Programs to configure the operating system

Hidden options, commands, now forgotten, programs to change the appearance and configuration of the operating system: this is ” tweaking “!

constitutes a way as any to take care of the computer: it comes to interventions halfway between the simple optimization of the operating system and the hacking itself.


The user pushes the software a bit ‘beyond its limits, by changing certain details of the operating system and applications with documented procedures and sometimes official, sometimes a bit’ less. tweak I can be divided into two groups:

  • those that can be activated directly from the Windows interface (command officers hidden in the maze of configuration dialogs that modify the default settings)
  • those that require a more direct intervention “under the hood”.

These usually are made by placing the hand directly to the Registry of Windows (the heart of the system, which stores all the information necessary to operate the computer and programs) or using software that essentially do the same thing by avoiding the user to change one by one the key values called into question. The world of tweaking programs offers several ideas to the people of “geeks”. In these pages we will give you tips safe and we will show you some specific software to optimize certain aspects of Windows, then close with a brief guide to discover one of the most complete package of utilities for PCs on the market today: TuneUp Utilities

Fighting updates with tweaks

Keeping your system updated to the latest service pack and the latest patches is essential, but doing so is even more difficult than it might seem. One of the most annoying side effects of Windows updates is the automatic restart of the system after the update phase.

After installing updates,

In fact, you have 60 seconds to stop the countdown, after which the PC is turned off, in spite of whatever else you’re doing. The more immediate solutions are not the best ( turn off automatic updates is not wise, nor can we think constantly on guard for fear that the PC will reboot of his own free will). Therefore we recommend and use a small program called Auto Reboot Remover : you can download it for free at / index.php / downloads The only function of this small file is to disable the automatic reboot following updates.

The updates are downloaded and installed as regularly as they become available, but the terrible window countdown turns into a less intrusive restart request from the user.

Another small problem began to plague Windows.

Some of you will have already noticed that after installing this powerful upgrade from Windows Taskbar has disappeared Address toolbar, which allows you to open Web pages and launch applications just by typing the command in a little box of text. The disappearance of this bar is yet another consequence of the quarrel between Microsoft and the antitrust commission over the world: the Address bar, make it even greater integration between the system and Internet Explorer integration, which is seen by many as an act of unfair competition . Unfortunately, this bar was very convenient, and it’s a real shame having to do without it: therefore we advise you to experiment with a replacement free “proof of service packs,” called MuvEnum Address Bar .

The last entry is for users of Windows Vista.

The installation of the Service Pack does not remove obsolete files from the system it replaces, but it keeps them “spare” in case you decide one day to uninstall Service Pack 1. Once you have found that this update does not adversely on your machine, there is no real reason for wanting to uninstall the update-bodied; You can then use the appropriate command to remove files that are no longer used this same service pack, to cleanse the system from all of these files.

With the key combination WIN + R Open the Run dialog box , and inside it type the command ” vsp1cln.exe . ”


Tweaking, modding and hacking

There are three different types of action, characterized by a common figure: the determination to run what you have on your hands exactly as you want, in spite of its limitations. And why not, the pleasure a bit ‘boyish taking things apart to understand how they work, and maybe do some ritocchino here and there to hear more of their own.

However, among these three activities there is a difference ….

Tweaking Intervention by software to modify the operation of a program or operating system, usually to make it more efficient, or at least more relevant to their needs and usage habits. The term Italian tweaking is probably closer to [HTML2] ” optimize “.

Modding modding Perform a means to modify the software or hardware of the PC, usually by pure aesthetic point of view. The modding software mainly concerns the appearance of windows and application interface; modding hardware includes the installation of accessories, repainting some parts, the inclusion of lighting devices, adding aesthetic elements fixed with a slogan in mind: the more wacky the better.

Hacking Hacking provides an intervention on the ‘hardware or software on the PC just to make it more efficient, but rather to work around a limitation, often not technically justifiable. Hacking is a kind of “dark side of tweaking” , and , as you can imagine, it is not frowned upon by those who produce hardware and software. Change a registry key because a particular program no longer requires a registration code, or act physically on the circuitry of a phone “locked” because that accept SIM of any operator, are actually illegal operations.

But the equation “hacking = piracy” is not strictly true.


Lighten the disc between the page file and hibernation file / hibernation , you may end up with the system disk of Windows burdened by a few gigabytes of data and without having done anything to deserve it.

Paging is a technique by which the operating system increases the amount of memory available to it, by moving the hard disk memory locations used by less well placed to other programs.

It is true that modern PCs are equipped with more and more RAM, but Windows still continues to require the presence of this file: you can not turn off, the maximum you can move it to another drive that is not the system . For best performance from your hard drive , configured as pagefile: with the key combination WIN + Break Open the System Properties window, and navigate to the Advanced tab. Click on the Performance / Settings , then in the new window that appears on the screen, click Advanced / Change .

Ideal settings of the paging file include a file of fixed size equal to 1.5 times the RAM of the system and placed on a different drive than C: (assuming you have available more than a hard drive, or at least more than a partition). It seems paradoxical, logically a larger quantity of RAM should result in less use of paging file; but the architecture of Windows does not always follow the logic of us common mortals. To change the settings of the ” virtual memory “(another way of calling the paging file), select the line for the drive” C: \ “, then click on” No paging file “and then” Set “. Select “D: \” and set upon it a paging file, indicating as “Initial Size” and “Maximum size” value indicated above (1.5 times the system RAM). Press “OK” on all open windows and reboot the system to finish.


Backing up the system

Before performing delicate operations “under the hood” of Windows, it is well to guard against misfortune and contingencies. Even if you already have the habit of making a backup of your data before you start you should use a disk imaging tool such as Acronis True Image or the free DriveImage XML .

Create a mirror image of the disk “C: \” as it is now, so you can restore it “on the fly” in case something goes wrong (and how to deal with more light-hearted operations that are going to make). If you make a disk image is too tedious for you, at least saved the Windows Registry : Click Start and type “regedit” in the Run box.

Click “File” and then “Export” and save the file to a folder in REG format the hard drive and, as a precaution, even on a USB stick. To restore the rescue in case of malfunctions, click “Import” from the File entry ever.

Disable UAC!

Vista users, do not think even for a moment! Before I give you the transactions (or install programs) suggest that in these pages, disable the User Account Control, otherwise you could see your screen freezes every thirty seconds to ask you whether to proceed with any command a bit ‘over the rows are trying to impart to the system. To turn off User Account Control , open the Control Panel, then in the search field at the top right, write the word “UAC”. Click on the only voice that will be visible at this point (“Enable or disable UAC”).

After confirming your intentions UAC in the window that opens, uncheck the box ” To protect your computer , use the User Account Control “and confirm by clicking the OK button.

Reboot your PC and you’re done (but be prepared to receive security alerts, which will inform you of how UAC is disabled …).

Alternatively, you can use the free program called TweakUAC / tweak-uac , which gives you an extra level of customization: in addition to enable or disable the UAC, this utility can set the User Account Control to work “silent” mode, or not to disturb you every pie ‘pushed in case you are using an account with administrator privileges.

With regard to the ‘ hibernation (a feature in Windows XP called “Suspension”), the question changes a bit ‘: it is a technique that allows you to turn off your PC very quickly by copying the contents of the block RAM hard disk at shutdown and restoring it, still in the block at the time of restart.

If you do not use this feature

(many users, especially notebooks complain about a certain instability of the system, after restoring from hibernation), turn it off : only keep it active, it causes on your disk “C: \” to be created a file of the same size of your RAM memory, ready to host the data hibernating at any time. To disable hibernation in Vista, open the Control Panel, type the word “hibernation” in the search box and follow the commands that are displayed. The users of the now-defunct Windows XP should instead go into energy-saving options , navigate to the Hibernate tab and uncheck the ” Enable hibernation “.


Streamline Windows system resources and speed of a slow computer says:

“In 1969 it took was the power of two C64 to launch a spacecraft to the Moon.

Beyond the joke, it is true that, from version to version, Windows has become more and more feature-rich and “beautiful” to look at, but also more and more resource-hungry (although Windows 8  seems to finally reverse the trend).

Here are a few tweak to make Windows a bit ‘more … slim.

First, it is a good idea to disable the graphic effects are not strictly essential.

Shadows, special effects during the downsizing and animated menus are very nice to look at, but the slower the machine.


Vista users must also reckon with the ‘Aero interface : transparencies, additional graphic effects, task manager  three-dimensional overlapping windows are among the new features of Vista more appealing, but they also bring the CPU to “waste “part of its resources to respond to this riot of unnecessary graphics. With the key combination WIN + Break brings up the System Configuration window, and tab Advanced / Performance , click the Settings button. From here you can selectively turn off various graphical effects applied to the interface of the system; In addition, if you use Vista, you can click on the desktop with the right mouse button and select Customize.

In the new window configuration of the video you can disable other effects (including the transparent Aero interface) acting on the items “Change the theme” and “Edit Color Scheme”.

At the service of whom? Another potentially capable of “to sit” the system is the presence of useless services in constant activity.

The so-called services are programs that run in the background, ready to be activated at the request of the user or other programs: even if the resources used by individual services are not excessive, the overlap of a few tens of services can cause slowdowns showy.

The ‘ list of services that can be active on Xp and Vista is cut off (by the way we refer to the page of the Windows services. To see the list, you have to click with the right mouse button on the icon of My Computer (“Computer” in Vista), and then select Manage. Open in succession the ” Services and Applications “, then” Services “, and here in front of you the entire list.

All services with the word ” Started “in the Status column are currently active, and in some ways, they are consuming system resources.

To prevent a service to start automatically with Windows, double-click on its name, and change the startup type from “Automatic” to “Manual” or “Disabled.” In this same page you will find a box where you indicate the services of Xp and Vista that you can turn off more lightly.


Disable indexing of records


best applications for Windows 8.1Windows has an indexation mechanism, which serves to make faster file searches. suggest to disable this tool (and the corresponding service: for this see the sidebar dedicated to the services of Windows) to avoid having a process that constantly analyzes The file system of PC.

For disable indexing on a single disk, click with the right mouse button on the icon in My Computer, and then select the Properties item. In the window that appears, you do not need to do is uncheck the “Index search the disk for faster file.” Rather, if you feel the need, you can try to use an engine of desktop search , certainly more powerful than this service: for example, the excellent Copernic Desktop Search ( )


The programs of tweaking

The software tweaking tools are “multifunctional”, with dozens (sometimes hundreds) of configuration options that modify settings otherwise hopelessly hidden within Windows. Here are those that we believe are, to date, the best.

For Windows tweaking is the main instrument of Tweak UI , dedicated to the user interface of Windows, but also allows you to manage the automatic startup of the system, the autoplay discs, moving user folder and some aspects of the functioning of the Internet Explorer.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has not released a software similar to Tweak UI for Vista users; in its place, we recommend the excellent and free Ultimate Windows Tweaker . , a tool with almost unlimited potential for the operating system configuration .