Tech Tip: Customize the user interface with TweakUI

The Windows 98 Resource Kit contains a tool that allows you to control many elements of the Windows user interface. TweakUI lets you easily customize Windows to meet your needs. Here's how to install TweakUI:

  1. Open the PowerToy folder of your Windows 98 Resource Kit installation. If you don't have this folder, reinstall the Resource Kit with all of the options.
  2. Right-click the Tweakui.inf file, and select Install.
  3. Open Control Panel, and browse for the TweakUI tool. You may want to drag the icon to the desktop and create a shortcut for future use.

After you've installed TweakUI, you can use it to overcome some annoying interface features. For example, you may have a Windows 98 computer in your organization that's used by many different people. From the Paranoia tab of TweakUI, you can remove traces of previous user activity. Here are some of the available options:

  • Clear Document History At Logon
  • Clear Find Computer History At Logon
  • Clear Internet Explorer History At Logon
  • Clear Last User At Logon
  • Clear Network Connection History At Logon
  • Clear Telnet History At Logon

You can also use TweakUI to hide drives. From the My Computer tab of TweakUI, deselect the drives that you don't want users to see, and those drives will no longer be displayed in the list of drive letters. While there are ways of getting around this, it may discourage users from using drives that you'd rather they left alone.

In addition, you can use TweakUI to control what your users are able to access via Control Panel. This helps you prevent power users from making alterations that create time-consuming administrative problems. From the Control Panel tab of TweakUI, deselect the check boxes next to each of the items you want to hide from view. When you click Apply, they disappear.

To reverse this setting, open the command prompt and type control tweakui.cpl. The TweakUI Control Panel will open, and you can select the check boxes so those items reappear.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox