Unlike the good old days, the all or nothing days, Microsoft has absolutely streamlined the installation and setup process the newer versions of Windows, some would say at the expense of customization.
Yes, there are a thousand and one customization options in the desktop based control panel of Windows 8.1, and a whole bunch more in the PC Settings section in the glorious world of the Modern UI. Despite all this, there is still room for several paid and free third-party solutions to tweak the OS installation.
Speaking of which, one of the most powerful ones around is the Ultimate Windows Tweaker.
The latest version of this free utility is 18.104.22.168 and it can be used to change and optimize both the 32-bit and 64-bit installations of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 in order to make the operating system faster, stable as well as more personal and secure.
Amazingly, the program only weighs in at just 340 KB in size — but it still nets you access to more than 170 tweaks. No installation is necessary, just place it in a folder in your Program Files location or other such handy location that you can remember.
Fire it up you will be treated to a simple window lists all the available tweaks. Most of these can also be accessed from the Register Editor or the Group Policy section, but those are not for everyone.
You get tabs like System Information, Customization, User Accounts, Performance, Security and more. As is always the case, it is recommended you create a system restore point before tweaking or modifying the settings of Windows 8.1, and there is a handy button in the program that does just that.
You can download the file directly from here, and check out the official website here.