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How to Speed Up Windows 7 or 8 for Best Performance

By Jignesh Rathod

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Microsoft has already optimized Windows 7 for speed and great performance. In fact, they’ve made Windows 7 for speed. Still, you can use some tricks to further speed up Windows 7 and get best out of it.


1. Turn off Unwanted Windows 7 Features

  • Open “Programs and Features” from Control Panel.
  • Click “Turn Windows features on or off ” from the left pane.
  • Unselect all the Features that you don’t use in Windows 7 and restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

There can be many feature in windows 7 that we often don’t use. Disabling these unused features in Windows 7 certainly helps in speeding up.

2. Disable the Unneeded Visual Effects

  • Right click on “Computer” and select “Properties”.
  • Click “Advanced System Settings” from the left pane to open”System Properties”.
  • Select the “Advanced” tab. Then under “Performance”, click “Settings”. Choose “Custom” Options From it.
  • Now unselect all the options and select only the last three or four options which seem useful and necessary.
  • Now just logoff Windows 7 and re-login.

Even though we have tuned off the Aero effects in Windows 7 still there are many unwanted visual effects that can be safely disabled to speed up windows 7 even more. You will now definitely notice the significant improvement in speed.

3. Disable the Aero Theme

  • Right Click on your Desktop and select “Personalize” click the Window Color Tab.
  • Unselect the Box saying “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 is a good feature in Windows 7 but certainly is 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 if we care more about speed and performance in Windows 7,  disabling the Aero will certainly add an extra speed boost to it. You can check this by looking into the memory consumption when Aero is turned on and off.

4. Disable the Aero Peek and Aero Snap features

  • 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 saying “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 helps you to maximize, minimize and resize the windows just by dragging and dropping it into the screen corners. 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 step 3 then Aero Peek will be automatically disabled.

5. Disable Screen Savers and Wallpapers

  • 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.

6. Disable the Unwanted Services

There are many services in windows 7 that we dont require for our daily use. There are some exceptional cases though. Services such as “print spooler” is only needed when we use a printer. If we use a printer only occasionally we can safely turn off that service in Windows 7 and turn it on only when we need to take a print. Disabling the unneeded services in Windows 7 can really speed up the system boot time.

7.  Set Up the Windows 7 Ready Boost Service

  • 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 your USB drive, open “Computer” > Right-click the on USB Drive > select “Ready Boost” tab > tick the “Use this device” check-box.
  • 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 there by improving the performance and speed of windows 7 greatly. You can certainly experience it when launching bulky applications such as Adobe Photoshop etc.

8. Disable the Gadgets (Windows 7 Sidebar)

  • 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 is definitely help you to to gain a few seconds during start up time. There are many useful utilities such as the RocketDock etc. which are good application launchers.

9.  Disable the Thumbnail Preview for Fast Folder/File browsing

  • 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” check-box.

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 do take up some system resources. So by disabling the Thumbnail Preview feature in Windows 7 the file browsing in Windows 7 explorer can be speed up.
In order to maintain your Windows 7 Performance and keep it up in Top Shape there are some very essential software’s that can help us to Speed Windows 7. I will list 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.

10. Disable Unnecessary Start Up Items to 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 softwares on your PC. Many software 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.

11. 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.

12. Disable the Search Indexing

  • 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 less searches in there system. The Search Indexing service in Windows 7 will index 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. What you need from windows 7 is maximum performance from it then i would certainly recommend you to disable this resource hogging Windows 7 Search Indexing Feature.

If you want to completely disable the search indexing feature in Windows 7 you can set the Search Indexing Service to Manual (See the above method about disabling unwanted services).

13. 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 some 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 all for today! Following all these steps will certainly boost the speed and performance of your windows 7 significantly.

Note: Windows or Windows 7 are registered trademark owned by Microsoft Corporation.

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  • rainmeter :    February 26, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks! This is very helpful.

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