Ultimate Guide for Customizing Windows 7 System Properties

"System Properties" is one of the frequently used and widely known components of Windows OS. You can access it to check installed Windows version and Service Pack number, to check system RAM, processor, etc, to check whether Windows is activated or not and many other things.

We here at AskVG love customizing Windows UI and we always use our favorite tool Resource Hacker for this task. Customizing System Properties look-n-feel was very easy in Windows XP. You just needed to modify a system file called sysdm.cpl using Resource Hacker and you could move or remove any desired item from Windows XP System Properties. We posted an exclusive tutorial to customize Windows XP System Properties in past which can be found at following link:

Customizing System Properties Dialog Box (Sysdm.cpl) in Windows XP

But when Microsoft released Windows Vista, there were many changes in user interface and its resource locations. Microsoft started putting UI resources in .MUI files. So if you want to customize Windows UI in Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, you'll need to modify .MUI files as described in following tutorials:

Same thing happened with System Properties. Microsoft moved the code of System Properties window in Windows Vista and later from sysdm.cpl file to a new DLL file.

So today in this tutorial, we are going to tell you how to customize Windows 7 System Properties? Using this tutorial, you'll be able to remove unwanted items from System Properties window. Also you'll be able to change or rename existing items such as logos, text strings, etc.

Following is a preview of the output which you can get after following this tutorial:

Customized_Windows_7_System_Properties.png

As you can see in above screenshot, we have removed Windows logo, genuine Windows activation logo, learn more online link and Windows experience index rating from System Properties.

This tutorial has been tested in Windows 7 but it should also work in Windows Vista and Windows 8.

So without wasting time, lets start the tutorial:

1. The system file which contains System Properties UI resources in Windows 7 is "systemcpl.dll" present in "%windir%\System32\" folder. Here %windir% represents "Windows" directory which can be found in the system drive where Windows is installed. In most of the cases its C:\Windows.

First copy systemcpl.dll file from "System32" folder to some other location for example Desktop.

2. Now open the new file in Resource Hacker and go to following key:

UIFILE -> 1001

3. In right-side pane, you'll get the whole code which is used by Windows to show each and every element in System Properties window.

Customizing_Windows_7_System_Properties.png

You just need a little bit common sense to find out which line of code is responsible to show your desired item in System Properties window. Once you find the line, remove the line to remove that particular item from System Properties window or change the code to change the text string shown in the window.

The code starting from line 1 to line 100 is actually a stylesheet which tells Windows how to show the items in System Properties window.

Code after line 100 is the main programming code which contains the information about each item of System Properties window.

Each item of System Properties window is defined by a line in following format:

<element id="".......>
</element>

or:

<element id=""....... />

Check the difference between both above mentioned examples. First example contains its closing tag in a new line on the other hand second example contains the closing tag in same line. So when you are deleting a line, make sure you also delete the line containing its closing tag.

4. When you finish editing the code, click on "Compile Script" button.

5. That's it. After modifying, save the file.

6. Now we'll need to replace original systemcpl.dll file present in "C:\Windows\System32\" folder with our new systemcpl.dll file which we saved at Desktop or some other location.

7 a. First take ownership of "C:\Windows\System32\systemcpl.dll" file using following tutorial:

Add Take Ownership Option in File / Folder Context Menu in Windows Vista and 7

7 b. Now rename it to "systemcpl_backup.dll" or any other name.

7 c. Now copy your new modified "systemcpl.dll" file from Desktop to "System32" folder.

8. That's it. Now you can check System Properties again and it'll show the new modified UI. No need to restart or log off. Changes are instant.

PS: Don't worry. If you make some mistake while editing the file, it'll not harm Windows but when you'll try to open System Properties, it might crash or might show a blank window. If you face this problem, just restore original file and everything will be fine.

NOTE: To change labels and text strings, you'll need to edit "C:\Windows\System32\en-US\systemcpl.dll.mui" file in Resource Hacker. If your Windows language is different, then replace en-US in the above path with your language code.





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Posted in: Windows 7


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Comments

  • as always amazing tutorial VG. keep up the good job. :)

  • So this is the whole bundled one.Nice tweak VG.But can you just give that file of all tweaks done in one as i fear changing on my own.And i guess many other would too.

  • VG

    ^^ I cant provide ready-made file. Also different people might want to remove different things. As mentioned at the end, its absolutely safe to customize the file. If something goes wrong, you can restore the backup file.

  • Ok VG

  • Will you provide the direct download link of Windows 8 RTM once it becomes available in MSDN and TechNet after some days?

  • Does anyone found a way to remove "Pen and Touch" category? I removed all unescarry things except this.

  • VG

    ^^ Check out systemcpl.dll.mui file in "System32\en-US\" folder.

  • Yay! It worked.

  • VG

    ^^ Good. :)

  • has anyone tried removing the help button? (top right hand)
    i did but the title "View basic information about your computer" got cut in half

  • VG - I love your tutorials.

    I have 2 questions (Win 7 64-bit)
    :
    1. When systempcl.dll references ProcessorText as in

    where do I find the reference? What file is used for 1563? No matter what I do, the clockspeed of the chip is always displayed afterwards. Can I make it disappear but keep the rest of the info?

    2. On the left side under System it might say: Installed Memory(RAM) - what is the stylesheet file name?

    Thanks a million.

  • I tried editing both the systemcpl.dll and systemcpl.dll.mui and niether one changed anything in the System Properties window. What gives?

  • us3r, you might've done something wrong. But still, keep trying and someday you'll get it right!

  • heyyy... tx a lot yar.. mene to apni pic lgai... yahooo ... tx a lot :) :D

  • Please help. I want to change the os name in windows edition tab. But how to? Please post ii!!!t

  • i have same question as Anthony....plz reply

  • anyone putting together a tool to edit these settings via a GUI?

  • at the time of bitmap replacement, its not accepting the bmp file.
    prompting error "bitmap image is not valid" ?

  • VG

    ^^ Try to save the original bitmap and then edit it in an image editing program and customize it according to your requirements.

  • Helpful, but it would also be very useful to know where the information referenced comes from. There is no String data in this file, so the info must be obtained from elsewhere.

    Eg:

    --> where is the "atom(WindowsEditionText)" data stored?

    In your method, only elements are removed. Would be nice to actually change content.

    Always appreciate efforts of anyone! Good work to get this patch!

  • Hey , I want to change the value of my system ratings in System Property ,,,,, pls help me!!!!! :)

  • Hey! I've found a simple tool to increase or decrease your system ratings (Windows Experience Index) Download from given link below
    #www.jtechsoftwares.in/uploads/6/7/0/8/6708708/_experiance_index_editor.exe
    Size= 1MB

    You can increase or decrease your system ratings upto 1 to 7.9

  • VG

    ^^ And if you want to manually do this:

    http://www.askvg.com/trick-to-increase-windows-vista-performance-experience-index-upto-99/

  • Is there any ready made program to do the same?
    I mainly want to edit Blue Windows logo of Windows 7 & that Windows Edition.
    I am afraid of editing this system file.
    Thanks in advance
    Windows 7 x64

  • can we change the name of the processor i.e it doesnot change even after a restart.

    thnx

  • OH GOOD Tks VG ;-)

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