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What’s that? You don’t like the way Windows 10 looks and acts? I can’t imagine why — the operating system goes through extensive testing 5 Free Tools to Fix Any Problem in Windows 10 5 Free Tools to Fix Any Problem in Windows 10 It only takes five free programs and a few clicks to fix any problem or rogue setting on your Windows 10 PC. Read More and is widely regarded as the most stable and enjoyable platform on the market.

Okay, I’m joking.

For some people, the vanilla version of Windows isn’t good enough. Are you craving for an XP-esque experience? Do you want to customize your Start Menu’s icons 6 Ways to Hack & Customize the Windows 10 Start Menu 6 Ways to Hack & Customize the Windows 10 Start Menu The Windows 10 Start Menu combines classic elements with modern tiles. Tiles can add a lot of creative freedom. We'll give you tips and reveal tricks for customizing the entire Start Menu to your preferences. Read More ? Are you fed up with boring desktop wallpapers How to Change the Look and Feel of Your Windows 10 Desktop How to Change the Look and Feel of Your Windows 10 Desktop You just upgraded to Windows 10 and you're wondering how you can customize and personalize it. We help you turn your desktop into a virtual Windows experience, one step at a time. Read More ?

Help is at hand. Here are the seven best tools for tweaking and customizing Windows 10.

1. CustomizerGod

CustomizerGod is the self-styled ultimate customization tool for Windows.

It mainly focuses on changing the iconography. Drive icons, shell icons, battery icons, navigation icons — it’s all covered. You can also alter various screens, such as the one you’ll see when powering up or shutting down your machine.

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Windows 10 CustomizerGod Example Screenshot

And don’t worry — CustomizerGod includes a backup tool, so you’re not going to cause lasting damage to your PC if something goes awry.

2. TweakNow PowerPack

As the name suggests, TweakNow is designed to help you alter the way your system works rather than the way it looks. It aims to let you fine-tune every detail of Windows 10, and the app comes with several tools to help you achieve that objective.

Windows 10 TweakNow PowerPack Example Screenshot

Here’s a taste of what you get in the download:

  • A registry cleaner for removing old and corrupt entries (though you should use registry cleaners with caution Using Registry Cleaner: Does Is It Really Make a Difference? Using Registry Cleaner: Does Is It Really Make a Difference? Advertisements for registry cleaners are all over the Web. There’s an entire industry out there bent on convincing inexperienced computer users that their registry needs fixing, and that, for ten easy payments of $29.95, their... Read More ).
  • A menu that reveals more than 100 hidden Windows settings.
  • A startup manager.
  • Support for up to four virtual desktops, each of which can be customized according to your project and/or mood.
  • In-depth analysis of your computer’s vital components such as the processor, memory, and video adapter.
  • A track cleaner that removes tracking data left by old, uninstalled apps.

3. Winaero Tweaker

The Winaero website has a reputation for offering a large number of small, useful, standalone apps. The newly-released Winaero Tweaker pulls all of them together into a single, easy-to-navigate place.

The full list of features is way beyond the scope of this article; doing a complete walkthrough would require a piece of its own. Nonetheless, here’s a small sample of the types of changes you can make:

  • Automatically prevent ” — Shortcut” being added to the end of new shortcuts.
  • Add eight custom colors to the Settings > Personalization > Color menu.
  • Change the size of the scroll bars.
  • Disable the Pin to Start context menu command (how many times have you accidentally clicked on it while emptying your Recycle Bin?).
  • Add file encryption to the context menu.
  • Edit the size of window borders, title bars, and menus.

Windows 10 Winaero Tweaker Example Screenshot

The app is currently free, but the developer has hinted he might start charging in the future. Grab it while you can.

4. Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4

Given its tiny size (the file is only 495 KB), the amount you can accomplish with this app is highly impressive. Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 offers more than 200 individual tweaks, covering everything from your machine’s performance to its security.

