7 Best Apps to Enhance Default Windows Features

Ben Stegner 22-03-2017

A lot of default Windows software doesn’t cut it. We’ve covered five stock programs that you should replace with superior downloads 5 Awesome Programs to Replace Default Windows Software and Apps Some Windows software just can't compete with superior alternatives. Here are five Windows default tools you should replace with free third-party apps. Read More , but not all software needs a total uproot.


Some standard Windows tools become even better when supplemented with another app. Here are our favorite tools for adding features and fixing annoyances in default Windows features.

1. Classic Shell

Classic Shell became wildly popular when the lack of a Start Menu in Windows 8 2015!? No Way Microsoft! How to Get Your Windows 8.1 Start Menu Now Windows 8 won't get a native Start Menu after all. But why wait on Microsoft? Here's how you can help yourself with third party tools like Classic Shell or Start8 and other workarounds. Read More left users in the cold. Even though Windows 10 brings back the Start Menu, Classic Shell has its uses 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 in making your Start Menu and File Explorer more useful.

If you prefer the Windows 7-style Start Menu with recent apps on one side and shortcuts to Documents, Control Panel, and more on the right, you can restore that with Classic Shell. It also supports the ancient Windows 9x-style menu if you still want to use that for some reason. Whichever you choose, you can tweak it with theme packs, drag-and-drop organization, and custom shortcut links.

Also included in Classic Shell are improvements for the File Explorer. It adds a new toolbar for common options that Windows omits, shows more information in the status bar, and more. In addition, Classic Shell shows the simpler Windows XP prompt in the duplicate file warning box.

Everything this software offers can be disabled, so if you only want a few changes, you don’t have to use everything else.


DownloadClassic Shell

2. 7+ Taskbar Tweaker

The Windows Taskbar hasn’t undergone radical changes like the Start Menu has, but it’s still worth tweaking 6 Advanced Taskbar Tweaks for Windows 10 Windows 10 has brought many changes and the taskbar wasn't spared. Still, many small tweaks can enhance your experience. We'll show you how you can customize it to perfection. Read More . Our favorite tool for getting more out of your Taskbar is 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. It adds new shortcuts and lets you make tweaks not possible through the Settings — see our guide to all of 7+’s features Get More Out Of The Windows Taskbar with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker Could the Windows Taskbar be more useful? You can quickly add features and keep things simple with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. Customize your Taskbar to your needs - without the fluff. Read More .

7 Best Apps to Enhance Default Windows Features Taskbar Tweaker

Using this tool, you can remove the gap between icons to cram even more apps onto your Taskbar. It also lets you change how items group and if they should ever de-group. You can add shortcuts such as using your mouse wheel to change the volume or showing the desktop when you double-click on Taskbar space. If you don’t want to see the Start button or Show Desktop area, you can hide them with 7+.


7+ Taskbar Tweaker covers pretty much every change you could make to your Taskbar. Give its various options a try and you might find your new favorite shortcut 12+ Custom Windows Keyboard Shortcuts for the Geek in You Windows includes hundreds of keyboard shortcuts, but you can create your own shortcuts to nearly anything you'd like. Here's how to customize your Windows shortcuts. Read More !

Download7+ Taskbar Tweaker

3. Clover

The Windows File Explorer has plenty of powerful alternatives, but it’s fine out of the box for most needs. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools to enhance it The 10 Best Windows File Explorer Extensions for File Management If you use Windows 10, you're using File Explorer. Try out these handy extensions to get more out of File Explorer! Read More , and Clover is one of the most useful. It simply adds Google Chrome-like tabs on top of your File Explorer window, so you don’t have to open multiple windows when working in several folders at once.

Clover also adds a bookmarks bar, so you can access your most-used folders instantly 8 Nifty Windows Folder Tricks You Have to Know Look after your folders and they'll look after you — use these tips to get a head start! Read More . It’s not the most exciting tool, but if you’re used to the tabs that so many other applications offer, Clover brings the File Explorer up to par.



4. Revo Uninstaller

Windows’ built-in uninstall utility is fine, but it can miss extra pieces that software leaves behind. Do it better with Revo Uninstaller, which supplements the standard Windows procedure 3 Best Third-Party Uninstallers & Why You Need Them To uninstall a Windows program, you can’t just hit 'Delete’ -- you need to run the software’s uninstaller. Unfortunately, the 'Uninstall a program’ option in the Windows Control Panel does not always completely remove it... Read More by scanning for leftover files once the uninstall has completed.

