There are a number of ways in which you can personalize the look of Windows from changing the desktop background to using themes and skins. User Picture Tuner is a free utility that enables you to customize an aspect of the Start menu that you would not otherwise be able to change – the animations used on the user picture that is displayed at the top of the Start menu on the right hand side.

It is easy enough to choose which of your own images you would like to use as the avatar for your user account, but you may not have noticed that a frame is automatically added to whichever image you decide to use. This is not something that you are ordinarily able to change, but with User Picture Tuner installed, you can do just this.

The program is a portable app, so there’s no need to worry about installation, and once you have it up and running you can choose from one of the supplied sample frames, or create one of your own – all you have to do is to ensure that you save the frame as a 64x64 bitmap. This is something that would normally require registry editing, but here it can be achieved in a couple of clicks – restoring your original image and frame is just as easy too.

User Picture Tuner can also be used to tweak the fading animation that is used as a transition effect as you select different options in the Start menu. A series of three sliders can be used to adjust various settings. There aren’t many options availe here, just the ability to configure the delay that should be used before the animation kicks in and choosing how fast or slow the fade in and out should be – simple, but interesting tweaks nonetheless.


There may not be many options here, but the tweaks that are available quite unique.