Remove annoying icons from Visual Studio main interface

Visual Studio 2013 is a horrible, metro-styled abomination that makes me want to immediately stop doing any development in Microsoft languages, but that is a story for another day.  Some of the awful UI "enhancements" that came with the Metro styling are a group of useless (for me at least) icons in the upper right hand corner of the VS window, including Notifications, Feedback, Quick Launch, and Sign In.  I'm not interested in their product updates (Notifications), Feedback is already easily found in the Help menu, Quick Launch generally takes the same amount of time as selecting the same function from the menu, and I see no value in the Sign In.  So, I should be able to go through the options and disable these icons that I don't want, right?  Wrong.  Microsoft as usual is more interested in making decisions for you with a one-size-fits-all mentality.  However, there is a bit of luck in this case and that is that the display of these annoyances is controlled by a registry setting. 

Warnings:  Editing the registry can cause serious and irreparable damage to your operating system.  Do not edit the registry if you do not know what you're doing.  Do not edit the registry without backing up any entries you plan to remove or edit.  I am not responsible for anything you do with this information. 

If you navigate to the following key in the tree,


you will be able to expand this key to show several keys under it, each has a name which is a GUID surrounded by curly brackets.  If you click on each of then, you can view the keys in that "folder", notice that each has a key called "(Default)" and that the value of this key corresponds to one of the previously mentioned UI elements.

I have four keys here, yours may vary:

{304ee989-b7c9-46c8-aa48-f080bc47cee0} <==> UserNotifications Badge
{73988e61-7e30-4e87-b891-23b5e460db21} <==> User Information Card
{af24dacc-4700-4ef1-9322-be84c428a681} <==> QuickLaunch Control
{F66FBC48-9AE4-41DC-B1AF-0D64F0F54A07} <==> Feedback Button

You can right click the "folder" in the left hand panel and select Delete to remove that key and all the keys inside it.  Once you have removed the item(s) you no longer wish to see, close and reopen your Visual Studio window and voila, annoying UI elements gone.

Before & After

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