Microsoft Windows for the disdainful

Getting windows in a fit state for civilized usage

Minimising advertising

Modern windows is some kind of spam factory designed to distract you from what you came here for. This can be ameliorated but not fixed. See How to Disable All of Windows 10’s Built-in Advertising. I would happily pay $50 extra licensing fees for all advertising to be excluded from Windows, but that’s not an option they offer plebs.

Package management

Missing homebrew, the excellent Mac package installer? (I presume no one misses yum or dpkg, the adequate-but-stodgy Linux package managers.) The windows equivalent seems to be Chocolatey. I’ve found no use for it yet, since everything I’ve needed so far that seems to want decent packing is in the Linux ecosystem. But your mileage will surely vary.


Debbie Ding solved a bunch of problems for me at once, recommending everything for search (free, looks fancy but closed-source), wox as a spotlight replacement (open source) and seer ($12.18) as a quicklook near-replacement.

clipboard management

See clipboard managers for the general case. Since 10.2018, windows has good clipboard management though and I woudl not bother installing anything extra. equivalents

I want to have all my recently opened files and folders accessible with a keyboard shortcut. Who would not want that? People who do menially repetitive and narrow tasks, I suppose.

Application switching


Securing things

Decent outgoing firewall? Complicated, but Windows Firewall Control comes recommended.

Disk encryption? Bitlocker is only for windows professional? idk


Scroll wheel natural scrolling is available only via some tedious horror of manual tweaking in Registry Editor, or via powershell script:

Get-ItemProperty HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\HID\*\*\Device` Parameters FlipFlopWheel -EA 0 | ForEach-Object { Set-ItemProperty $_.PSPath FlipFlopWheel 1 }

Run that every time you plug a new mouse in, then unplug the mouse and plug it back in again.



K-Lite Codec Pack Mega is necessary to get Windows talking to macOS and Linux regarding media formats (thanks for the tip, Ableton.) There is some complicated configuration and possible clashes between solutions; be careful.

Where are my VSTs?


64-Bit VST2: C:/Program Files/Steinberg/VSTplugins
64-Bit VST3: C:/Program Files/Common Files/VST3

To save veeeery long load times for plugins every time you change your sample rate, I can try excluding plugins from Windows Defender. This is probably a security risk.

Filesystem cantrips

Case-sensitive windows files system

NTFS is optionally case-sensitive.

Practically, this is how you do it via powershell.

    Windows Central — How to enable NTFS support to treat folders as case sensitive on Windows 10
# Root of the folder you want to enable/ disable case sensitivity for
[string] $PathRoot = 'folder here'
# Enable ($true) or Disable ($false) CaseSensitivity
[bool] $EnableCaseSensitivity = $true
# Loop all folders, apply SetCaseSensitivityInfo
@(Get-ChildItem -Path $PathRoot -Recurse -Directory | Select-Object -ExpandProperty 'FullName') | ForEach-Object {
    cmd /c ('fsutil.exe file SetCaseSensitiveInfo "{0}" {1}' -f ($_,$(if($EnableCaseSensitivity){'enable'}else{'disable'})))

Reading Linux FS

Ext4 etc can be handled by Paragon extfs for windows (USD20).

Dual boot

When making space on a computer for Linux by shrinking the Windows partition, hiccups can arise. Mihai Neacsu, How to shrink a disk volume beyond the point where any unmovable files are located. Alex Che gives some useful tips about failure modes of the above method.

Windows Subsystem for Linux

See WSL.

Also, Cygwin, is that still a thing?

Partition management

Keywords: diskpart, bcdedit, bcdboot.

Disk encryption


Replacing Window with clones of windows

  • reactos duplicates windows but is open source
  • wine runs windows programs on Linux/macOS
  • Crossover is a friendlier commercial version of wine.