TweakVI is an application that allows you to tweak, optimize and/or change hundreds of the ‘hidden’ features of Windows Vista. It comes in 3 flavors – Basic (free), Premium ($29.99 USD) and Ultimate ($39.99 USD). This review/tutorial will focus on the free version. Keep reading to see some of the changes that I found most useful/helpful.
Below is the main TweakVI interface. From here you can select the part of Vista that you want to alter by selecting items from the left navigation.
Select System Information and Tweaks from the left navigation, then Hard drive information, optimize hard drives… and then the Hide disc drives / Hard drive tweaks tab. Here you can disable auto-run for CD/DVD drives – which is one of my pet peeves.
To change some of the Internet Explorer options, select Internet Tweaks from the main window and then Internet Explorer tweaks and restrictions. From here you can ‘skin’ the Internet Explorer toolbar backgrounds.
You can also change the IE window title from the default (Windows Internet Explorer) to something a little more fun.
Select the Internet Explorer restrictions tab for a whole slew of options.
Select Miscellaneous Tweaks and then Media Player tweaks. From here you can (among many other things) disable Windows Messenger from starting when Vista does.
Select the Windows Defender restrictions and other restrictions tab, and you can disable Windows Defender (but make sure you have adequate anti-spyware etc software installed).
From the main TweakVI window, select Visual Tweaks and then Desktop tweaks and settings button. From here you can get rid of the ugly “arrow” next to shortcut icons, and add the Run dialog back (was in all Windows versions up until Vista – and was very handy). You can also add shortcuts to Shutdown, Restart etc to your desktop and/or quick-launch bar.
Select the Change desktop style tab, and try out some of the other view options (I quite like Small icon mode).
Small icon mode: