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Disabling Tooltips in Explorer

Tooltips are the little boxes that often pop up when you hover your cursor over an item on the screen such as a toolbar button or icon. Although they can offer very useful information some people find that they are a real distraction. They can be particularly tiresome for visually impaired users, especially those who access their computer through a magnification program such as Lunar, Supernova or ZoomText in the common full-screen mode. This is because the magnified font inside the tooltip and restricted screen size combine so that the tooltip is usually found to be in the way.

Tooltip Example

The appearance of a tooltip can clearly make it impossible to see some of the surrounding files and folders. A mouse user who wasn't using specialist magnification software would simply move the cursor to hide the tooltip; but when one does this with magnification software installed the whole magnified area moves too, often pushing those icons off the edge of the screen.

Many users of magnification software would benefit from disabling the tooltips that appear in Windows Explorer. This includes My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, My Computer as well as all other Windows dedicated to exploring and organizing your filing system. It also includes the File Open and Save As dialogs.

Fortunately it's easy to disable tooltips within Windows Explorer views.

Important Disclaimer & Advice

These are registry files and have only been tested on three machines. I very much doubt that they will harm your system but if they do then I'm very sorry but I can't accept any liability. If you decide to play around in the registry yourself then be careful - fiddling can make your computer do some funny things. Perhaps you should set a System Restore to recover your registry should something go wrong. A link to System Restore is available under Start > Help and Support.

Disabling Explorer Tooltips in Windows XP

You can download this file to turn tooltips off and this file to turn tooltips back on again. Simply save them somewhere that you can find easily (such as on the desktop) and then double-click to launch; or alternatively you can choose to run them directly from this website.


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