If you’re working on the Windows 7 RC, then there are good chances that you’re the kind of user who really likes to monkey around with settings and change your OS. While what you can do is that you may go to the DIY route and hack your registry and then run your mouse ragged clicking through various control panel screens, there are several good free apps available that are designed to simplify tweaking.
Pro tip: If you re running one of these apps, then you should use their built-in checkpoint creator before committing changes or you should yourself create a system restore point- just in case something goes away.
Here are few, go ahead and add your picks in the comments if in case you don’t see your favorite ones in the list!
One strike against EM7 is that you must have to install it in order to use it. Its positive quality is that it is 32 and 64-bit. And the negative thing in it is that it uses 65Mb memory when it is running. But it has a good thing and that is it comes with a free frogurt!
Jokes apart, EM7 is absolutely packed with options. Other than the tweaks covering every nook and cranny in Windows 7, Cleaners are also included in the program like registry and disk cleaning tools, a shortcut creator, it also provides fast access to many built-in Windows utilities, and much, much more. We can rightly say it a beast.
Little Tweaker is a really very good option for those of you who want a simple way to manipulate the context menu, disk space warnings, and the like. It has got lightweight, it is portable, and it is quite focused on common adjustments. It has been failed to run on x64, which has made me realize that that I needed to have Windows 7 Ultimate installed, so I did it.
This thing has really impressed me that the crew at WinVistaClub is now able to cram into less than 200Kb. Ultimate has been built for Vista, but with Windows 7 as well, it works just fine. Everything has been covered by loads of options from accounts and UAC to the taskbar and start menu and beyond. I must say that UWT is totally portable.
About it I can say that this one falls somewhere in between Little Tweaker and Ultimate. For the average user it is a good choice, it is not having the overwhelming number of choices of EM7 or Ultimate, but it has got more than just basic interface tweaks. XDn is available as both a portable and installable app.
As implied by the name, this one comes with non-tweaking features as well. It includes system cleanup, privacy tools, process monitoring, an uninstaller, a duplicate file finder, and a handy repair center. On the tweaking side, it has got everything from UI customization to network and its IE settings are easy to monkey with. This one’s available for you in 32 and 64-bit flavors as an installer only.
Just Like EM7, TweakNow is much more than a tweaking tool. It features registry cleaning and tuning tools, a disk usage analyzer, history cleaner, startup manager, and many more things. The interface of TweakNow is very well-organized, and if you are unable to find a setting you want to tweak with PowerPack then it means that it might not exist.
TweakNow is install-only app., but for the additional built-in utilities it’s worth doing but only if you need them.