Modernize Windows 10 with these free tools and tweaks (video)

W10 Modernized
W10 Modernized (Image credit: Windows Central)

Are you looking for ways to modernize and clean-up the Windows 10 UI? You're not alone. I'm a huge UI fanatic, and I love contemporary user interfaces. Unfortunately, Windows 10's UI has become rather stagnant these last few years, with very little changes to keep things looking fresh. Luckily, there's a whole bunch of third-party tools you can use to customize Windows 10 just how you want it.

I've put together a video walkthrough of all the tools and tweaks I use to create a more "modern" interface for Windows 10. Now, of course, not everyone will agree with the changes I like to make to my version of Windows 10, and that's fine. You don't have to install any of the tools and tweaks suggested in the video, and can mix and match the ones you do like.

If you decide to use all the tweaks in the video, you'll end up with something a little like this:

This is a combination of the following tools:

In addition to these tools, I also do a number of tweaks that don't require any third party software. For example, I like to change the default File Explorer home area from "Quick access" to "This PC" to keep things tidy. I also like to uninstall legacy programs such as Internet Explorer. All is showcased in the video above.

Let us know your thoughts on the setup I use above. If you like it, feel free to try it out for yourself! These are small tweaks that I think enhance the overall user interface to give it cleaner, more modern look. Of course, UI design is subjective, so not everyone will agree with the changes here. Make sure you share your own setups too.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Love the customization, I do similar stuff but also like to use WinAero Tweaker.
  • PowerToys isn't compatible with Windows 10 32-Bit or Windows on ARM devices sadly :(. Should be mentioned in the article though.
  • I'd argue these clutter the UX with tools running that only add little value. "For example, I like to change the default File Explorer home area from "Quick access" to "This PC" to keep things tidy." It also removes functionality too though. Why go hunting for folders when you can just pin them?
  • I do like the modern look, but it degrades windows 10 and Microsoft because it looks like they've done it, but yet again they haven't, so it takes away the legitimacy of windows and how Microsoft have made windows 10 to how it looks today. I like the surprise of Microsoft news because you never know when they're going to announce changes and changes to Windows and it makes you build up hype and excitement for what they may do, it could be with every build or every update or a major update, I'm q fan that likes the surprises to what Microsoft have added. Think about the hype and build to Windows coming out and all the hype and excitement that Microsoft give off to you with what they may change and the hype and build exciment with what they was adding with every new build, if you think about it over the course of 2 years of windows being tested back in 2014 when it was being tested that launched such a massive excitement was there having testing the preview, feedback, and hype with everything they did, I personally think they gave us loads to do, but not now, so I guess a new version of Windows might be announced soon becuase oversley Microsoft know that they need to change and give windows 10 a new change and a new look, but the excitement with Windows and with Microsoft is they'll keep us hyped, so I'm and probably Microsoft are looking forward to changing or annoucing something big soon to do with Windows soon. Don't forget windows 10's mainstream support runs out October 13 this year, so it makes sense that Microsoft will announce something big to do with Windows soon.
  • What are you talking about 'mainstream support runs out October 13 this year'? That is true of Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB. That's a 5 yr old build for Enterprises. If you are one of them, you move to Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB, and are good to October 12, 2021. Or better still Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 and are set till January 9, 2024. For normal people, probably the worst you are on is Windows 10, version 1903 which takes you to December 8, 2020, but you really should be on Windows 10, version 1909 which is good till May 11, 2021. If MS would get their act together and fix 2004, considering 2009 should be right around the corner, we'd be good till December 14, 2021. Windows 10 isn't going anywhere.