Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

Summary: Tweak your Windows 8 Developer preview to look like ... well ... Windows 7!

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Quite a few of you have been asking about apps that allow you to tweak Windows 8. Let me introduce you to my favorite - Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8.

Note: This application requires the enabling of .NET Framework 3.5.1 on the Windows 8 developer preview as follows:

- Fire up Control Panel then click on More Settings and go Programs > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off

- Select .NET Framework 3.5.1 from the listing and click OK

- Windows will connect to Windows Update to download the required files

- When that's done, you're good to go!

Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8 gives you access to the following tweaks:

  • Disable Metro Start Menu: Disables only Metro Start Menu Screen. This function requires editing a System File. It does not remove the file.
  • Disable Metro Ribbon: Disables only the Metro Ribbon UI. This function I discovered myself. It requires Taking Ownership of a System File. It does not remove this file.
  • Disable Metro Start Menu and Ribbon: Disables the Metro Start Menu UI, Ribbon UI, Metro Task Manager UI and the Lock Screen.
  • Enable Metro Start Menu and Ribbon: Re-enables all available Metro UI options.
  • Add Power Options to the Metro Start Menu Screen: Logoff, Switch User, Lock, Sleep, Restart and Shutdown
  • Add any Application/File to the Metro UI Start Menu Screen: Some Applications/Files may not be available to you to add to the Metro Start Menu Screen. This program allows you to add those Applications/Files which would otherwise be unavailable.

It works! Here's what you see when Metro UI Start Menu is disabled ... looks like Windows 7:

Note: Enabling the classic Start Menu did seem to cause a lot of screen flicker during the first login to the desktop.

And here's what happens when you enable the various power options on the Metro UI Start menu:

I've tested Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8 and it seems pretty reliable, but it does make some pretty deep system changes (such as editing system files) so there's scope for things to go wrong. An up-to-date backup may very well become be your new best friend!

Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8 will work with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8.

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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21 comments
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  • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

    Dont we have reset and refresh option in case things go wrong ?
    blogsdna
  • This is an excellent idea

    .. now all that remains is for the W8 Dev' Team to build in a similar mechanism into W8 prior to RTM. (major hint: a la kill / toggle switch for Metro.) They do that, and i really believe they have the perfect tonic for wresting the current market momentum, back - and away - from Apple.<br><br>+1 AKH! <br><br>(.. what happened to you Adrian? you've developed some (.. or you're exercising some long dormant) investigative journalism skills lately .. and might i add, it's refreshing!)<br><br><img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink">
    thx-1138_
  • Initial Win 8 tweaks remind me of initial OS X Lion tweaks

    Remove "Metro". Remove "Natural Cursor scrolling Movements". None of those tweaks are necessary when sufficient time is allowed for UI adjustments.

    Don't get me wrong .. choice is good. But these "tweaks" remind me of "Knee jerk reactions to new items".

    My recommendation is to stay with the Metro interface. Give it a chance. Personally, when I returned to a computer not having the "reverse scrolling" action of OS X Lion, I found it somewhat of a hinderance or amusing nuisance.
    kenosha77a
    • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

      @kenosha7777

      I agree.

      When I started using the Developer Preview, I got scared at first. How am I going to do *x*? Then I took a little, looked around, and figured out I can actually do everything I was doing before.

      I can even do it better when it comes to searching for files and programs.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

        @Michael Alan Goff

        Exactly.
        kenosha77a
      • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

        Then again, I'm a unique type of user.

        I like Metro, I like the way Android sets up their UI, I've used (and liked) Unity, Gnome 3, iOS interface.

        Part of me even wants to get a Mac, just so I can see about Lion.

        Point of all that is, of course, that my experience is likely outside of the norm. But I do think we'd get a lot less hate over all of these changes if people just gave them a chance instead of hating change for the sake of hating change.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • This is becoming ridiculous

    You know Adrian noone force you to keep testing an Alpha version if some fundamental aspects of this O.S pisses you off.<br>Just wait until the Beta, then at least you could have an educated opinion.
    Why would some want to try Windows 8 if it is just to turn it in Windows 7 ?
    Just to waste some hard disk space ?
    timiteh
    • What's ridiculous?

      @timiteh .. that he's offered people an opportunity to test out options on "an Alpha" (to quote you)? You do realize not everyone sees the world in the same rosy colored tint you do - so get a grip on reality, geez ..

      As it stands, this tweak idea is exactly what many ZDNet readers have been asking to (at least) try out. Thanks to this small app', they now can. What's your malfunction over that?!?

      You know wiseguy, you're entitled to your opinion, just like the rest of us. But don't get uptight if you someone happens to see things different to you. So, do yourself a favor, take a deep breath .. and buzz off!
      thx-1138_
      • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

        @thx-1138_@...

