Ultimate Windows Tweaker for Windows 8 lets you customize the operating system

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 8, 2014
Updated • Jan 8, 2014
Windows, Windows software

ultimate windows tweaker windows 8

Anyone still using a tweaking software? Back when I started using Windows, I used programs to tweak the hell out of the system.

The programs allowed me to make a lot of changes in a matter of seconds, something that would have taken a lot longer if I would have used the Registry for that.

In recent time though, coinciding with the introduction of Windows 7, I have more or less stopped using those programs. While I'm not entirely sure why, it likely has something to do with the near perfect state the operating system ships in.

Anyway, tweak software is still popular, and if you are looking for a program to modify Windows 8, then you may like what Ultimate Windows Tweaker has to offer.

The free program has originally been designed for Windows 7, but is now also compatible with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

You can run the program straight away after you have downloaded and unpacked it. The application displays system information on start, and you need to use the left sidebar to access the customization categories that it makes available.

A total of seven groups are listed here, each with an impressive set of tweaks of which most can be enabled or disabled with a single mouse click. Lets take a look at the tweaks offered by the application:


The first batch of customizations change File Explorer, the Modern UI or Taskbar features. While you can enable most manually as well, for instance by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting properties, it is easier to use the program for that if you need to make many modifications.


  • Remove Volume Icon, Network Icon or Action Center Icon from Notification Area
  • Remove Notification Area
  • Remove Clock from Notification Area
  • Remove Battery Meter from Notification Area
  • Taskbar grouping preferences
  • Remove Taskbar, clock, Taskbar buttons
  • Show Clock in Middle of Notification Area
  • Alter Taskbar Thumbnail parameters such as minimum and maximum size.

File Explorer

  • Show Windows Version on Desktop
  • Enable Auto-Colorization
  • Disable Aero-Peek, Aero-Snap and Aero-Shake Feature
  • Don't Show Low Disk Space Warnings
  • Disable Info Tip for shortcuts
  • Make Taskbar button switch to last active window
  • Restore Last opened folders at startup
  • Delete Pagefile at shutdown
  • Hide Preview Pane
  • Disable Full Row select items
  • Show Status Bar in File Explorer
  • Launch folders in a separate process
  • Enable check boxes to select items
  • Remove -Shortcut Suffix from new shortcuts
  • Change Window padding size
  • Add Take Ownership, Copy To, Move To, or Open Command window to context menu

Modern UI

  • Play Start Screen animation on logon and when start screen is shown
  • When I point to upper-right corner, show the Charms
  • When I click upper-left corner, switch between my recent apps
  • Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in
  • Show the apps view automatically when I go to Start
  • List desktop apps first in the apps view when it's sorted by category
  • Show desktop background as start screen background
  • Don't replace command prompt with Windows Powershell on the Win-X menu


  • Disable Lock Screen
  • Disable changing Lock Screen image
  • Enable User Switching so that user list appears on logon
  • Enable Slideshow
  • Enable first sign-in animation when new user account is created
  • Disable Hibernate feature
  • Disable "Look for an app in the Store" for unknown file types
  • Disable "you have new apps that you can open this type of file" notification
  • Change notifications display interval
  • Disable Toast notifications
  • Lock Start Screen tiles so that they cannot be rearranged
  • Disable changing Start Screen background
  • Disable Password reveal button
  • Turn on SmartScreen Filter for Windows Store apps

User Accounts

This group of tweaks customizes user account related preferences.

  • Display Last  Logon information on Logon Screen
  • Make user enter username while logging on
  • Use Smart Card to log in
  • Remove shutdown tasks from logon screen
  • Disable updating Group Policy on startup
  • Disable switch to secure desktop while elevating
  • Enable virtualize file and Registry write failures to per-user location
  • Enable admin approval mode for built-in administrator account
  • Enable detection of application installations and prompt for elevation
  • Enable verbose logon messages
  • Require users to press Ctrl-Alt-Del to logon
  • Display logon message
  • Define what should be done when system failures occur.


