Ultimate Settings Panel is a free program for Microsoft Windows devices that list links to a massive number of system tools and configuration items.
If you run Windows 8 or newer, you know that Microsoft uses a two-tiered approach to settings currently. There is the classic Control Panel, and the new Settings application.
While Microsoft announced years ago that it wanted to move all Control Panel items to Settings, this has not happened yet in the latest Windows 10 version.
This means that users have to juggle between the two tools to configure and manage Windows. But even if you run Windows 7, you will find that the Control Panel is not a one-stop for all administrative tools as there are numerous tools available that you can only access manually.
Ultimate Settings Panel has been designed to provide you with links to the majority of tools and configuration items on Windows.
So, instead of juggling between various programs and the command line, you may use it to launch tools rather quickly.
Note: The application requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 or higher. Also, you are asked to enter an email address and name before the download becomes available.
When you start Ultimate Settings Panel for the first time you are greeted with a massive list of links to various tools and options.
The program displays a tab bar at the top that you may use to switch to various groups of interest. There is a group for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 respectively for instance, one of the Control Panel, Server Administration, and some for programs like Outlook or Chrome.
This layout can be quite confusing as it may not be clear immediately where a particular entry is filed under.
You launch any item listed in the program interface with a click on it. Please note that there is no option to run a tool as administrator, unless you launch Ultimate Settings Panel with elevated privileges.
As far as tools are concerned that you can open with Ultimate Settings Panel; these can be divided loosely into system tools, commands, and third-party tools.
The system tools group includes all Control Panel and Settings options, but also standalone tools such as the Event Viewer or the Character Map.
Commands like ipconfig or netstat can be run right from within the application. The output is echoed in a small overlay window. This makes it a tad easier to process the output directly.
Third-party tools finally let you launch Firefox or Chrome in various ways, e.g. session restore or kisok mode, or run various clean up operations on Outlook.
Ultimate Settings Panel offers a massive list of links to various system and third-party tools on Windows machines.
The program has a couple of usability issues that need to be mentioned. First, it is not always clear where you will find a setting or tool you are interested in. A search would be quite useful for that purpose, but it is not available right now.
Another issue that you may have is that the listings all look alike. All have blue background and white text. This may make it hard to focus on those entries, especially if you go through all of them.
I'm not entirely sure how one could improve this, maybe with basic text links without background, or by alternating background colors.
Another feature that I'd like to see integrated is a custom page option that you may use to add links to to create your own custom administrative launch pad for tools and such.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.