What Is the Significance of Windows Folder Names With Hex Numbers in Them?

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If you dig deep enough into Windows, sooner or later you will likely see some folders with unusual names comprised of seemingly random numbers and letters. What is the significance of these names? Are they special? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answer to a curious reader’s question.

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

SuperUser reader Will Simmons wants to know what the significance of Windows folder names with hex numbers in them is:

When doing a backup of my Windows hard drive, I noticed that some folder names had strings of seemingly random numbers in them. For example, {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}. Do those random numbers mean something special in Windows? What is the purpose of these folders?

What is the significance of Windows folder names with hex numbers in them?

SuperUser contributor BlueRaja (Danny Pflughoeft) has the answer for us:

Others have mentioned that {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} is a GUID (Globally Unique Identifier), which is true, but does not answer the question.

If you create a folder with the name and format FolderName.{SomeGUID}, Windows will treat the folder as a shortcut and search for the GUID as a CLSID (Class Identifier) within the Windows registry. Microsoft calls these folders Junction Points.

A CLSID Entry (Source)

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The specific GUID you mentioned is the famous God Mode Shortcut, which brings you to a more powerful version of the Control Panel.

The God Mode Shortcut (Source)

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Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing “old school” role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and Google+.

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