Windows XP has been a great OS but it’s not without its flaws. One of the biggest crimes has been Microsoft’s hiding away of many features. This has led to a mini-industry of software suites offering tweaks for the OS.

XP Tuning Suite 3 does exactly as the name suggests but with over 600 tweaks on offer, it’s easy to wonder whether you’ll actually use them all, or how easy they’ll be to use.

The package allows you to get your hands on the tools that are shipped with Windows XP but for reasons only they know, Microsoft never made accessible to the average user. This is the main meat of the package, taking what you already have but giving it to you in a way you can actually use. So, when you first start the program, you’re offered the chance to fine tune your setup, mainly in speeding up the boot sequence and flushing out the system cache.

Individual applications are broken down into relevant folders, such as performance, internet and registry but you’ll need to root around to find the right tool you need. It would be easy to get lost with the number of tweaks on offer but the developers have come up with a way around this – they have a pop-up wizard. Just as with the loathed pop-up paperclip of years passed, it can help you find what you need but it’s annoying and you’ll soon switch it off.

With most of these programs, you’ll find the main emphasis is with registry tweaks and cleaning tools, which are all well but with no clear interface, it’s best left to the advanced user to get the most out of these tools. You can also review installed drivers, patches and updates. Perhaps more importantly, it’ll also allow you to uninstall these updates too.

Of the more sensible applications built-in is the system recovery tool, which will take a snapshot of your current PCs configuration, so should anything go wrong with your tweaks, you can roll back. This is a neat and sensible little step, which takes a good deal of pressure out of using the package.

There are some interesting tool to be had but for the main, it’s a mixed bag of applications that you’re likely to have already downloaded off the Internet.

Price when reviewed:

XP Tuning Suite 3 may offer a breadth of tools and tweaks but most of them only offer you to change the appearance of your system.

With no real tools for fine tuning or maintaining performance, this is a package for advanced user who wants to use the tweaks in conjunction with other tools.

To this end, unless you already know what’s going on with your PC, we’d recommend staying away.