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12 Jan 2019 • Windows 10 2019 post-install checklist
This is a guide on how to set up Windows 10 to not be annoying. You
should set aside a few hours to go through everything. Most steps, but
not all, are detailed enough that you can autopilot your way through it.
Initial setup and disabling security features
- Install the correct version. You want Windows 10 LTSC, which is
pretty stripped down out of the box and doesn't get feature updates.
- In the installer, do domain join instead of creating a web account.
Say no to all the location/telemetry garbage.
- Click the start button, Settings, Update & Security, Windows Update,
Check for updates.
- Start, Windows Accessories, IE, download another browser. While
you're at it, go into Internet Options, Security, drag the security
level all the way down, Custom level..., Launching applications and
unsafe files, check Enabled (not secure), ok out of all of that.
(Firefox 52 ESR
- If you installed an older Firefox, unplug your network cable before
running it then go to settings and disable updates. Install uBlock
Origin and NoScript (FF52 version). It's very
important to install those before you do anything else on the web. Go
into uBlock settings and enable all filter lists that sound good.
- Install video drivers. Don't install Geforce Experience.
- Open Control Panel (search for it in the start menu), User Accounts,
User Accounts (again), Change User Account Control settings, disable
it. Go back to Control Panel home, Programs, Turn Windows features on
or off, check Windows Subsystem for Linux, don't reboot. Back to
Control Panel home, System and Security, Windows Defender Firewall,
Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off, turn it off.
- gpedit.msc, Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows
Components, Windows Defender Antivirus. Double click Turn off Windows
Defender Antivirus, check Enabled, click ok. The other Windows
Defender entries are disabled and you can ignore them. Also go to
Windows Components, OneDrive, Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file
storage, Enabled, ok, Prevent OneDrive from generating network
traffic..., Enabled, ok.
- services.msc, disable and stop Windows Search and Windows Update, and
anything else that offends you.
- secpol.msc, Local Policies, Security Options, UAC: Run all
administrators in Admin Approval Mode, Disabled.
- Ctrl+shift+escape, Startup, disable Windows Security notification
- Reboot to BIOS (might need to fully shutdown), put Linux Boot Manager
back at the top of the boot list. Reboot back to Windows and reboot
until Windows Update is done.
Disable everything else
- Win+E, View, Options, View. Check Show hidden files, folders and
drives. Uncheck Hide empty drives. Uncheck Hide extensions for known
file types. Uncheck Hide protected operating system files. Go down to
Naviation pane, check Expand to open folder.
- Install the Take Ownership Registry
Ignore the tutorial, just scroll down to the zip and install it. Use
it if you ever run into permissions errors. Don't use it on C:
because it causes problems.
- Install the Disable 3D Objects
- Right click the desktop, Personalize, go through all of it including
all the links. In particular go Themes, Sounds, Sound Scheme = No
Sounds. Taskbar, Combine taskbar buttons, Never. Start, disable
everything. Taskbar, Turn system icons on or off, disable Action
Center and Input Indicator.
- Right click the taskbar, Search, Hidden. Uncheck Show Task View
button. Uncheck Show People on the taskbar.
- Control Panel, System and Security, System, Advanced system settings,
Performance Settings..., disable almost everything under visual
effects, Advanced, Change..., set the pagefile size to 800MB. Go back
to the Advanced system settings window, Startup and Recovery
Settings..., uncheck Automatically restart if you want.
- Control Panel, System and Security, Security and Maintenance. Click
all the "Turn off messages about x" links.
- Win+R, cmd.exe,
powercfg -h off.
- Set Windows to use UTC time.
- Install the MarkC mouse acceleration fix.
- Open Settings:
- System. Notifications & actions, disable them. Power & sleep,
Never and Never.
- Devices. Typing, disable everything. AutoPlay, Off.
- Time & language. Set your time zone. Click Date, time & regional
formatting, Change data formats, pick what you like.
- Ease of Access. Keyboard, disable everything.
- Privacy. Go through every tab and disable basically everything.
- Update & security. Windows Update, Advanced Options, Delivery
Optimization, don't let other people download updates from your
PC. Click For developers in the sidebar, enable Developer Mode,
disable Remote Desktop.
- Control Panel, Ease of Access, Change how your keyboard works,
create a key called
Serialize, then create a DWORD called
StartupDelayInMSec and set it to 0.
ExtendedUIHoverTime to 30000 to disable taskbar preview
HKCU\Control Panel\Accessibility\Keyboard Response, set
AutoRepeatRate to whatever. Never open the
accessibility settings menu again.
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting, make a
Disabled and set it to 1.
- More Firefox things:
- Go to Options. General. When Firefox starts, Show your windows and
tabs from last time. Set up fonts, set minimum font size, uncheck
Allow pages to choose their own fonts. Downloads, Always ask you
where to save files. Applications, PDF, Always ask (disables
pdf.js). Privacy, Use custom settings for history, never accept
third-party cookies, remove all cookies you picked up so far.
