Appearance and Personalization

Tutorials showing you how to customize the following: looks (resolution, colors, etc), the taskbar and start menu, Folder Options and Fonts.

How to configure the Recycle Bin

Recycle Bin is one of the things that were redesigned in Windows Vista. It no longer has separate tabs for each partition. There is only one tab and you need to scroll up or down through your partitions list in order to make the changes you want. Also, you can no longer make “global settings” that apply to all your partitions.

This is why we decided to create this short tutorial and show our users how to configure the “new” Recycle Bin.

Enable the "Copy To Folder" and "Move To Folder" options in your right click menu

Like most computer professionals, I always try to find tweaks that improve the speed of my system or, at least, some usability aspects. In Windows XP, one of my favorite tweaks is one that enables the "Copy To Folder" and "Move To Folder" options in the right click menu. After using Windows Vista for a few weeks I tried this "trick" and I was glad to see that it still working.

Customize your desktop icons

Recently we have received e-mails from our readers asking us to help them customize or restore their standard desktop icons. In order to answer their questions and also help other people having the same "problems", we decided to publish this article. We will show you how to customize the list of standard icons shown on the desktop, how to change their icons and how to restore the originals, in case you want the standard icons back.

How to customize the Start Menu search box

This is the last in our series of articles about Instant Search. In the previous articles we tried to explain how Instant Search works and how to improve it. In this article we are going to show you how to customize the Start Menu search box so it will return the results you want. As you will see, the customization procedure is very simple.

How to improve Instant Search

We mentioned in our previous article that Instant Search uses an index to return the results of your searches as quickly as possible. The index is like a library that stores information about files, including the file name, the date it was modified and properties such as author, tags or rating. Instead of looking through your entire hard disk for a file name, Instant Search scans the index, which allows most results to appear in a small fraction of the time that a search without the index would have taken. By default, Instant Search indexes only a small number of folders such as the Start Menu, the names of the files opened, the Documents folder and the user's e-mail.

The index can be customized by the user at any time. You can remove locations or file types from the index in order to make Instant Search even faster or you can add even more locations or files types. In this article we will show you how you can configure the Windows Vista index to your liking.

Put the Shut Down, Log Off, Restart and Hibernate shortcuts on your desktop

One of the small but important changes in Windows Vista is the redesign of the Shut Down Start Menu options. Even if some people might have a different opinion, we think this design option is not very inspired. Compared to Windows XP it is more difficult to understand the options available and you need to take additional steps in order to shut down your computer or to put it into hibernate mode.

This is why we decided to create separate shortcuts for each option which you can easily place on your desktop.

How to switch back to the Classic Start Menu

One of the biggest changes in Windows Vista is the complete redesign of the Start Menu. While this change is a good thing for some people, others prefer to use the old style Start Menu. In this tutorial we will show you how to enable and configure the classic version of the Start Menu.

The procedure is very simple. Just follow these steps:

Windows Sidebar - the complete guide

In this tutorial we will show you how to use the Windows Sidebar - a new application included in the Windows Vista operating system. You will learn how to tweak it, how to add or remove gadgets and where to find them on the internet.

Windows Sidebar is situated by default on the right side of your screen and initially it has three gadgets: Clock, SlideShow and Feed Headlines. It offers the following customization options: it can be hidden, kept on top of other windows, you can add and remove gadgets from it or detach gadgets to place them on your desktop.

Put the Shut Down button back on your Start Menu

In one of our previous tutorials we where showing how to configure Windows Vista to shutdown when you press the power button of your system case. Since then, many of our visitors also searched for a way to put the shut down button back on their start menu.

In this tutorial we will show you how to do that.

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