There are things in Windows the vast majority of us never touch. Look at your system, and then look at your friends' PCs. Do you all have the same Start Menu button? The same items in the desktop context menu? Do you all have the same logon screen and taskbar thumbnail size? I'm betting the answer to all of these questions is "yes." The reason for this uniformity is not lack of personal preferences, but the way Windows is built, certain things are not meant to be changed, so most of us don't change them. But would you want to personalize your system in this were it an easy task? Meet a small utility called Sunrise Seven.
Before diving in, there are a few important things to know about this program: Sunrise Seven is Polish, and while it's mostly translated into acceptable English, Polish terms pop up here and there. In addition, Sunrise Seven has not seen a new version in quite some time, and might not see one ever again. Despite these facts, the program is surprisingly effective, and not as hard to use as you might expect.
Sunrise Seven is divided into nine different sections, each dealing with slightly different aspects of your system. Before doing anything, I recommend that you use the provided option to create a system restore point from within the program. You can find the button at the bottom of the program's main screen, and by doing this you're protecting yourself from anything bad that can happen while playing with important settings. Note that some of the changes made by Sunrise Seven require explrer.exe to reload, and that some are only activated after you log off and log back on again.
In the Quick Adjustment tab, you'll find several of the most popular tweaks. From here, you can add items such as "Copy to Folder," "Move to Folder," "Encrypt," "Decrypt," "Search," and more to your context menu. You can disable system notifications, remove the word "Shortcut" and arrow icon from new shortcuts, disable the UAC prompt, and make some changes to your taskbar appearance. In the Performance tab, you can control the reaction time for menus, taskbar thumbnail appearance, and other actions. You can also turn off certain services, or recover the original state of your services, if something goes wrong.
The Security Settings tab lets you block access to certain aspects of your system. This is especially useful if other people use your computer often, and you want to prevent them from accessing places like the control panel, registry editor, task manager, and other sensitive areas. You can also disable Windows Update, or just disable the automatic restart after update. The Security tab also lets you hide items from the control panel, but I couldn't get this option to work on my system, and could not get a response from the developers regarding this issue.
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