As far as I know, nobody has counted them all but there must be thousands of possible tweaks for Windows operating systems. Many are not particularly useful but there are a number that can be quite worthwhile. Unless you are expert at delving through the Windows Registry, the best way to select and make tweaks is to use one of the many tweaking utilities that are available. I recently took a look at one called Windows Tweaker.
This free utility is not to be confused with one described in a previous tip that is called the “Ultimate Windows Tweaker”. The name is similar but the interface is very different and I quite like the appearance. Although this is a desktop utility, it has the clean modern look often found on mobile apps. The developer’s site and download link are here. There is a portable version as well as an installer version. The portable version is 0.85 MB and the installer version is 2.45 MB. I tried both and I see no particular advantage to the installer version except that its performance was a little smoother.
The program is said to work in Vista and higher but I have used it only in Windows 8.1, 64-bit. The program requires the .NET 4.5 Framework. Because it can be used to make changes to the system, it requires administrative privileges to run. One annoyance is that it opens in maximized view, taking up the whole screen like a Windows 8 store app. The view can be changed to a smaller one by toggling the maximize button in the upper right corner of its window. You can then see part of the desktop but further resizing can be done only from the right side of the window.
There are said to be 100+ settings available and the screenshot below shows some. As the graphic shows, a pane on the left side lists 11 categories of settings. When one of these is selected, tabs across the top of the window with sub-categories are displayed. Selecting one of these then shows a list where you can select various possible tweaks. In the graphic below, the category “Explorer” has been chosen and the tab “Start Screen” selected. There is also a search function to make finding a particular tweak easier. If you would like to see more examples of which tweaks are available, you can take a look at this page where the developer has a collection of screenshots.
Before making any changes to a system, it is always a good idea to make a backup and the utility has an options button (lower left corner in graphic above) that opens a menu containing an entry that will let you create a system restore point.
And there you have it - another quick and easy way to tweak Windows the way you want it.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.
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