For those in the know, TweakUI, a free tool provided by Microsoft, is a mainstay in any IT expert's arsenal of utilities. You can make many customizations to Windows, from adjusting how shortcut icon indicators look, to rebuilding icon caches and adjusting other miscellaneous system settings hidden to the average user.
WinBubble is an application for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 that is designed to take the TweakUI concept to the next level. Don't let the cute-sounding name fool you, as this utility packs quite a punch.
As soon as you launch the program, you are graced with a myriad of options. Within the main window, there are nine tabs, or subcategories, to choose from, and each focuses on different areas of the operating system and various applications.
Just to give you a sampling of what WinBubble is capable of doing, you can customize system icons with ones you provide yourself, modify your Windows Explorer context menu, adjust Aero 3D settings for the desktop, gut and clean out Internet Explorer, lock down your Windows environment, and customize your OEM logo for Windows. The thing is, I am only scraping the surface of what WinBubble is capable of doing. I would suggest giving the app a spin and see for yourself.
Now as far as aesthetics go, the WinBubble tool seems a bit slapped together, with options floating around wherever, which can make finding what you are looking for somewhat annoying. To get the most out of WinBubble, it's best to simply sit down with the tool and look over all the available options first before setting any. Also, the program sometimes refers to itself as WinBubbles for no apparent reason. However, despite these minor quibbles, WinBubble is still the ultimate among Windows "super-tweak" tools.
In the end, if your desire to truly rethink and reconfigure the way Windows handles everything for you, you simply cannot go wrong with WinBubbles. Once you take the time to dig deep within the confines of the application, you will be surprised what kind of control you can command over your OS experience.
An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Customer Success Professional for Ultimate Software in Santa Ana, California.