Customizing Windows with Tweak UI

Far be it from us to tell Microsoft which utilities they should or should not ship with their products, but sometimes we just can’t help ourselves. Although the Msconfig utility does a great job of allowing you to quickly and effectively control your PC’s startup environment, Microsoft does have another great program that allows you to tweak and tune to a greater degree – Tweak UI. Originally released as a “Power Toy” for Windows 95, the program provides you with the ability to get under the hood of your Windows system, changing settings normally hidden from view.

While the Windows 95/98/ME version doesn’t allow you to specifically control which programs load at boot time, Tweak UI does provide a few nifty features that will spare you the pain of digging through the Registry or endlessly clicking through the Windows interface. Among our favorite features are those found on the Paranoia tab, shown above. Settings here allow you to automatically clear your Documents, Internet Explorer, and Run command history at logon, and the name of the last user who logged on to the system, all giving you a little more privacy. Both the Windows 95/98/ME and Windows XP versions of the tool are available for download from the Microsoft website.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.