Tweak UI is a utility provided by Microsoft in the Windows Resource Kits. Its purpose is to provide a front-end to registry edits that can be made. The changes that can be made are designed primarly to alter the GUI but in actuality help change many aspects of the operating system. Tweak UI is a much easier way to change the registry entries than manually editing entries with REGEDIT, and many copycat applications have been created to mimic and add on to the abilities of Tweak UI, such as X-Teq's X-Setup.

Tweak UI was created in 1996 and was a part of PowerToys for Windows 95 as version .98, included on the Windows 95b and 95c CDs. It was rereleased two more times for the Windows 95 platform, once to add support for Internet Explorer 4 and again as a pre-beta, and in 1998 was released as version 1.25 for Windows 98. Version 1.25 was rereleased to correct several bugs in the initial version, and although the first version was included on the Windows 98 CD, neither version was on the Windows 98 SE CD. In 2000, a pre-release version of Tweak UI for Windows 2000 support was released, version 1.30, and expired on March 14th, 2000. Microsoft then released another pre-release, version, that was time-bombed for August 8th. A final version, version 1.33, was released by Microsoft shortly after this.

In the fall of 2001, just prior to the release of Windows XP, Microsoft released several betas of a new Tweak UI. It was released in final form coincidentally with Windows XP as a part of the Powertoys for Windows XP set. The two major differences for this new version of Tweak UI (now called Tweak UI for Windows XP) are its new look and its delivery method. One, Tweak UI for Windows XP comes with a full MSI installer and is itself an executable file, rather than a CPL file (which is just a renamed DLL file), and two, Tweak UI for Windows XP now uses an explorer view rather than a tabbed view, much like the popular X-Setup program from X-Teq.

Some settings in Tweak UI are platform specific. A few of the features are:
  • Change the latency of menu appearance
  • Mouse sensitivity settings
  • Menu animation
  • Shortcut preferences
  • Active Desktop settings
  • Visibility of icons on desktop and start menu
  • Clearing of recently accessed documents, usernames at the logon screen, Internet Explorer history, run history, etc.
  • Rebuilding of the icon cache when icons are no longer properly displayed; also, repair of the font folder, Temporary Internet Files folder, and more
  • User selection of items in "New" context menu in Windows Explorer
  • Autocompletion of filenames and directories by hotkey at command prompt (Windows NT only)
  • Removal of special icons from desktop such as Recycle Bin, Network Neighborhood, Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer
  • Hiding of drives in Windows Explorer and changing of system paths (such as location of common files, the desktop, my documents, temporary internet files, program files, favorites)
  • hiding of items from the Control Panel
  • automatic logon settings

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