7 Best Apps to Enhance Default Windows Features revo uninstaller

Revo has many other features that make it a standalone tool. If you’re only using its uninstall prowess, though, it can be considered a Windows enhanced in that case.


DownloadRevo Uninstaller

5. Ditto

The clipboard is an incredibly useful tool, but it’s pretty volatile. While copying and pasting can save you hours of time, it’s easy to accidentally overwrite important information, plus you can only keep one item ready at a time. That’s why you need a clipboard manager Hold That Thought: 5 Reasons You Need A Clipboard Manager When you think about it, copy paste is kind of weird. You copy stuff, but there's no way to see it. And if you copy over what you had, it's gone – forever. Read More to boost its functionality.

There are many free clipboard managers 6 Free Clipboard History Managers to Track What You Copy & Paste You need a clipboard manager because it can remember all the things you copy and paste. We have compiled five of the most functional tools to manage your clipboard history . Read More for different needs, but we like Ditto for most people. It has hotkeys for easy pasting, can remember hundreds of entries, and supports copying files, pictures, and text. If you use multiple machines, try Ditto’s encrypted cloud sync for one clipboard across multiple machines.

Anyone who copy/pastes more than an item or two per day needs a clipboard manager. Dealing with the hassle of a one-item clipboard is unnecessary!


6. AquaSnap

When working with lots of windows open, it’s important to keep them tamed so you don’t go crazy. Windows 10 makes it easy to split two windows on one screen and quickly hide windows, but AquaSnap adds so much more functionality How to Supercharge Window Management in Windows 10 If you work in Windows all day, you know the pain of managing several program windows. Here's a great tool for boosting app window management in Windows. Read More .

This tool builds on the default window management features. Its Window Docking lets you snap windows to fit one-quarter of the screen instead of just half. Window Snapping turns every window into a magnet, so you can align apps perfectly with no wasted space. When you need a window always in view, just shake it and it will become transparent and stuck on top.

AquaSnap is available for free, but offers a limited feature set and only works on one monitor. You’ll have to purchase an $18 upgrade for extras like window tiling and use on multiple monitors.


7. Ultimate Windows Tweaker

For everything else, Ultimate Windows Tweaker (UWT) should handle the job. This massive customization tool collects dozens of awesome Windows tweaks The 8 Best Tools to Tweak and Customize Windows 10 Want to give your PC a unique look? Learn how to customize Windows 10 with these powerful tweak tools that cover your every need. Read More all in one place. Many of these are changeable through Registry edits, but this utility makes them much more convenient.

Ultimate Windows Tweaker Windows 10

You’ll have to see for yourself everything that’s available in UWT. Here’s a sample of what you can do:

  • Remove options from the Power Menu.
  • Change taskbar margins.
  • Disable notifications.
  • Create a login message.
  • Adjust the time Windows waits to kill non-responsive applications.
  • Disable secure utilities such as the Registry Editor.

If you want to change something in Windows and can’t find it in the Settings app or Control Panel Why Microsoft Is Killing the Windows Control Panel The Control Panel is being decommissioned. In Windows 10, the Settings app has adopted most of its features in a more stylish and mobile-friendly interface. Is that really necessary? Read More , chances are you’ll find it here. It’s the ultra Windows enhancer!

DownloadUltimate Windows Tweaker

How Do You Pimp Windows?

With the right tools, many of Windows’ default features become way better. There’s a pretty high probability that anything you want to upgrade in Windows can be done with these programs. What will you fix first?

There’s no software that can enhance the Windows software everybody should uninstall 12 Unnecessary Windows Programs and Apps You Should Uninstall Wondering which Windows 10 apps to uninstall? Here are several unnecessary Windows 10 apps and programs you should remove. Read More .

What other tools are essential for beefing up Windows? Share your favorite customizations with us in the comments!

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Alex
    March 30, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Goog set! But I using Soft Organizer as a software uninstallation tool. It's pretty good for this.

  2. Yoda San
    March 24, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    qttabbar is by far superior to Clover if you dig in and want more than only tabs in windows explorer ...

    • Mick
      March 26, 2017 at 6:16 pm


  3. John
    March 24, 2017 at 5:27 am

    I also recommend you check out Winaero Tweaker. It's more amazing than Ultimate tweaker.

