a Guide to speeding up Windows 7
Frustrated with slow Windows start-up and general sluggishness of your Windows 7 OS?
Here's a guide you can use to speed up your Windows 7 PC. I guarantee that after following this guide and implementing the recommendations on your PC, you will really get the performance gain.
I did this in a little bit of a hurry so if there's something i've missed or needs to be corrected - please let me know and i will do so.
Disabling the Search Indexing Feature in Windows 7
Right Click the “Computer” Icon in the desktop and select “Manage”.
Click “Services and Applications” in the “Computer Management” window.
Click on “Services”.
You can see a lot of services listed there. Look for “Windows Search” in that.
Right Click on “Windows Search” from the list and choose “Properties”.
The “Windows Search Properties Window” will open up. From “Startup type” click on the drop down menu and choose “Disabled”.
Click “Apply” then “OK” and that’s it. The Windows 7 Search Indexing Feature is now disabled.
Most of the Windows 7 users do fewer searches in there system. The Search Indexing service in Windows 7 will keeps track of the files so that they can be found quickly when asked at some other time. This feature is useful only if you perform frequent searches on your system.
For occasional file searchers the Search Indexing service in Windows 7 is a total resource hog. It unknowingly eats up your system resources. If what you want from windows 7 is maximum performance, then I would certainly recommend you to disable this resource hogging Windows 7 Search Indexing Feature.
Disable the Aero Theme on Windows 7
Right Click on your Desktop and select ” Personalize ” click the Window Color Tab.
Uncheck the Box ”Enable Transparency” and then click on ” Open classic appearance properties for more color options”.
Then a window will open up. Apply a Standard or Basic theme from it. The Standard Windows 7 theme is more preferred.
The aero user interface certainly adds some”Eye candy” to Windows 7 but it’s a resource hog especially when, what you expect from windows 7 is more performance. Aero user interface squeezes your graphics or video card to its maximum. So why don’t we just avoid the Windows 7 aero? So Disabling the Aero in Windows 7 certainly adds an extra speed boost to it.
Disabling the aero theme alone in Windows 7 will really speed things up. You can verify this by looking into the memory consumption when aero is turned on/off.
Disabling the Unwanted Visual Effects in Windows 7 to Speed Up more
For this right click on ” Computer” and select “Properties” from the right click menu.
Click on ” Advanced System Settings ” from the left pane to open up the ” System Properties ” window.
Select the “Advanced” tab from it. Then Under ” Performance ” click ” Settings “. Choose ” Custom: ” Options From it.
Now untick all the options and select only the last four options (actually three only needed; you can untick the second option from the last four). Now just logoff your system and turn logon.
Even though we have turned off the aero effects in Windows 7, there are still many unwanted visual effects that can be safely disabled to speed up windows 7 even more. You will now notice the speed difference now.
Disabling the Unwanted Services to Speed up Windows 7
There are many services in windows 7 that we don’t require for daily use. There are some exceptions though. Services such as “print spooler” are only needed when we use a printer. If you only use a printer occasionally you can safely turn off that service in Windows 7 and turn it on only when you need to make a print.
Services in Windows 7 that can be Safely set Manual
IMPORTANT: It is safer to set the following services to manual rather than disabling them. This is because when Windows is in needs of service it can start it by itself but only if it is set to manual. If you set it to disabled Windows 7 cannot start the service on its own.
1. Application Experience
2. Computer Browser (If your PC does not connect to any network)
3. Desktop Window Manager Session Manager (If you don’t want the aero effects)
4. Diagnostic Policy Service
5. Distributed Link Tracking Client
6. IP Helper
7. Offline Files
8. Portable Device Enumerator Service
9. Print Spooler (If you do not use Printer)
10. Protected Storage
11. Remote Registry (You can safely disable it to promote more System Security)
12. Secondary Logon
13. Security Center
14. Server (If your computer do not connect with any network)
15. Tablet PC Input Service
16. TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
17. Themes (classic theme will be applied)
18. Windows Error Reporting Service
19. Windows Media Center Service Launcher
20. Windows Search (If you rarely use Windows Search feature )
21. Windows Time (If you do not want to synchronize system time with internet time automatically)
Disabling the unneeded services in Windows 7 can really speed up the system boot time.
