs

Two of the main complaints of using the Docker Engine versus Docker Desktop is the availability of docker scan and docker compose. You can manually install both of these services:

  • Docker Scan:

  • Docker-Compose: [choose the option for Windows Server even though you will be installing on Win 10/11]

  • You will also have to install Snyk CLI manually -

Virtual Desktops

Windows 10 introduced a feature called Virtual Desktops. Coming from macOS the virtual desktops feature/functionality in Windows 10 isn't as intuitive. Also, other than the Win+Tab there is no hotkey functionality to automatically, or easily, switch between virtual desktops.

To help resolve this issue there is the Virtual Desktop Accessor on GitHub. This along with AutoHotKey allows you to create hotkeys to switch between virtual desktops. You will need to download a custom DLL.

Here is my modified script from the one provided on the GitHub page:

DetectHiddenWindows, On
hwnd:=WinExist("ahk_pid " . DllCall("GetCurrentProcessId","Uint"))

; Define where you placed the dll file
hVirtualDesktopAccessor := DllCall("LoadLibrary", Str, "C:\Support\VirtualDesktopAccessor.dll", "Ptr")
GoToDesktopNumberProc := DllCall("GetProcAddress", Ptr, hVirtualDesktopAccessor, AStr, "GoToDesktopNumber", "Ptr")
GetCurrentDesktopNumberProc := DllCall("GetProcAddress", Ptr, hVirtualDesktopAccessor, AStr, "GetCurrentDesktopNumber", "Ptr")
IsWindowOnCurrentVirtualDesktopProc := DllCall("GetProcAddress", Ptr, hVirtualDesktopAccessor, AStr, "IsWindowOnCurrentVirtualDesktop", "Ptr")
MoveWindowToDesktopNumberProc := DllCall("GetProcAddress", Ptr, hVirtualDesktopAccessor, AStr, "MoveWindowToDesktopNumber", "Ptr")
RegisterPostMessageHookProc := DllCall("GetProcAddress", Ptr, hVirtualDesktopAccessor, AStr, "RegisterPostMessageHook", "Ptr")
UnregisterPostMessageHookProc := DllCall("GetProcAddress", Ptr, hVirtualDesktopAccessor, AStr, "UnregisterPostMessageHook", "Ptr")
IsPinnedWindowProc := DllCall("GetProcAddress", Ptr, hVirtualDesktopAccessor, AStr, "IsPinnedWindow", "Ptr")
RestartVirtualDesktopAccessorProc := DllCall("GetProcAddress", Ptr, hVirtualDesktopAccessor, AStr, "RestartVirtualDesktopAccessor", "Ptr")
; GetWindowDesktopNumberProc := DllCall("GetProcAddress", Ptr, hVirtualDesktopAccessor, AStr, "GetWindowDesktopNumber", "Ptr")
activeWindowByDesktop := {}

; Restart the virtual desktop accessor when Explorer.exe crashes, or restarts (e.g. when coming from fullscreen game)
explorerRestartMsg := DllCall("user32\RegisterWindowMessage", "Str", "TaskbarCreated")
OnMessage(explorerRestartMsg, "OnExplorerRestart")
OnExplorerRestart(wParam, lParam, msg, hwnd) {
    global RestartVirtualDesktopAccessorProc
    DllCall(RestartVirtualDesktopAccessorProc, UInt, result)

MoveCurrentWindowToDesktop(number) {
  global MoveWindowToDesktopNumberProc, GoToDesktopNumberProc, activeWindowByDesktop
  WinGet, activeHwnd, ID, A
  activeWindowByDesktop[number] := 0 ; Do not activate
  DllCall(MoveWindowToDesktopNumberProc, UInt, activeHwnd, UInt, number)
  DllCall(GoToDesktopNumberProc, UInt, number)

GoToPrevDesktop() {
  global GetCurrentDesktopNumberProc, GoToDesktopNumberProc
  current := DllCall(GetCurrentDesktopNumberProc, UInt)
  if (current = 0) {
  } else {
    GoToDesktopNumber(current - 1)

