Microsoft Tweak UI is a must-have tool for anyone customizing Microsoft Windows XP. It prevents users from opening the registry and customizing settings that aren’t available in the operating system’s user interface. Tweak UI started as a grassroots utility built by a handful of rebellious programmers and ended up one of the most popular downloads on the Internet. Microsoft has released versions of this tool for every version of Windows since Microsoft Windows 95. The company even included it on the Microsoft Windows 98 CD. And now, it’s available for Windows XP, and it includes even more customizations.

You can download Tweak UI from Microsoft (Microsoft split the original Microsoft Power Toys programs apart) The file you download is called TweakUiPowertoySetup.exe. Run this program to install Tweak UI on your computer. To run Tweak UI, click Start, All Programs, Powertoys for Windows XP, and Tweak UI for Windows XP. In the left pane, click a category, and then in the right pane, edit the settings you want to change. The program is mostly self-explanatory; you see a description of each setting at the bottom of the window. Pay attention to the bottom part of the windows. It tells you whether the settings in that category are per-user or per-machine. Per-user settings sometimes require you to log off and back on to Windows XP in order for them to take affect. Per-machine settings affect every user who logs on to the computer. Source: Microsoft

This PowerToy gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more. Plus you won’t have to mess around in the Registry to make these changes.