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Windows Vista is easily one of the most hated products that Microsoft has ever released. It is also the most bloated which means that it has the most features (or so Microsoft likes to call them) which nobody ever gets to use.

Now, contrary to what most people think, I actually believe that Microsoft must have given at least some thought to building all these supposedly great features into Windows Vista. Then, why is it that no one is using them?

I don’t know about the others, but I’ll tell you my reason. I don’t use half of these features because Microsoft has made them too damn hard to find! I find easier to configure and use my favorite Linux distribution than use Windows Vista.

But even I have to use Vista at times. It doesn’t matter that I can never make it work the way I want to, that the most useful tools are almost always hidden away in a menu thirty clicks away.

And that is the biggest reason why I really like Vista Utilities. It collects main Windows Vista features in one place.

vista utilities freeware

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Windows Vista Utilities is a free tool which provides the user with direct and easy access to all Windows Vista utilities and tools. That is what the description says and the software doesn’t disappoint.

The sidebar neatly categorizes the type of tools available under each button. Click on any button in the sidebar and you can access all the tools available under that category in the window pane.

vista utilities download

As you can see, there are a ton of options and possibly every utility bundled with Windows Vista has a place in one of the categories. Here is a screenshot of showing contents of ‘Security’ category

Vista Utilities - Security

Vista Utilities not only saves you time but also makes the Control Panel redundant, which has always been a mess anyway. I’ve always found the Control Panel difficult to navigate and have stopped using it altogether now.

Vista Utilities can be launched at startup and told to sit in the sidebar until needed. Once in the sidebar, a simple right-click brings up a menu giving you easy access to all the great tools, and saves the user the burden of switching applications.

I agree this isn’t one of those tools that you’ll use everyday, but it really does a good job of presenting all the options that a user has and you’ll be thankful that it’s there, the day you need to use it.

Are there any other must-have tools that you guys use to spice up your Vista experience? Share with us your favourite time-savers in the comments.

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