Access Windows' hidden tweaks with this free bundle.

Clean and tweak Windows with this free collection of system tools.

TweakNow's WinSecret bundles a lot of system tweaks and tools into one easy-to-use interface. It helps people who don't feel comfortable editing the registry take advantage of some of the great performance and stability tweaks inside Windows without having to use RegEdit or system consoles. It also includes system cleaners, a startup manager, and an uninstaller.

WinSecret's tabbed interface is attractive, yet it avoids the overdesigned look of many similar tools. It opened on the Quick Optimizer tab, which listed a variety of quick tweaks like cleaning temporary files and compacting browser database files. We simply had to make our selections and click Optimize Now, but before we let the tool loose on our system, we checked the Options, which let us deselect third-party apps we wanted to exclude from cleaning, and clicked through the other tabs to see what WinSecret had to offer. What we found was a useful array of small, easy-to-use cleaners, tweaks, and quick fixes spread across tabs labeled Troubleshooting, Windows Secret, Windows Cleaner, System Information, and Restore Backup. Naturally, we had to check Windows Secret, which offered a dozen tweaks ranging from desktop appearance and IE options to page file and prefetch settings, network configuration, and AutoPlay. We made a variety of changes, which the program prompted us to save or discard before moving on to the next tool. The Troubleshooting section only offered two tools, both useful: Rebuild Icon Cache and Reset Internet/Network Settings. We returned to the Quick Optimizer, checked our choices, and clicked Optimize Now. The program cleaned our browser traces, temporary files, and registry and performed other tasks, finishing quickly and displaying detailed results on demand. A searchable Help file does a good job of explaining most of what WinSecret does.

As always, we recommend using tools like WinSecret with care and knowledge. It has enough to appeal to most users, though if you're familiar with editing the Registry or using the Command Prompt, for example, you might not need its help. For everyone else, this free bundle is worth trying.

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