Configuring parts of your system can be tricky, even if you know where to look. Windows 8 made things that bit trickier by ditching the traditional Start menu, so Ultimate Settings Panel aims to redress the balance by putting key system and selected software settings right at your fingertips.

Version 2.0 of the utility offers 5 tabs: Windows, General, Outlook, Configuration Manager and Server Admin, with more promised in future releases.

The Windows and General tabs provides shortcuts to key Control Panels and more deeply buried tools like File History in Windows 8 or ODBC Admin in XP – there’s also a shortcut to "God mode", which basically puts every single Control Panel option at your fingertips. The Outlook tab offers some handy repair and management shortcuts like cleaning the auto-complete name and email address list or restoring missing folder to the default delivery location.

System administrators will also appreciate access to key Configuration Manager options, such as opening the Client Applet or Software Center.

It’s all very simple to operate – the app is portable, so copy it somewhere convenient, double-click it (you may get a security warning or two, but the app is perfectly safe to use) and off you go.

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Ultimate Settings Panel brings together a wide range of common Windows applets and commands. There's no Search tool, which means it still might be hard to find what you need, but once you're used to the layout the program should save you some time.