At first glance the Advanced System Tweaker looks much like many other Windows tweaking tools.
There’s the same familiar ideas, for instance, recommendations to disable this service or that, various networking and Explorer speedups. You get simple maintenance options, so you can perhaps clear your system temporary files at a click. And a Programs menu gives quick access to useful Windows applets, such as Device Manager and the Event Viewer.
The program also includes relatively few tweaks, 37 in total, and they’re not presented particularly well. The tweaks are displayed in a narrow pane which isn’t wide enough to see the entire tweak description, and you can’t resize the pane or maximise the program window, either. So expect plenty of horizontal scrolling.
Advanced System Tweaker does have a couple of very good points, though. If you choose an option like “Memory tweaks”, for instance, you’ll see the program says this aims to improve PC performance by telling Windows to cache more information in RAM. But that’s a little vague – if you’re an expert Windows user you’ll probably want to know more about what it’s doing. And here you can find out just by clicking the Detailed Information bar at the bottom of the screen, which will show you precisely which Registry settings it’s going to change.
It’s the same for every other tweak, including those which launch applications. The Maintenance section has an option to run the System File Checker, for example, and if you check the Detailed Information here you’ll see exactly which commands this launches:
But the real value here is that Advanced System Tweaker can be extended via Add Ons, which define new tweaks. Once the program is complete (it’s in beta right now) then you’ll be able to download more of these online. But if you’re an experienced Windows user then you can use the bundled Add On Creator to create a few right now.
And this process is surprisingly powerful, too. Sure, you can use the program simply to launch a command line tool, as we’ve seen above, or alter a single Registry setting. But it also allows you to create a simple dialog box, and include more complex script commands, if necessary. And so over time you’ll be able to customise Advanced System Tweaker with all your favourite tweaks and shortcuts.
There are still issues to be resolved here, then: in particular the interface needs more thought, and we’d like to see more and better tweaks bundled with the program. But hey, it’s a beta, everyone has to start somewhere. The fact that you can see exactly how each tweak works is very appealing, though, as is the ability to add custom tweaks of your own, and with just a little more work the Advanced System Tweaker could become a very useful maintenance tool.