Home > Misc > Vista Tweak 6: Adding Games to the Vista Game Folder that are not added automatically

Vista Tweak 6: Adding Games to the Vista Game Folder that are not added automatically

By default Vista adds installed games to the Vista Games Folder when they are started for the first time. However there are many games that are not added automatically. It is possible to drag and drop a shortcut icon of a game onto the Game Window but only the icon is displayed then without any box art or additional information.
There is a workaround to add your own games to the Game Window completely with box art and other infos. This is more of a hack since it is not officially supported and since you have to tamper around in the Registry you should know what you are doing. Also you have to repeat the following steps for every game that you want to add which can be tiresome if you want to add many. Here’s the step-by-step guide to add your games …

  1. First to do this you need at least one game installed that was recognized automatically by Vista’s Game Window. In this example I will use the popular role-playing game The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion for this.
  2. Vista fetches it’s game information from allgame.com. I recommend to go there and search for the game you want to add. You can find box arts and all the other information there.
  3. In this example I’m going to add the racing game FlatOut 2 which currently is not recognized automatically by Vista’s Game Window.
  4. Save the box art image somewhere on your harddisk where it is easily accessible. I saved mine in C:UsersAll UsersMicrosoftWindows GameExplorerGamesBoxArt_Custom so that it is accessible for all users. I renamed the image to FlatOut2.jpg.
  5. Go to Start Menu, type regedit and press <Enter>. This will open the Registry Editor.
  6. In the editor navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / Software / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / GAMEUX. There are several long numbers (also called GUIDs) listed under GAMEUX. One of them contains our data for Oblivion, so search through the available keys until you find one that contains the information for Oblivion listed on the right side of the editor. We are going to overwrite the Oblivion information with the info from the game that we want to add. Don’t worry! Oblivion will be added automatically again once you start that game. On the following screenshot you can see the data for Oblivion …
  7. Replace all the relevant data with the one of the game you want to add. For example right click on AppExePath, choose Modify… and in the prompt enter the path to your new game. In my case I have to enter C:Program FilesGamesFlatOut2FlatOut2.exe. Leave the ApplicationId like it is. For BoxArt enter the path to where we put the downloaded box art image (C:UsersAll UsersMicrosoftWindowsGameExplorer GamesBoxArt_CustomFlatOut2.jpg in my case). Also change the ConfigApplicationPath to the path folder of your game.
  8. Modify Description, DeveloperName, DeveloperUrl, Genre, PublisherName, PublisherUrl, ReleaseCountry, ReleaseDate and Title to your liking (optimally with info from allgame.com).
  9. Modify the WMGameId and enter nothing for it so that it is empty. You can close the Registry Editor after that.
  10. Browse to the folder C:UsersyourusernameAppDataLocal MicrosoftWindows GameExplorerGamesBoxArt. There are several images in this folder. Find the one that is the Oblivion BoxArt image and replace it with the image that we downloaded for the newly added game. The filename should stay exactly the same so rename the new image to the name of the old one.
  11. Now you have to remember the filename which looks something like {CFBD03C8-D6FD-43D1-A54A-546086FA310C}.jpg (the GUID, remember?). Go to the parent folder of the one with the images and you should see folders that are named after their GUIDs. Find the one with the Oblivion GUID (you normally only need to look for the first couple of characters), open it and inside is another folder named PlayTasks and in that another named 0. In the 0 folder is a file called Play.lnk. Delete it and then copy a new link from your new game to this folder and rename it to Play.lnk. You can create a link of your game’s exe easily by right-clicking on the exe and choose Send To/Desktop (create shortcut). Then copy/move the shortcut from the Desktop to the 0 folder.

Now open your Vista Games Window (Start Menu/Games) and if everything done right your new game should appear in the window. The only information that we cannot change is the ESRB Rating information or at least I haven’t found a way yet to do that. The entry for Oblivion is gone but don’t worry, it will appear again once you start that game. You could use it over and over again to add new games and it will appear everytime again after you start it. I hope this guide wasn’t too confusing but if you still have trouble please use the comment form.

Categories: Misc Tags: ,
  1. scubarazzi
    August 7th, 2007 at 11:17 | #1

    Regarding games on Vista, I’ve installed a lot of games that work OK on the administrator account, but would not work on the standard accounts. The most common glitch would be an inability to save, or to access the saved games. Is there a way to get around this problem? My wife (who uses a standard account) is quite disappointed that she can only play with half of the games that I’ve installed.

  2. August 7th, 2007 at 14:52 | #2

    scubarazzi the only ‘workaround’ that I know might work for this is to set the Game’s executable file to run as administrator for all users. To do so right click on the exe file, choose Properties, go to Compability tab, press ‘Show settings for all users’ and in the window that opens check the ‘Run this program as an administrator’, click Ok.
    That should make the game’s exe to run as admin for all users.

  3. Luke Kelly
    January 3rd, 2008 at 23:53 | #3

    When I try to open a game (such as Medal of Honor Allied Assult from EA Games) in Vista, the game runs in a small window instead of full screen. The window has no maximize button–just the “x-out” button. When the game runs there are two mouse pointers: one that moves around in small game window and then one that still moves around on the desktop screen in the background. How do I get the game to run fullscreen with Vista? I don’t have this problem with XP [of course :) ]

  4. kike
    February 5th, 2008 at 04:58 | #4

    to Luke Kelly the full screen option should be an inside-game one, look for it.:P

  5. Renegade5286
    February 9th, 2008 at 11:29 | #5

    This works great the only problem im having is i used guild wars and it didn’t come back so i had to make one for it too and all the games you make all go to the support page of the previous game you used

  6. NoobTweaker
    February 28th, 2008 at 01:55 | #6

    Hi, I’ve followed the above but 1 bit isn’t working. In number 10.) above, there are no images. I’ve placed a .jpg for the game in there but GE still shows the old games art.

  7. February 28th, 2008 at 12:02 | #7

    You can also try this tool which has become available meanwhile … http://www.neowin.net/news/software/07/12/19/vista-game-explorer-editorvgee-214-beta

    Makes things a lot easier.. However I’ve found that after a while Vista somehow removes added images by itself which makes this tweak in vain unfortunately.

  8. August 21st, 2008 at 06:20 | #8

    Thanks for this tip. I followed the guide and it worked fine for Call of Duty 4, but Oblivion will not come back. I am thinking that this is because my Oblivion version is the game of the year edition and not the first or unpatched version. Any fix for this? I would like Oblivion back without having to do the guide all over again for it. Thanks!

  1. March 24th, 2010 at 18:06 | #1
  2. January 19th, 2015 at 23:42 | #2
You must be logged in to post a comment.