Customize How Windows 7 Looks and Works With 7Smoker Pro

If you're a techie looking to tune up Windows 7, and are willing to pay for help, you'd do well to give 7Smoker Pro ($30, 7-day free trial) a try. It peers deep into your Windows 7 setup, and lets you customize countless aspects of how it looks and works, including tweaking performance and the user interface, improving security, and cleaning your hard disk.

7Smoker Pro screenshot
7Smoker Pro lets you fine tune Windows 7 in exquisite detail, but it's primarily for techies.

When the 7Smoker Pro loads, it provides an overview of your memory use, including the total amount of RAM, used RAM, available RAM, system pagefile size, and so on. It also presents the four main categories for customizing Windows 7: Tweaks, Maintenance, Security, and Passwords. Click any category, and you'll get multiple subcategories. For example, the Tweaks section has nine subcategories. Each of those subcategories in turn has multiple tweaks and options. The upshot: 7SmokerPro offers hundreds of tweaks near at hand.

Given all those tweaks, it feels as if you can do almost anything with 7Smoker Pro. You'll find the general tune-up items, such as locating the fattest folders on your PC so that you can trim them, or an auto tuner (which as its name implies, looks into your system settings, and tunes them for top performance). But you'll also find much more detailed tweaks, such as optimizing your menu reaction speed, removing arrows from shortcuts, and more.

That's not to say that this program is perfect. 7Smoker Pro is much better suited for a techie than a less experienced person, because so many of these tweaks are technical in nature. It has settings for things like "Low level hook timeout," "Disable paging of kernel," and "Disable TIF Settings," but it never explains those settings or what they're used for. Nor does it offer recommendations on whether you should use them.

This program is from Waresoft Software, the same company that makes Vista Smoker Pro and XP Smoker Pro, and it bears similarities to those programs. If you liked either of them, you'll probably find 7Smoker Pro a useful accompaniment to Windows 7.

As with those programs, it's tough to know whether the $30 fee is worth it. There are good Windows 7 tweaking programs available for free, including EnhanceMySe7en Free. If you want only the basics and good solid tweaks, then a program like EnhanceMySe7en Free will do well for you. But if you want far more fine-grained control, and are willing to pay $30 for it, 7Smoker Pro might do the trick.

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