GoToNextDesktop() {
  global GetCurrentDesktopNumberProc, GoToDesktopNumberProc
  current := DllCall(GetCurrentDesktopNumberProc, UInt)
  if (current = 7) {
  } else {
    GoToDesktopNumber(current + 1)

GoToDesktopNumber(num) {
  global GetCurrentDesktopNumberProc, GoToDesktopNumberProc, IsPinnedWindowProc, activeWindowByDesktop

  ; Store the active window of old desktop, if it is not pinned
  WinGet, activeHwnd, ID, A
  current := DllCall(GetCurrentDesktopNumberProc, UInt)
  isPinned := DllCall(IsPinnedWindowProc, UInt, activeHwnd)
  if (isPinned == 0) {
    activeWindowByDesktop[current] := activeHwnd

  ; Try to avoid flashing task bar buttons, deactivate the current window if it is not pinned
  if (isPinned != 1) {
    WinActivate, ahk_class Shell_TrayWnd

  ; Change desktop
  DllCall(GoToDesktopNumberProc, Int, num)

; Windows 10 desktop changes listener
DllCall(RegisterPostMessageHookProc, Int, hwnd, Int, 0x1400 + 30)
OnMessage(0x1400 + 30, "VWMess")
VWMess(wParam, lParam, msg, hwnd) {
  global IsWindowOnCurrentVirtualDesktopProc, IsPinnedWindowProc, activeWindowByDesktop

  desktopNumber := lParam + 1

  ; Try to restore active window from memory (if it's still on the desktop and is not pinned)
  WinGet, activeHwnd, ID, A
  isPinned := DllCall(IsPinnedWindowProc, UInt, activeHwnd)
  oldHwnd := activeWindowByDesktop[lParam]
  isOnDesktop := DllCall(IsWindowOnCurrentVirtualDesktopProc, UInt, oldHwnd, Int)
  if (isOnDesktop == 1 && isPinned != 1) {
    WinActivate, ahk_id %oldHwnd%

; Switching desktops:
; Win + Ctrl + 1 = Switch to desktop 1

; Win + Ctrl + 2 = Switch to desktop 2

; Moving windowes:
; Win + Shift + 1 = Move current window to desktop 2, and go there

; These lines were added to provide function that resembles macOS
; Ctrl + Number to switch to corresponding desktop
; You can also use Ctrl + Left/Right Arrow key(s) to toggle


AutoHotKey is a free macro-creation and automation-oriented scripting utility for Windows. It is OpenSource. Their website describes the application as the ultimate scripting language for Windows.

VSCodium has two helpful extensions when scripting with AutoHotKey:

  • AutoHotKey: This extensions performs highlighting, etc.
  • AutoHotKeyManager: This extensions adds additional functionality allowing you compile and run scripts with VSCodium and even has a Script Manager and Scripts Memories function.

Reset Internet Connection from CLI

Perform an Internet connection reset via Command Prompt. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  2. Type cmd, then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter (this allows you to run command as Administrator).
  3. Enter the following commands:

    cmd netsh int ip reset resettcpip.txt netsh winhttp reset proxy netsh int ip reset ipconfig /release ipconfig /renew ipconfig /flushdns netsh winsock reset

  4. Restart your PC to complete the process.


Windows Master Control Panel. Here is how to enter God Mode in Windows 10

  1. Make sure your Microsoft system account has administrator privileges.
  2. Right-click on the Windows 10 desktop and “Create a new folder.”
  3. Right-click the the new folder and rename the folder GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} press enter

Rename DC

  1. Getting ready - Open a command prompt. (Windows key+r (run) + cmd)
  2. Adding an alternate computer name - netdom computername <currentDC FQDN> /add:<newDCName FQDN> At the command prompt, type netdom computername wrongname.domain.local /add:server.domain.local This should return with "Added (NAME) as an alternate name for the computer. The command completed successfully.
  3. Make the new name the primary - netdom computername <currentDC FQDN> /makeprimary:<newDCName FQDN> Type netdom computername wrongname.domain.local /makeprimary:server.domain.local IMPORTANT: This command will return successful, and warn you that you need to reboot immediately, as it may not authenticate logons (very important if only DC in forest)
  4. Reboot the server - shutdown /r /t 0
  5. Check new server name - Go to system properties and confirm new computer name.
  6. Remove old hostname - netdom computername <newDCName FQDN> /remove:<oldDCName FQDN> netdom computername server.domain.local /remove:wrongname.domain.local Command should return successfully.
  7. Paranoia - Type dcdiag to make sure everything is OK.
  8. Clean up - If you use logon scripts, remember to update the UNC paths with the new server name.

Delete profiles from registry

Open regedit and browse to to file path: /HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/MICROSOFT/WINDOWS NT/CURRENT VERSION/PROFILE LIST and locate the appropriate profile name and delete all.

Enable/Disable USB via CLI

You can use batch which gives you a couple of options.

  1. Edit the registry key to disable usb devices from being used reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UsbStor /v "Start" /t REG_DWORD /d "4" /f to enable change the value to 3.
  2. Or you can deny access to the files Usbstor.pnf and Usbstor.inf
cacls %windir%\Inf\Usbstor.pnf /d <user>
cacls %windir%\Inf\Usbstor.inf /d <user>

To enable use

cacls %windir%\Inf\Usbstor.pnf /p <user>:R
cacls %windir%\Inf\Usbstor.inf /p <user>:R

Automatically boot into Windows as an administrator

Add the appropriate information to the following registry keys located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

  1. “DefaultDomainName”=””
  2. “DefaultUserName”=””
  3. “DefaultPassword”=””

Complete uninstall SCCM

  1. Go to C:\WINNT\system32\ccmsetup{4CD82FBB-0AFC-4864-A089-15364DF5F14B}
  2. Right Click on client.msi
  3. Click “Uninstall”
  4. Reboot machine
  5. Delete the following directories:
  6. C:\WINNT\system32\ccmsetup
  7. C:\WINNT\system32\ccm
  8. Delete the following registry keys:
  12. Reinstall SCCM
  13. Reboot machine

Remotely reboot a machine

shutdown /m \\machine_name /r /t 0

Enable/Disable remote access on a machine

  1. Enable Terminal Server Services on the workstation
  2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TerminalServer
  3. “fDenyTSConnections”=dword:
    1. 0 = disable
    2. 1 = enable
  4. Open Remote Desktop Connection and enter name of machine

Reset Edge

This may not work in the latest version of Win10

remove-item $env:localappdata\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\* -recurse -Force 2>$null

Get-AppXPackage -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml" -Verbose}

Get Information from CLI

Startup Items

Get-CimInstance Win32_StartupCommand | Select-Object Name, command, Location, User | Format-List | Out-File $env:userprofile\Desktop\Startup-Items.txt

Get computer information

Get-ComputerInfo | Out-File $env:userprofile\Desktop\Info.txt

Wipe ALL event logs

powershell -command " wevtutil el | Foreach-Object {Write-Host "Clearing $_"; wevtutil cl "$_"} "

Set Time Limits for Any Account on Windows via CLI

net user <username> /times:<days,times> \ Set 7:00 am - 11:00 pm every weekday: \ net user <username> /time:M-F,7am-11pm \ Set 7:00 am - 11:00 pm every day: \ net user <username. /time:Su-Sa,7am-11pm \ Reset to default / turn off: \ net user <username> /time:all

Microsoft Parental Controls not working

delete the contents of C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Parental Controls\

Sign PowerShell Script w/self-signed cert

Create self-signed code-signing certificate

$subject = "Ethan Bell”
$cert = New-SelfSignedCertificate -Subject $subject -Type CodeSigningCert -CertStoreLocation cert:\LocalMachine\Root

Signing Script or commands

$FileName = Read-Host 'What is the filename of the script you would like to sign?'
$cert = Get-ChildItem -Path Cert:\LocalMachine\Root -CodeSigningCert

#Sign our PowerShell script
Set-AuthenticodeSignature -Certificate:$cert -FilePath $FileName