Disable the User account control (UAC) Feature in Windows 7
From the Control Panel open the ” User Accounts and Family Safety ” > User Account.
Click the User Account Control settings link.
Now just Drag the Slider towards “Never Notify”.
Click “OK” and Reboot your system.
The User account control (UAC) feature in Windows 7 is very annoying though it says it can protect your computer from harmful virus activity etc. But if you are a daily user of your computer this windows 7 feature will be a total nuisance to you.
Disabling UAC is for advanced users only.
SetUp the Windows 7 Ready Boost Service for an Extra Speed Boost
To configure the Ready Boost Feature in Windows 7 you need to have a High Speed Flash/USB or Pendrive with you which is ready boost compatible.
After plugging you pendrive, open “Computer” > Right-click the on USB Drive/Pendrive > select “Ready Boost” tab > tick the “Use this device” checkbox.
You can configure how much space on your USB drive/ Pendrive to be used as Ram.
The ready boost feature in Windows 7 will help you to use your flash drive or pendrive or USB drive as Ram thereby improving the performance and speed of windows 7 greatly. You can certainly experience it when launching bulky applications such as Adobe Photoshop etc.
Turn off Unused Windows 7 Features
Open up ” Programs and Features ” from Control Panel.
Click the ” Turn Windows features on or off ” from the left pane.
Now uncheck all the Feature that you don’t use in Windows 7 and restart the system for the changes to take effect.
There are many feature in windows 7 that we often don’t use. Disabling these unused features in Windows 7 will really help in speeding things up.
Disable the Windows 7 Sidebar (Actually the Gadgets)
Right click on the sidebar and select ” Properties “.
On the properties windows untick the check box showing ” Start sidebar when Windows Starts “
From now on windows sidebar won’t start when windows 7 start up.
Disabling the window 7 sidebar definitely helps you to gain a few seconds during start up time. There are many useful utilities such as the RocketDock etc. which are good application launchers.
Disable the Aero Peek and Aero Snap features in Windows 7
Open the Windows 7 ” Control Panel ” and double-click on ” Ease of Access Center ” icon.
Now click on the ” Make it easier to focus on tasks ” seen at the bottom in there
Now untick the check box ” Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen ” .
Right click on the Windows 7 taskbar and select” Properties “.
Now untick the ” Use Aero Peek to preview the desktop ” option from there.
Aero Snap will help you to maximize, minimize and resize the windows just by dragging and dropping it into the screen corners.
Now To Disable the Aero Peek feature in Windows 7
The Aero Peek feature in Windows 7 helps you to peek through all open windows by hiding all other windows and showing only the outlines of all windows. Aero Peek is similar to the ” Show Desktop ” Feature in XP and Vista.
If you have followed the steps above then Aero Peek will be automatically turned off.
Change the Power Plan To Maximum Performance
Double click the ” Power Options ” in the Control panel.
Click the down arrow showing ” Show Additional Plans ” to see the ” High Performance ” power plan.
Now just activate the ” High Performance ” plan and that’s it.
You may go for the advanced settings for further tweaking if you want.
The Power settings in Windows 7 is not automatically set for maximum performance. By default the power plan in Windows 7 is set for a balanced performance with energy consumption on hardware. So you may not get the optimal performance from windows 7 if this is the case. So we need to change the power plan to High Performance Mode.
Disable the Thumbnail Preview Feature to speed up File browsing in Windows 7
Double Click on ” Computer ” >click on the “Organize” drop-down menu and select the “Folder and Search options”
Under ‘Files and Folders’ section, go to the “View” tab and tick the check box showing “Always show icons, never thumbnails” checkbox.
The thumbnail preview feature in Windows 7 will show the small thumbnails of the contents of a folder instead of showing it’s icon. But this feature really does take up some system resources. So by disabling the Thumbnail Preview feature in Windows 7, the file browsing in Windows 7 Explorer can be sped up.
