With so many readers now using Windows Vista I thought it was about time that I focused on a fantastic little program that I’ve had on my hard drive for several months now called ‘Winbubbles’.This application is designed to help you quickly and easily customize your Vista installation by way of a small 350kb freeware download.

The URL to download the application directly is to long to easily print in this article so you are best of doing a search for it yourself; the quickest way I can suggest is to head to and do a search for Winbubbles or otherwise a quick Google search will locate it for you.After installing the application you will be able to customize pretty much any aspect of your Vista installation, including the following:

Windows Customizations:

·Enable Aurora Bootscreen guide – This will allow you to change the drab black Windows bootup screen to something a lot more interesting.

·Add/Edit OEM Logo and information (this appears in system properties) as well as owners information

·Context Menu Customizations such as Move To, Copy To, Disk Clean-up options

·New screensaver properties, including options for the Windows Bubble screensaver which ordinarily has no user configurable settings.

·Alter system icons including removing the arrow on shortcut icons

·Add/Remove IE, Computer, Network, Control Panel, Public Folder icons from Desktop.


·Speed-up Start menu search

·Easily deactivate and reactivate Windows Aero – This can be useful if you want to tone down the graphical effects new in Vista, for example to increase performance or laptop battery life

·Clear Multiple Monitor Configuration


·Disable Task Manager, Autoplay, access to the control panel and other restricted areas – Very useful if others have use of your computer and you want to limit the amount they can change or access.

·Add Encrypt/Decrypt to Explorer´s Right-Click Menu (Context Menu) – Allows you to quickly and easily protect any sensitive files.

·Enable/Disable UAC – Quickly and easily allows you to turn off or on the User Account Control which pops up every time Windows detects you, or an application on your computer is trying to change a system setting; I personally turned this off the second I installed Vista.

·Disable RUN command in the Start Menu and Task manager

·Hide ALL, or specific drives on your PC – Useful if you want to restrict users access to files and drives on a public computer.

This is, of course, not a complete list as there are dozens of aspects of Windows Vista that can be customized from within this application - Think of the above as more of a taster.Whilst Winbubbles doesn’t really introduce anything new and previously inaccessible, it does make the process of customizing your computer a lot easier and a lot more accessible to the average computer user and as such is certainly worth a go.Please note that this application is only compatible with Windows Vista, although there are dozens of similar applications already released for Windows XP such as Tweak UI which can be downloaded free of charge, again from the website


About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.