Security, uncheck the warnings/blockers. Advanced, uncheck smooth
scrolling, check autoscrolling. Update, Never check for updates,
don't update search engines.
- about:config. extensions.update.autoUpdateDefault = false,
extensions.update.enabled = false.
browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab = false.
- Install Vimperator, Download Statusbar, Hide
Tab Bar With One Tab,
HideScrollbars, and bug489729.
Click the links for Firefox 52 compatible versions. You might need
to download through IE.
- Put the NoScript icons in the tab bar. Go into NoScript options.
Whitelist, remove everything. Notifications, uncheck Show message
about blocked scripts, uncheck Display the release notes on
updates. Advanced, XSS, disable.
- Download the Sysinternals
Run autoruns, disable anything you don't like the look of.
MozillaMaintenance, NVIDIA telemetry, etc. Run procexp and check
nothing dumb is running just in case. You will have lots of
svchost.exes because MS doesn't run multiple services in one exe
We are going to use WSL because it's much faster than Cygwin.
- Install AlpineWSL. It has pretty
comprehensive repos and comes with the least garbage (5MB!)
apk update; apk add openssh; ssh-keygen -t ed25519; ssh-keygen
-f /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ed25519_key -t ed25519. Disable
PasswordAuthentication in /etc/ssh/sshd_config. Set up
authorized_keys. Create sshd.vbs somewhere:
WScript.CreateObject( "shell.application" ).ShellExecute "C:\Program Files\Alpine Linux\Alpine.exe", "run /usr/sbin/sshd", "", "open", 0
and copy a shortcut to
1. Install Xming. Run
xlaunch, click ok a few times, click save configuration, save it to
1. Install a terminal in Alpine (I like st), then create a script to run
WScript.CreateObject( "shell.application" ).ShellExecute "C:\Program Files\Alpine Linux\Alpine.exe", "run env DISPLAY=:0 st", "", "open", 0
- Check that copy paste between Windows and WSL works how you want. I
had to swap primary/clipboard pastes in st for it to work out.
- Create a shortcut to it, right click, put
wscript.exe at the front
of the target, give it a nice icon, then drag it to the taskbar. When
you run it, it makes a new icon rather than opening in place, if
anyone knows how to fix that please email me.
apk add bind-tools coreutils ctags curl fish fzf git grep htop less
man man-pages mdocml-apropos p7zip the_silver_searcher tig tmux tree
Software I like
- 7-Zip. Go into settings and
associate it with everything that isn't zip. Disable all the junk
context menu items.
- Create halt.bat somewhere containing
shutdown /s /t 0. Create
shutdown /r /t 0. Use Everything to run
- Search Everything. Sort by descending
run count, and close window on execute. Right click on things and set
run count to seed them to appear at the top. halt.bat, reboot.bat,
Control Panel.lnk, Snipping Tool.lnk, firefox.exe, etc.
- AutoHotKey. Put startup.ahk in
%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. Include a
hotkey to launch Everything. Scroll down for an example.
- Start Killer. Use Everything as a
- Download psubst.
psubst X: C:\Users\<user>\Documents /P.
- Sumatra PDF.
- Visual Studio
Check the Graphics debugger and GPU profiler for DirectX box.
- Apply this .reg
to fix JIT debugging.
- Intel Architecture Code
Make sure you check Windows Performance Toolkit (for GPUView),
Debugging Tools for Windows (WinDBG), Windows SDK Signing Tools for
Desktop Apps (SignTool), and probably the x86/amd64 SDKs.
You need it for XAudio 2.7, which you need if you want to ship
software on Win7. You might need to reenable Windows Update for this.
- Windows Store.
Delete the PurchaseApp/xbox stuff. Get WinDbg Preview from the
- Color Cop.
- mpv. Put
youtube-dl in the same folder.
- Download Path
VS compiler stuff, MSBuild, the Win10 Kit (with mt.exe), IACA,
apitrace, NSIS, and mpv to path.
- Control Panel, System and Security, System, Advanced system settings,
Environment Variables. Point INCLUDE and LIB at VS and the SDKs. For
VS2015 I have:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\VC\include;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Include\10.0.10240.0\ucrt;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Include\shared;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft DirectX SDK (June 2010)\Include;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Include\um;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Include\winrt
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\VC\lib\amd64;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Lib\10.0.10240.0\ucrt\x64;C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\lib\winv6.3\um\x64
This script maps capslock to escape, adds some hotkeys for
launching/closing programs, and doesn't open the start menu when you
press the windows key.
#p::Run C:\Program Files\Everything\Everything.exe
Run C:\Program Files\Alpine Linux\st.vbs
WinWait Xming,, 1
LWin & vk07::return
- Write a blog post.
- Email me if I forgot anything.