Most Essential Softwares To Speed Up Windows 7
Wise Registry Cleaner
In order to maintain your Windows 7 Performance and keep it up in Top Shape there are some very essential software that can help us to Speed Windows 7. I’ve listed some of them here. You can download these utilities. But i remind you that you need to run these utilities at least once in a week. Only if you do it regularly your Windows 7 will be in top shape every day.
Registry Tweaks to Speed Up Windows 7
Please Note: Registry tweaks can be detrimental to your systems if done incorrectly. If you are unsure of what to do I recommend skipping this part. [For advanced Users Only]
Here are some registry teaks that can be used to speed up windows 7 even more. I have complied only the safest tweaks that can be applied to your PC. Apart from speeding up windows 7 they will also add some functionality in windows like adding Copy to / Move to in right click context menu to speed up your daily tasks.
This is the changes the tweaks will apply:
• Hanged programs will be terminated quickly.ie. Automatically it will end tasks of programs that are taking longer to respond.
• Menus will be shown very faster. When you pause on the main menus the sub menus will be shown up very fast than normal.
• You will get an option ” Take Ownership” when you right click on files or folders. This will become handy when you want to replace system files while doing customization.
• Make windows not to search for a program that no longer exist when you click on the shortcut there by saving your valuable time.
• Adds “Copy To” and “Move To” options in the right click context menu of Windows 7. So from now on copying and moving files from one place to another will be more easier than before.
• Directly opens up the Files list when you choose “Open With” option there by deactivating the ” search on Internet ” option.
• Speeds up the navigation in Windows Explorer by disabling searching for network printers and scheduled tasks on network.
• Disables the annoying “low disk space” message notification in your system tray
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\Con textMenuHandlers\Copy To]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\Con textMenuHandlers\Move To]
@=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F”
“IsolatedCommand”=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F”
@=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” /r /d y && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F /t”
“IsolatedCommand”=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f \”%1\” /r /d y && icacls \”%1\” /grant administrators:F /t”
If you have the complete version of Tune Up Utilities software with you then it is the best one to keep your Windows 7 in top shape.
Turn OFF Windows 7 Password Protection To save a few More Seconds!!!
If you have set a password for accessing your user account in windows 7, then you need to enter it each and every time you logon to windows. Logging into windows automatically without entering any password will save you a few seconds more. If you are the only person who use your computer then i would recommend to turn this off. If that is not the case you can skip this step.
Turn OFF Windows 7 Screen Saver and Wallpaper
Right click on desktop and choose “Personalize”.
Click the Screen Saver link ” From the Screen Saver drop down menu, Set it to “None” and click “Apply” and then “OK”.
Now click on “Desktop Background” link.
From the “Location” drop down menu select “Solid Colors” and pick one color and click “OK”.
In order to display the wallpaper and screen saver the system needs some memory. So by disabling those two we can save a few Mega Bytes of memory.
This might be a little bit of a nit-pick this one considering that you’ll probably only save about 2 - 5MB of memory – but if you combine it with other tweaks to speed up your system – it makes a difference in the end.
Disable Unwanted Start Up Items and Speed Up Windows 7 Start Up
Type ” msconfig ” in the “RUN” option from start menu press [Enter] to open up the System Configuration Utility.
Now navigate to the “StartUp” tab.
Untick the Entries which are not needed
This really matters when you have installed a lot of software on your PC. Many applications such as AcdSee will run services such as device detector etc during the system start up. These are of no use actually for most windows users. So preventing such services from starting up during the start up of windows 7 can result in quicker start Ups. This will actually save some seconds during windows 7 start up.
Disable Unwanted System Sounds in Windows 7
Type mmsys.cpl in RUN From the Windows 7 Startmenu search box and press [Enter].
Navigate to the “Sounds” tab.
Now from under “Sound Scheme:” select “No Sounds” > Click “Apply” > “OK”.
You can keep some of your favorite sounds turned on if you want, but sounds played during the Windows 7 start up, shutdown, Logon, logoff, start navigation etc should be set to none if you want a real speed boost.
In order to play the sounds you hear in windows 7, system resources are being utilized. So if you can disable these sound effects you can gain some speed and also free some system resources too.
That’s it. Following all these steps will certainly boost the speed and performance of your windows 7 operating system.
Hope that helps!