This list of tweaks aims to improve the performance of the system. Especially interesting here in my opinion is the option to turn off the automatic folder view discovery feature.

  • Waiting time to end services at shutdown
  • Waiting time to kill non-responding applications
  • Waiting time to kill applications that timeout during shutdown
  • Auto-end non-responding applications
  • Restart shell automatically
  • Turn off Search indexer
  • Disable Smooth Scrolling
  • Forcibly unload DLLs from memory
  • Disable Automatic Folder View discovery
  • Increase Priority of IRQ8
  • Disable Superfetch service
  • Disable Prefetch service
  • Disable Windows Security Center service
  • Disable Windows Time service
  • Disable Printer spooling service
  • Disable Tablet PC Input service
  • Disable Windows Update service
  • Choose L2 Cache size

Security Settings

This batch of preferences handles what users may or may not run on the system, among other things. You can also use them to enable these again, for instance after a virus attack.


  • Disable Registry Editor
  • Disable Command Prompt
  • Disable Task Manager
  • Disable WinKey shortcuts
  • Disable Color and Appearance settings
  • Disable administrative shares
  • Disable User Account Control
  • Disable the option to shutdown or log off
  • Disable MMC snap-ins
  • Disable WinKey shortcuts
  • Disable System Restore settings
  • Disable Control Panel
  • Disable Internet Communication
  • Disable Auto-Logon Shift Override feature
  • Disable Folder Options Menu
  • Disable Encrypting the file system

Explorer and Taskbar

  • Disable Explorer's context menu
  • Disable Access to Taskbar context menu
  • Restrict access to Taskbar and Start Menu properties
  • Disable changing wallpaper
  • Turn off user tracking
  • Disable display personalization


  • Disable Windows Media Center
  • Disable Windows Sound Recorder
  • Disable Windows Mobility Center
  • Disable Windows Error Reporting
  • Disable Windows Updates
  • Disable automatic restart after updating
  • Disable "Add Features to" Windows 8
  • Disable Windows Store
  • Remove complete access to Windows Updates
  • Disable Windows Media Player auto updates

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer related tweaks and settings.

  • Enable Menu Bar, Suggested Sites, Caret Browsing
  • Disable Compatibility List
  • Use ClearType font
  • Set homepage
  • Show tabs below address bar
  • Notify when downloads complete
  • Auto-hide the tab bar when in full screen mode
  • Always load IE in full screen mode
  • Check executable signatures on download
  • Allow running executables with invalid signatures
  • Clear cache on exit
  • Warn on closing multiple tabs
  • Allow allocating additional bandwidth
  • Enable do not track
  • Enable auto image resizing
  • Enable smooth scrolling
  • Disable Active Scripting for Internet Zone
  • Disable Scripting of Java applets for Internet Zone
  • Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering
  • Enable third-party browser extensions
  • Show HTTPS errors
  • Disable Script debugging
  • Enable Dom Storage
  • Enable SmartScreen Filter


A list of miscellaneous tweaks for Windows 8.

  • Use Autoplay for all media and devices
  • Use small taskbar icons
  • Show balloon notifications
  • Hide inactive icons from notification area
  • Turn off automatic applications termination
  • Set DPI scaling, Number of jump list items, cursor blinking time and cursor width
  • Set Scroll Bar width
  • Enable the Network Adapter onboard processor
  • Restrict access over anonymous connections
  • Disable recent shares in Network Places
  • Disable default admin and Disk Drive share server
  • Hide entire network from Network Neighborhood
  • Prevent Network Auto-Discovery
  • Hide computer from the browser list
  • Enable NTM2 Support
  • Set global network / Internet offline

Closing Words

The program comes with an option to create a System Restore check point, and an option to restore all values to default. It is highly recommended to create a new recovery point before you start to modify settings made available by the program.