    • Ben Stegner
      April 2, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      I haven't heard of that one but I'll check it out -- thanks for the suggestion!

  4. ReadandShare
    March 23, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you for introducing me to Clover. Win Explorer is now much easier to navigate!

  5. marni
    March 23, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    Pretty good article- but nobody gets everything perfect. Revo Uninstaller [or any other uninstaller i suspect] isn't worth the install. Why? It misses the prefetch, the 2 or 3 windows entries. You have to Search the app to root out these last roots. And if you have to, why not just use search to find ALL the apps locations and bulk-select > delete them all?
    PS: Sure, Fences, but unless you want its improvements, get the still free Fences1.

    • Tina Sieber
      March 28, 2017 at 7:51 am

      Thanks for the comments regarding Revo Uninstaller and the hint for Fences1, Marni!

  6. M King
    March 23, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Have used RevoUninstaller for years! It's amazing the crap it finds leftover!

  7. Yoda San
    March 23, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    From my own experience and daily use :

    - I like classic shell menu but think in future I won't use it till I have enough tools and context menu tweaks to deal with
    - native windows 10 startscreen can be nicely customized with wintiler( paid ) or edge tile ( free ) to have any tile with transparent PNG of my choice.

    - Qttabbar is by far better than clover if you dig in and want more than tabs to extend explorer features.

    - Stardock fences is a must to unclutter desktops

    - I recently add 7 taskbar tweaker which is a killer app when combined to virtual desktops in win 10 ( considering I don't want to use third party tools first . Otherwise , dexpot is unbeatable )

    - I customized my personal visual style for a much pleasant experience ( glass theme for most windows )

    - Everything search is a time saver too instead of using windows search
    - I 'm using update minitool to control updates and I upgrade UWP at will .
    - I'm using pdf x change to manage pdf files and get thumbnails previews in windows explorer instead of Edge ( Got rid of acrobat long time ago )
    - ultimate windows tweaker is a nice add to winaero tool
    - I compacted also windows 10 with dism and reduce system space for around 5 Go :) without impact
    - I kept windows defender and regularly make backups with active disk images which never let me down when needed ( I can restore my full system within 3-4 min )

    Now I really enjoy windows 10 :)


    • Tina Sieber
      March 28, 2017 at 8:00 am

      Thank you for sharing your personal setup in detail! We've written about some of these tools, including 7 Taskbar Tweaker and Everything search. Good stuff!

      Compacting Windows 10 is what surprised me the most. Did you need the space or do you just enjoy optimizing your setup? How did you do it?

      Are you using Active @ Disk Image? How is it better than Macrium Reflect? The free version of Macrium Reflect offers way more features and has received tons of positive reviews.

      • Yoda San
        March 29, 2017 at 7:34 am

        Hi Tina

        Usually to compact OS under win 10 you should run a command but with this tool is is way easier ( has a GUI ) see my screen and you don't need the space ( my former size before using dism was 35 Go and I get 40 go available , though it may differs for others :
        [Broken URL Removed]

        My advice about is be very careful with other cleanup options , as it can break your task manager startup impact details ( where you see apps loaded at astartup ) but checking "compact OS" is safe , did it several times when testing .
        You can grab the tool there :
        [Broken Link Removed]

        Active disk image is my favourite backup tool yes , it is around 400 Mo size on my usb stick when you create also a boot support ,load a win 7 PE very light and gives you ability to browse web with Opera even when your desktop/laptop system is broken .

        My tip is to move your documents and saves to another partition to keep main system disk clean and with reasonable size , then it takes active disk image 2-3 min to restore my rig ( windows 10 x64 pro) for a 27 Go size used. ( have a Samsung 840 Pro SSD )

        Active disk image is underated I think and less known than Macrium but you can try it and you won't be disapointed IMO

        I also use side panels but I keep talking much about as I'm testing it with dev to introduce on my youtube channel :) ( have a windows 10 tutorial youtoube channel )

        • Tina Sieber
          April 6, 2017 at 4:31 pm

          Thank you for further outlining how you use these tools! I very much appreciate your insights.

  8. Isaac Harris
    March 22, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I'm a big fan of the Media Preview program, which is really useful for those with a lot of media files. It allows you to see previews of video formats that Windows doesn't support previews for.