How to enable hidden features in Windows 10 with Mach2

windows 10 hidden features

While Microsoft has packed many new features in Windows 10 operating system, the company is hiding some features from users. Just a little bit of digging is sufficient to enable hidden features in Windows 10. Getting access to the hidden features in Windows 10 is now easier than ever as an app is sufficient to bring them to the surface.

A tool called Mach2 has managed to enable hidden features like a dark theme in Windows 10’s File Explorer and as well as the new screen clipping feature. To unlock hidden features in Windows 10, users will need to install the Mach2 and enter the commands.

The developer says Mach2 can be used to enable some hidden features, and it can be also used for discovering upcoming features. It is worth noting that the Mach2 could completely corrupt your Windows 10 installation, in other words, the system could be wiped in a couple of minutes. Note: We are not responsible for any damage that may occur.

Activate hidden features in Windows 10

Rivera has released Mach2 as an open source project on Github, as a result, you’re also supposed to compile it.

Windows currently contains thousands of Feature switches that turn on and off new and unfinished functionality, mitigations, test hooks, and overrides. Mach2 provides facilities to discover these switches and turn them on or off,” Windows expert Rivera explains.

  • Update your Windows 10 PC to the latest Redstone 5 Build 17650.
  • Download the Mach2 project from here.
  • Download the free Visual Studio 2017 Express from here, and select the “Desktop development with C++” option in the installation screen. Also, check the Windows 10 SDK option.
  • In Visual Studio, load the Mach2 project.
  • Compile it and Visual Studio will create Mach2.exe (executable file).
  • Install the Windows 10 SDK from here and make sure that Debugging Tools for Windows package option is selected.

The developer explains that the tool scans Microsoft Program Database (PDB) files for Feature symbol. You can then review the result and enable the feature.

  • You can use Cortana or any other search tool to locate symchk.exe which would be used to download symbol files from Microsoft’s Symbol Server.
  • Create a folder called C:\symbols and execute the following command:
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Debuggers\x86\symchk.exe” /r c:\windows /s SRV*c:\symbols\*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols
  • The downloaded PDB files will be stored to the C:\symbols location.
  • That’s it. You can now finally use Mach2 to enable hidden features.

Run the command “mach2 –help” without the colon to display all available options and commands. Similarly, you can use the following command:

  • mach2 scan can be used to scan a specific directory for *.pdb files and reveal new features found.
  • mach2 display can be used to display enabled and disabled feature IDs.

You can find the list of hidden features here. One of the most exciting features is new Screen Clipping in the operating system and Dark Theme in Windows File Explorer.

Let us understand how you can activate and deactivate these features.

  • To enable a feature, use command  “mach2 enable [id]” and similarly, to disable a feature, use the “mach2 disable [id]” command.
  • You can use “mach2 enable 15333818” command to enable Screen Clipping feature, and you can disable it with “mach2 disable 15333818“.
  • You can enable Dark theme in File Explorer with the command “mach2 enable 10397285” and disable with “mach2 disable 10397285“.

As noted above, this tool could corrupt the Windows installation, and we are not responsible if you trash the system.

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