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How to Restore Default Settings in Windows 7

Sooner or later, you'll want to restore the default settings for a Windows 7 feature. If you want to return to the way things were before you started messing around with them, you'll need to know how to find the Restore Default buttons, which are strategically placed throughout Windows 7.

Customizing Windows 7 so that it works best with you and your lifestyle is what it’s all about. You'll probably want to play with some of the settings, sometimes making them more like Vista or XP and sometimes customizing them into your own unique creations. Knowing that a click of a button can undo any damage should give you the confidence to really take charge of your Windows experience.

  • Libraries: If you've noticed that one of your default libraries (Music, Videos, Pictures, or Your Documents) is missing, you can put it back again. Just open a folder and right-click on the word Libraries in the Navigation Pane and choose Restore Default Libraries. Your libraries all reappear.

  • Start menu: You can customize many aspects of your Start menu, but every now and again, you might go too far and really mess things up. If this happens, you can bring back the original by right-clicking the Start button, choosing Properties, clicking the Customize button, and then clicking Use Default Settings.

  • Taskbar: To restore the original taskbar, just right-click a blank part of the taskbar and choose Properties. Click the Customize button and choose Restore Default Icon Behaviors at the bottom of the window.

  • Internet Explorer: If Internet Explorer seems clogged with unwanted toolbars, spyware, or just plain weirdness, bring back its original settings. In IE, click Tools and choose Internet Options from the drop-down menu. Click the Advanced tab and click the Reset button.

    This action wipes out nearly everything, including your toolbars, add-ons, and search engine preference. If you also select the Delete Personal Settings check box, clicking the Reset button even kills your browser history and saved passwords, so that you must start from scratch. Only your favorites, feeds, and a few other items remain.

  • Firewall: If you suspect your Windows Firewall has become corrupted, you can bring back its original settings and start over. Click the Start menu, choose Control Panel, choose System and Security, and open Windows Firewall. Click Restore Defaults in the left column.

  • Some of your programs may need to be reinstalled.

  • Media Player: When Media Player’s library contains mistakes, tell it to delete its index and start over. In Media Player, press the Alt key, click Tools, choose Advanced from the pop-out menu, and choose Restore Media Library.

    Choose Restore Deleted Library Items instead if you’ve accidentally removed items from Media Player’s library.

  • Folders: Windows 7 allows you to control many aspects of how Windows Explorer folders behave. To go back to the original settings, open any folder, click the Organize button, and choose Folder and Search Options. You can find a Restore Defaults button on each tab: General, View, and Search.

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