        You do know that it is an ALPHA VERSION OF THIS OS aimed at helping developpers get start with developping Metro Apps, and at getting early adopters used to Metro and the new paradigm of Windows, right ?

        So, if you can acknowledge that, you can also acknowledge that it is useless and counter-productive to try to disable the very features to whom people should get used to with this ALPHA release.

        If one can't stand those new features and/or the current limitation of the O.S he/she should just keep using Windows 7 or whatever O.S, he/she is currently using.

        Sometimes,i wonder why people can't understand such basic things and dare to talk of malfunctions from other while they clearly are the ones with some.
        timiteh
    • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

      @timiteh

      So desktop users aren't allowed to benefit from the increased performance and reduced RAM usage?

      Tablet operations aren't suited to a desktop.
      The constant switching from the left of the screen to the right P***** me off.

      On a tablet (using 2 hands) it wouldn't be a problem (press the start spot with your left thumb and scroll through the list with your right hand).

      I have used that "Metro UI Tweaker", so that I can have a "Restart" button and so that I can access real programs that I have installed (on the Metro screen).

      Why doesn't the W8 context menu have "Pin to Metro" as an option?
      lehnerus2000
      • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

        @lehnerus2000

        "So desktop users aren't allowed to benefit from the increased performance and reduced RAM usage?
        "
        For gosh sake, are you forced to use Windows 8 Developper Preview ?
        And for it has been said n times that it is AN ALPHA VERSION AIMED AT developpers thus by nature not complete , not finished, not stable and not ready for most users.
        So if you are not ready to support the limitations of a software in alpha version and unless you want to be childish, just wait until the beta version, then there all your points could be valid and could even get my support !
        timiteh
      • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

        @timiteh

        So I'm not allowed to try out an ALPHA VERSION, or have an opinion if I do?
        How do you assess an operating systems performance without installing and running familiar software?

        "<i>... thus by nature not complete , not finished, not stable and not ready for most users.</i>"

        I didn't expect it to be finished, or stable.
        Apart from the Metro thing, Windows Explorer needs some more work (it's a bit twitchy and the Ribbon needs some tinkering).

        Overall Windows 8 seems to be an improvement.
        From my usage, I would say that it could replace Windows 7 right now.
        Of course I haven't risked doing anything critical on it yet (or installed all of the software I have available).
        It's faster, uses less resources and it hasn't crashed.

        The earlier that MS listens to people's gripes, the more time they'll have to fix/improve the code and behaviour.
        lehnerus2000
      • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

        Why doesn't Windows do this, or that, or this?

        Because this isn't meant for most people to use on a daily basis.

        Desktop users aren't allowed to ...

        Yes, yes they are. But the purpose of this DEVELOPER PREVIEW is for THE DEVELOPERS to see what they can do with Metro.

        So, and I mean this with all sincerity, RTFM.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

        @timiteh
        I guess someone got offended by our conversation.
        Your reply and my reply to it got culled.
        lehnerus2000
      • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

        @timiteh
        Someone didn't like our conversation.
        Your reply and my reply to it, got culled.
        lehnerus2000
  • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

    If this is easy enough to do in a little 3rd party app, why can't Microsoft just include settings to customize?
    tkulogo
    • Exactly

      @tkulogo .. but seeing as it is still in dev' stage Alpha, let's hope they pay attention to the many gripes about having the option to toggle built in, by RTM.
      thx-1138_
  • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

    Can someone help me?Windows 8 over wrote over windows 7,my computer never came with a disc recovery.So when I try to reformat my whole computer it says some files are missing and that I need the CD.Do I need to get the recovery disc or get windows 7 and install it?
    mariohenri90
  • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

    I just tried this out of curiosity and found a side effect... if you disable just the start menu you cannot debug any metro app.. i reverted back and everything was fine..
    nairsharad
  • RE: Tweak Windows 8 with the 'Metro UI Tweaker for Windows 8'

    When we get the Beta, will you folks who say "don't mess with Metro" be recursively screaming that the Beta is "only a beta" and not meant to be messed with then, either??<br><br>To those who foolishly installed the Preview without backing up their Windows 7 system to an Image Archive, I say, don't mess with Beta or earlier anything unless you know how to do backup and recovery. And more importantly, never mess with pre-release software without having a plan of action. Your only option now is a reformat and rebuild of your original OS. If you can't or won't do that, chalk this up as an expensive lesson and go to the Geek Squad to buy Windows 7 all over again.<br><br>To those considering trying out Win 8 DP, I'd suggest boning up on Dual-Booting. It's much easier to recover or delete Win 8 DP as a Dual-Boot than to mess with Virtual Machines (which also saps Win 7 performance for some reason) or to overwrite a perfectly functional Win 7 installation. And DO NOT try installing Win 8 DP over any existing Tablet OS. Doing so usually turns the tablet device into a brick.
    Bob Primak