Windhawk 1.0 Beta: new version of the modular Windows customizer

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 31, 2022
Windows software

We reviewed a development version of the Windows customizer Windhawk earlier this year. The developer has released Windhawk 1.0 this month, which includes major updates and marks the last step before the first stable release.

Windhawk is developed by Ramen Software, which some may know from applications such as 7+ Taskbar Tweaker or Textify.

Windhawk's approach to customizing Windows is different, as it is basing all tweaks on mods. First and third-party mods are available, and developers may contribute their modifications so that they are available for all users of the application.

New users may check out the available modifications for Windhawk here. To mention just a few: add taskbar labels for Windows 11, disable the grouping of items on the taskbar, customize the taskbar clock, e.g., by adding seconds, change the size of taskbar icons on Windows 11, or control the volume with just the mouse wheel.

Windhawk can be installed or run as a portable app. The latter does not write the modifications to the Registry.

Windhawk 1.0 Beta is the culmination of about 10 months of user and developer feedback. The new version includes major improvements. Here is the list of the most important changes in the release:

  • Mods include a changelog now, which lists changes made to the individual releases. To access this, select details and switch to the changelog tab.
  • Advanced options are now available for mods; these include options to override target processes, export settings, and use debug logging functionality.
  • Advanced settings are available for all users. These support excluding processes from Windhawk, so that they are never touched by its mods, including processes,  to hide the system tray icon, change the logging verbosity or the mod initialization dialog delay.
  • A right-click on the system tray icon displays an option to display all loaded mods.
  • Loading Windhawk's user interface does not require UAC anymore.

Windhawk 1.0 Beta includes several bug fixes. The developer improved compatibility with the Firefox web browser, an incorrect memory free that resulted in the showing of a warning, and that updates would enable disabled mods again.

Additional information about all changes, including those for developers, are found on the official site.

Closing Words

Windhawk users are encouraged to provide feedback. The next major release will likely see the dropping of the beta label.

Now You: have you tried Windhawk?

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  1. STACEY L MILES said on April 11, 2023 at 2:54 pm

    Seriously need this to be able to make labels at work since Windows 11 no longer has a label maker!!!

  2. GoodMeasure said on December 31, 2022 at 5:44 pm

    So I have been using 7+ Taskbar Tweaker for some time and it is great. It claims it is for Windows 7, 8, and 10. I use it mostly to NOT group items on the Windows Task Bar. It seems like Windhawk can do some of the important things from 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, but more.

    1) Is Windhawk just for Windows 11? Or 7, 8 and 10, also?

    2) Is Windhawk a replacement for 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, but opened up for extra mods? I wonder if 7+ Taskbar Tweaker’s development will continue.

    3) Does anyone know what country of origin this handy software comes from?

    Only semi-related: Other utilities I currently use to tame Windows 10 include: Winaero Tweaker, Open-Shell, a NON-Windows software firewall, and O&O ShutUp10++.

    1. Gerold Manders said on December 31, 2022 at 6:38 pm

      As firewalls go, the Windows Firewall is not bad. It’s main flaw is that it runs on the computer it needs to protect. A separate firewall, preferably running on dedicated hardware and on a non-Windows operating system, is much less vulnerable.

      While you may have your doubts about the Windows firewall, if your 3rd party firewall also runs on the same machine it is supposed to protect, it is in essence just as vulnerable as the Windows firewall is.

      OpenShell and O&O ShutUp10++ are solid choices though. Those should be by default installed on every Windows system that can run these pieces of software.

      1. GoodMeasure said on January 1, 2023 at 8:34 pm

        Hi Gerold, thanks for the reply. I agree with your comments.

        Yeah, I think the Windows Firewall is likely pretty good, especially with a 3rd party front end. The reason I use a non-Windows branded firewall is more about trust and less about quality/vulnerability. I am trying to get more independence from MS. I have it set for outbound alerts to know what is trying to phone home. I also have some “other” counter measures NOT on the PC itself.

        As for my other questions, I got some answers at:

        For #1, Windhawk is for W7 and later, though I don’t know if there is much advantage for W7.

        For #2, 7+ Taskbar Tweaker’s development has halted and Windhawk’s development will replace it.

        Maybe this info could be added to the article (though I have not read the earlier ghacks articles yet)?

        For #3, I still don’t know country of origin. This knowledge is interesting to me in general re: all software.

        Overall, Windhawk sounds like a great idea and I hope it gets community support. It is like a framework for O/S mods. Hopefully those mods are open source (FOSS).

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