Monthly Archives: February 2012

Removing invalid items from Game Explorer

Users of Windows 7 probably know about Game Explorer, a part of Windows 7 that shows installed video games on their computers and allows them to run them, update them, see their playing statistics or control how their children access those games. It must not be confused with the Games folder in the Start Menu.

The items seen in Game Explorer are not ordinary shortcuts. Therefore, if a computer game’s uninstaller does not remove the corresponding game’s entry from the Game Explorer, simply pressing the Delete button will not fix the issue. This is the problem that I run into. (See figure 1).

Game Explorer with an invalid item

Game Explorer with an invalid item

When I saw this irremovable invalid entry, I thought that like most other Windows settings, the details of these entries must be stored in Windows Registry. I could refer to MSDN website and read about Game Explorer, but a simple search in the Registry yielded more satisfying results.

Registry Editor showing GameUX key in Windows Registry

Registry Editor showing GameUX key in Windows Registry

The Game Explorer settings are stored in:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\GameUX\

Under this key, there are subkeys that store information about the items displayed in Game Explorer. The structure is not simple but if you spend a couple of minutes there, you should have no trouble figuring out how it works. I too found the entry corresponding to my uninstalled game without much trouble and deleted it. (See figure 2).

By the way, I did refer to MSDN in the end – just to satisfy my own curiosity. I found a technical article to get game developers started with Game Explorer and the Game Explorer’s reference book. It appears that Game Explorer is not new to Windows 7; rather, it was first introduced an operating system called Windows Vista, a successor to the venerable Windows XP.

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