Windows 10 Ultimate Windows Tweaker 4 Example Screenshot

For example, you can restrict access to some Control Panel options, disable system telemetry, add Windows Store apps to the context menu, change user accounts settings 5 Tips for Managing Windows User Accounts Like a Pro 5 Tips for Managing Windows User Accounts Like a Pro Windows user accounts have evolved from isolated local accounts to online accounts with various privacy challenges. We help you sort out your accounts and find the settings that work for you. Read More , and edit how File Explorer behaves.

These changes can sometimes go wrong, so it’s always wise to make sure you create a system restore point before proceeding.

5. TileCreator

I covered TileCreator when I took a look at some of the best tools for customizing your Start Menu 6 Tools to Tweak the Windows 10 Start Menu 6 Tools to Tweak the Windows 10 Start Menu The Windows 10 Start Menu combines the best features of Windows 7 with Windows 8 live tiles. If you'd prefer a different look and long for a major overhaul, here are the tools you'll need. Read More , but it deserves another mention.

One of the criticisms most frequently leveled at Windows 10 is its inability to change the visual appearance of tiles on the Start Menu. The workaround on Windows 8 was to use the fantastic OblyTile app, but sadly it doesn’t support the latest version of the operating system.

Windows 10 TileCreator Example Screenshot

Thankfully, TileCreator does. It works with any app’s tile and lets you customize the image, the text, and the background color.

You’ll need both the Windows Store app and the separately downloaded proxy to make it work.

6. Taskbar Tweaker

The taskbar is one of the most important parts of your day-to-day interaction with Windows 10. If it’s properly set up, it can act as an easy-to-use hub for almost everything you do on your machine.

However, the options provided by Microsoft feel a little limited. If you really want to be a taskbar power user 7 Tips for Customizing the Windows 10 Taskbar 7 Tips for Customizing the Windows 10 Taskbar The taskbar remains a staple feature in Windows 10. It's been given a fresh look and new features, including Cortana. We show you all the tweaks to make the taskbar your own. Read More , you need to download Taskbar Tweaker.

The tweaks it offers — such as how windows are minimized and restored, or how apps are grouped together — cannot be achieved by fiddling with the registry. You need this app.

Windows 10 Taskbar Tweaker Example Screenshot

It’s recently been updated to support Windows 10.

7. Folder Marker

Folder Marker is as much about productivity as customization. Quite simply, it lets you color-code folders with a single click of the mouse.

But the options don’t stop there — you can also set folders being as High-Priority, Low-Priority, Completed, Important, and Private, etc. If you’re working on large projects with lots of shared files and folders, it’s a great way to stay on top of your tasks.

Windows 10 Folder Marker Example Screenshot

The paid version adds features such as applying selected icons to all subfolders and adding custom icons.

Which Tweaking and Customizing Tools Do You Use?

Like its predecessors, Windows 10 is highly customizable.

If you couldn’t find what you were looking for in this article, don’t worry. We’ve written about lots of tools for specific parts of Windows elsewhere on the site; if you want to bring back desktop gadgets How to Bring Desktop Gadgets Back to Windows 10 How to Bring Desktop Gadgets Back to Windows 10 Desktop gadgets were those movable widgets that displayed bits of information on your screen. With Windows 10, they were replaced in favor of live tiles. Here's how you can get them back in Windows 10. Read More , add a dash of your own personality to your system 10 Quick Ways to Customize & Personalize Windows 10 10 Quick Ways to Customize & Personalize Windows 10 Not all of Windows 10's default settings will float your boat. We show you all the possible ways to customize Windows 10 in a simple, step-by-step guide. Read More , or create your own interactive wallpapers Make Your Desktop Stunning with an Interactive Live Wallpaper Make Your Desktop Stunning with an Interactive Live Wallpaper Nothing makes your desktop stand out like a live interactive background. It's also one of the greatest exercises in customizing your Windows setup. We'll show you how to do it easily with Rainmeter. Read More , you should read some more of our articles.

Have we missed your favorite app? Have you developed something better yourself? Or do you like Windows just the way it is? You can let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

  1. Y V Sai Madhav
    September 29, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Any portable apps for the MacOS? Any portable apps that can work on both Windows and MacOS? I have Mac at home and at work there are Windows powered machines.

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