How to make Windows XP remember Calculator and Character Map settings


Windows XP Calculator and Windows XP Character Map are both very old; only their look is changed to match to that of Windows XP. They store their settings in WIN.INI file. This behavior has two drawbacks:

  1. WIN.INI is normally read-only for standard user accounts; Only accounts with administrative privileges can normally change it. Hence, Calculator and Character Map cannot save their settings and forget them.
  2. If one user change the settings of his own application the way he likes, it affects all other users.


This blog post is definitely worth reading:

Margosis, Aaron (9 February 2005). Remembering Calculator and Character Map Settings. Aaron Margosis’ "Non-Admin" and App-Compat WebLog. MSDN Blogs (Microsoft Corporation).

To make this easier to resolve this issue, I’ve prepared a Windows Registry file for you.

To use this file:

  1. Download it.
  2. Make sure you have logged on to the machine with administrative privileges.
  3. Double-click the download to import it to Registry.
  4. Reboot you machine. (This step is important. A simple log out and log in does not help.)

After carrying out the steps outlined above, Calculator and Character Map will remember each user’s settings. They will save them to Registry instead.


It looks like Windows Live Spaces, my blog’s service provider, does not support embedding Windows Live Skydrive files in the blog. It is strange; these two services are from the same corporation (Microsoft); but they cannot interact? In any case, I converted the embedding into a download link.


For some strange reason, an attempt to download this file from Mozilla Firefox results in the file name having an underscore sign (_) at the beginning of its file name and another at the end of its extension. You should remove them manually.


Posted on 18 July 2010, in Windows Administration. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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