SLIDESHOW

Gallery of Best Windows 7 Tweaks

Illustrated tips for customizing the Windows 7 interface to suit your taste and improve efficiency.

Use an International Desktop Theme

If you dig a little, you can find hidden wallpapers and themes from other English-speaking countries, such as this one from South Africa.

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Get a Power Efficiency Report

Windows 7 includes a hidden, built-in tool that will examine your laptop's energy use and make recommendations on how to improve it.

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Modify UAC

Windows 7 lets you tame User Account Control by adjusting the slider.

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Add a Search the Internet Link to the Start Menu

Enabling this option means you can have Windows 7 conduct an Internet search right from the Start menu.

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Access Videos from the Start Menu

If you watch a lot of videos, you can get quick access to your Videos folder by adding it to the Start Menu.

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Select Multiple Files with Your Mouse Only

Don't like Ctrl-clicking to select multiple files in Explorer? You can use these nifty check boxes instead.

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Protect the Privacy of Your Windows Explorer Searches

Select "Enabled" to hide your recent searches using the Group Policy Editor.

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Set a New Explorer Launch Folder

Edit the Target field of this dialog box to change the folder that opens by default when you launch Windows Explorer.

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Show all Your Drives in Windows Explorer

Uncheck "Hide empty drives in the Computer folder" to have Explorer show you all your drives even if they're empty.

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Build Your Own Internet Search Connector

Here's the Windows Explorer search results page after searching through Computerworld.com using a custom-built Search Connector.

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Speed Up the Display of Thumbnails on the Taskbar

A Registry hack can force the taskbar to reduce the time it takes to show thumbnails of your open windows.

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Take Control of the Taskbar Notification Area

This screen is where you can customize the notification area at the far right of the taskbar.

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Get Back the Quick Launch Bar

When you first bring back the Quick Launch bar (toward the right end of the taskbar), it has no application icons showing, which isn't particularly useful.

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