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How to Speed Up the Performance of Windows 7

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How to Optimize Windows 7

This is a list of suggestions that will help show you how to optimize Windows 7 by speeding up and improving its performance. You can pick and choose which ones you would like to do. If you do not notice a increase in performance or have a problem with the suggestion, then you can always go back and enable or undo the suggestion at the provided tutorial link for it..

Here we go:

1. Use a Solid State Drive (SSD)
Installing Windows 7 onto a solid state hard drive (SSD) instead of a normal SATA or IDE hard drive will dramatically increase your computer's performance.
2. Install the Latest BIOS and Device Drivers
Make sure that you have the latest available drivers installed for all of your devices and BIOS version for your motherboard. These will often have updated that correct new bugs, bug from the previous version, and may add new features, and increase performance. Check at the device's website for them. Be sure to have the correct versions for your 32 bit or 64 bit Windows 7. If you do not have Windows 7 drivers available, then you can often times use Vista drivers instead with sometimes having to use Compatibility Mode on the driver installation file with Vista selected.
3. Install More RAM
The more you have the better your performance can be up to a point. Usually 3 GB (32-bit) or 4 GB (64-bit) will be the most that you will need though unless you do memory intensive actions such as video editing.

Better memory (RAM) performance will depend on fast the MHZ rating (higher the better), and if you are using faster dual (DDR2) or tripple (DDR3) channel memory in that mode instead of just one stick in single channel mode. It's best to have all of your RAM sticks with the same specs.
4. Turn Transparency Off
The glass transparency effect uses the most resources from the Aero feature. You can disable it without disabling Aero.
5. Turn Off Unneeded Visual Effects
Uncheck the visual effect options that you do not want or need, or select the Adjust for best performance option, to increase the speed. You can optimize performance by changing how menus and windows appear. The most common visual effects to uncheck are:

  • Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
  • Animations in the taskbar and Start Menu
  • Enable transparent glass
  • Fade or slide menus into view
  • Fade or slide ToolTips into view
  • Fade out menu items after clicking
  • Show shadows under windows
  • Slide open combo boxes
6. Enable Write Caching for Storage Devices
This option is usually the best choice for storage devices that must provide the highest possible performance and that you intend to not remove from the system frequently, such as internal hard disk drives.
7. Disable or Remove Unwanted or Unneeded Startup Programs
Double check through your startup programs and disable or remove the ones you do not want to have start when Windows 7 starts. It is a good idea to check these every once in awhile to help make sure that some unknown program or malware has not placed itself to startup with Windows 7.
8. Set Unused Services to Manual
Services use processes that run in the background using part of your computer's resources. Check through your services with the help of the guide provided in this link, and stop and set to manual the services that affects features that you do not use or need to gain a tiny bit more performance. WARNING: Disabling the wrong service could hurt performance, or even cripple Windows 7. If you do not truly know what you are doing, then it's not recommended to do this.
9. Turn Off Unneeded Windows Features
Windows 7 includes many features. You can review the list of features and turn off the ones that you do not want or need.
10. Turn Off Disk Defragmenter Schedule
By default Disk Defragmenter[/URL] is scheduled to run in the background automatically every so often in Windows 7. Having this running in the background can cause a slight slow down and extra hard drive activity. You should either set the schedule to run at a time when you are not using the computer while it is on, or turn it off and run Disk Defragmenter manually when it is convenient for you instead.
11. Defragment Your Hard Drive
Fragmentation makes your hard disk do extra work that can slow down your computer. This will show you how to open and use Disk Defragmenter to manually analyze and defragment your disks and drives in Windows 7. Do not do this on a SSD though.
12. Disable Hibernate
If you do not use hibernate, then disabling it will save you a GB size file from being saved on your hard drive when you put the computer into hibernation mode.
13. Turn Off System Protection
If hard drive space is at a high premium for you, then turning System Restore off will free up some hard drive space. When disabled it will also not run in the background anymore while it creates restore points. However, disabling System Restore will mean that there will be no restore points available to go back to quickly fix Windows 7 in the event of a problem with your Windows 7 system files instead of having to reinstall Windows 7. You will need to create backups or system images if you disable System Restore instead incase you need to reinstall.
14. Speed Up the Menu Show Time
This will allow you to reduce the amount of time it takes for a menu in Windows 7 to pop, fade, or slide open when you run the mouse pointer over it.
15. Enable High Performance in the Power Plan
This power plan maximizes system performance[/URL] and responsiveness. However, if you use a mobile PC running on battery power, then you will notice that your battery doesn't last as long when using this plan.
16. Speed Up Mouse Hover Time
This will show you how to change the delay time, in milliseconds, that the mouse pointer has to stay hovered on a item before it is selected or opens a pop-up in Windows 7.
17. Reduce Time to Display Operating Systems at Boot
This will show you how to change the amount of time to display a list of operating systems in the Windows Boot Manager screen at boot and wait for you to select a OS to start before the default OS starts automatically. If you do not dual boot with another operating sytem on your computer, then you can uncheck, or reduce the time as low as it will go, to save on how long it takes to boot your computer.
18. Add or Remove Gadgets
Gadgets can be handy to offer information at a glance and provide easy access to frequently used tools from your dekstop. However, since each gadget added will take up some of your system resources. You can see how much memory is being used by the gadgets in Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) under the Processes tab with the sidebar.exe process.
19. Run Disk Cleanup
Running Disk Cleanup every so often will help find and remove unnecessary files on your hard disk to free up disk space and help your computer run faster.
20. Speed Up Shut Down Time
This will allow you how to set the Wait to Kill time Windows 7 waits for programs to save data and close before shutting down.
21. Add COPY TO FOLDER and MOVE TO FOLDER to Context Menu
This will allow you how to add Copy To Folder and Move To Folder to the context menu to make copying and moving files faster and easier in Windows 7.
22. Log On Automatically to a User Account
This will show you how to select a user account to have Windows 7 automatically log on to at startup so that you do not have to spend time manually logging on to the user account everytime you start or restart the computer.
23. Disable Require a Password on Wakeup
If you use sleep, hybrid, or hibernate mode, then you may wish to disable the option to have your computer require you to enter a password everytime you wakeup the computer.
24. Use Sleep Mode
If your computer does not run primarily off of a battery, then using sleep mode will allow you to put your computer to sleep and wake it up quickly instead of completely shutting down and starting the computer.
25. Decrease How Long Windows 7 Notifications Stay Open
This will allow you to change how long notifications or messages are displayed in the Windows 7 taskbar notification area before they close automatically.
26. Disable Thumbnail Previews in Windows Explorer
If there are a lot of thumbnails in a Windows Explorer window, then it can slow down your computer while you wait for the thumbnails to load. If this happens or you prefer icons instead of thumbnails, then disabling thumbnails will speed up how fast a Windows Explorer window will open by displaying only icons instead of thumbnails.
27. Turn On ReadyBoost
You can use ReadyBoost in Windows 7 with USB flash drives and flash memory cards to help speed up your computer.
28. Uninstall the Bloatware Programs from Your Computer
Most computers that you buy, at a retail store (OEM), have a ton of software installed on it. Some of these can take up a lot of resources. Uninstall the programs that you do not want to use from Programs and Features.
29. Disable Program Compatibility Assistant
If you are a system administrator who requires faster performance and are aware of the compatibility of the applications you are using, then disabling Program Compatibility Assistant (PCA) can be useful.
30. Turn off all unnecessary animations
If animation effects, such as fade windows when closed visual effects, run slow or sluggish on your computer, then using Turn off all unnecessary animations can help improve your computer's performance.
31. Scan your Computer for Malware or Spyware
If your computer has been infected with spyware or malware, then this they can cause all sorts of issues including slowing your computer down to a crawl. Be sure to scan your system with a good program like MSE and Malwarebytes for malware (ex: virus) and spyware, and allow the program to remove any that may be found.
32. Move the "Page File" to be on a Separate Hard Disk
Moving the page file to a second physical hard drive instead of the same C: drive that Windows is on can help improve the performance of Windows 7. Doing this allows Windows to dump temp junk onto one drive while not having to interrupt reads or writes on the other drive. Be sure to let the page file be System Managed. Windows 7 does a great job of keeping your page file in peak condition and performance.

********the full blog and comments can be found here Optimize Windows 7 - Windows 7 Forums ***********

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Updated 03-02-2013 at 02:02 PM by siosios

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