The tweaking software can especially be useful to users who do not know where those changes can be made directly. It may also be handy to run after a new installation to go through all menus in one go and configure the operating system to your needs or likes.

Now Read: Overview of Windows tweaking software


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Does it come back after every “moment” update?

  2. Baloney said on March 9, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah right.. Like this is going to stop defender from running =) This is comedy gold right here.

  3. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    no ‘about the author’ paragraph?

  4. Gregory said on March 9, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    For permanent disable defender is if removed complete from system no just change permission folder.

    Just this is joke.

  5. moi said on March 9, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    simpler, load Autoruns (SysInternals)
    – filter “Defender”
    – untag all entries
    – reboot
    nothing has changed since my 1st modification years ago

  6. John G. said on March 9, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    I wouldn’t disable Defender imho, it has too many hidden roots inside Windows itself. One time I tried to uninstall it using brute force scripts and then the Onedrive feature stopped working definitely. A reinstallation was needed and since those times I prefer to maintain Defender untouched. It’s a better method to install another antivirus and it will disable Defender in a safer and easier mode (e.g., Avast is the best in this way, and also Panda Cloud Free is good too).

  7. boris said on March 10, 2023 at 12:19 am

    You can not stop defender from running in background or remove it without some penalty. All you can do is to limit telemetry.

    1. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:52 pm


      It’s probably Smartscreen which is preventing WD from being disabled. Get rid of that and the problem should be solved: https://thegeekpage.com/disable-windows-defender-smartscreen/#How_to_disable_the_Windows_Defender_SmartScreen_via_Local_Group_Policy_Editor

  8. hoho said on March 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Remove Windows and go for Linux.

    1. basingstoke said on March 10, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      Linux sucks dude. Besides it’s not comparable to Windows, these OSes are in different classes entirely.

      1. Derp said on March 10, 2023 at 4:36 pm

        I use Linux as my daily driver. It’s far more stable than Windows. When’s the last time you used Linux, 2010?

      2. Bromosexual said on March 11, 2023 at 2:04 am


        You’re right, dude. Bro, linux is just a bunch of code that starts before the OS, dude. Brobrodude, that shit ain’t even got emojis, dudebrodudeman! Dudebro, it’s no way near as cool as Windows with its hardcoded abilities to make money off the user, bro. Yo brodude man, you’re the coolest dude ever man, bro. Dude.

      3. basingstoke said on August 16, 2023 at 7:20 pm

        Lol what? Windows 7 doesn’t come with any Emojis

  9. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Download Autoruns and remove the checkmark from Windows Defender. It doesn’t remove it, but it will never run. https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autoruns

  10. Simon said on March 10, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Just use “Defender Control”:

    Per this video,
    it also works on Windows 11 too…

  11. Someone said on March 10, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Win Defender, is completly the most succesful free-built in antivirus of Microsoft. Really nice product. Saved my ass a lot of times. Has updated malware database, completly strong defence
    from whatever smart screen disables. Or if you want better and more upgrated (paid) program,
    you can go further. But defender is always on your side.

  12. CalixtoWVR1 said on March 10, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Why would one disable Windows (or Microsoft) Defender in the first place?. I consider this to be playing with fire big time. Everybody knows that if one is using another A-V, Defender will be disabled on its own and won’t be in one’s way.

  13. Ed D said on March 10, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    Why would I want to disable Windows Defender in the first place? It’s a great anti virus in my opinion. Been using it since Windows 8 and and never had a problem or a virus. Why mess with a good thing, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. owl said on August 17, 2023 at 1:57 am

    How a ridiculous article!
    I am thoroughly stunned.

    Why Should You Disable First-Party Windows Defender?
    I can only think that it is “malice or perversely intention (want you to buy a third-party AV where you can expect a back margin)” to guide invalidation without showing the premise.
    No sane company will use third-party closed source programs (such as AV).

    As I thought, “Ghacks Technology News” seems to be coming to downfall.

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