Xneat: power charge XP or Vista with this nifty windows manager


Xneat windows manager is a free windows enhancement that adds a number of “window management” type functions to explorer, including the ability to customize window transparency, minimize (or hide) windows to the system tray, toggling always on top, and drag and drop taskbar buttons in order to rearrange them.

It also adds interesting options to the windows save file dialog: a “clone file” button that becomes active when overwriting a file, and a time stamp button.

I am always in the market for good windows shell enhancements, and I must say that this is one to take note of: Xneat has a good range of interesting Windows functions, uses very little memory, and has a very nice overall look and feel . Here are more notes on this program:

  • Nice set of functions for open/minimized windows: change windows transparency, minimize to tray, hide, and toggle always on top are the standard ones. You can optionally add windows and process priority functions as well. Note that you can customize the context menu to display only the functions you want (e.g. only the minimize to tray and, say, the
    transparency functions, if that’s all you want).
  • Xneat save file dialog functionsSave file dialog functions: adds two buttons; the clone button appears when you are about to save over a previous file with the same name, and gives you the option to create a clone with a counter appended to its file name rather than overwrite a file (e.g. filename(1).html rather than filename.html). Very useful. The other button automatically adds a date stamp to the filename, which could be very useful to some.
  • Arrange taskbar buttons: by dragging and dropping, in the manner of Taskbar Shuffle.
  • Hotkey activation: will make an Xneat “hotmenu” pop up on the screen wherever the mouse is located. This menu will give you access to all windows minimized or hidden to the system tray, but can also optionally give access to the Quick Launch menu shortcuts or a list of recently accessed files.
  • Memory use: just about 2 megs, which is lightweight and quite an accomplishment by the creators of this program.Xneat taskbar arrange screenshot
  • Middle mouse button: will close a window/app if middle mouse is pressed on a taskbar button, will display the Xneat context menu is used on the titlebar of a window. You can switch this control off if you want to.

Wish list

  • The ability to minimize a window to the system tray by right clicking on the minimize button in the Titlebar.
  • The ability to hide the Xneat icon in the system tray.


Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict: a really nice explorer extension that is well designed, looks good, offers a lot of interesting functions, and is extremely low on memory consumption. I remember using this program a long time ago when it first came out and encountering problems, but since then it has definitely matured and runs smoothly and efficiently. Highly recommended.

Version Tested:

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista (32 bit).

Go to Xneat Home Page to download the latest version (approx 373K).