Windows 7 is so much faster than Vista and XP but who doesn’t want a little more speed if they can get it. This article will detail some tips and tricks you can use to help speed up Windows 7. You don’t have to use all of them, you can choose which ever you think might help you out. Even applying one will help you a bit, and nothing is ever really fast enough.
One of the most obvious is of course install more RAM, if you computer can take it and you have the money for it. Check with your computer vendors website for the amount of RAM you can install, what type of RAM you can install and instructions on how to install it.
The next obvious one for system admins or people who work with computers, is make sure you have all of the most up to date drivers for all of your system hardware and windows is up to date, and finally your BIOS is updated to the most current version. Again you can get most of these updates from either your PC vendor (should have most drivers for your PC and the BIOS) and for windows updates just use the update tool via control panel.
Next you should disable or remove any startup program that you don’t use or need. You can do this using the MSCONFIG tool, click the start button and in the text box at the bottom type msconfig and press enter. It will open the msconfig snap-in and you can edit the startup programs in the startup tab. You will see a list of all of the things that load on Windows 7 start, a lot of these are necessary and shouldn’t be touched but if you see the name of that annoying program you always have to close after booting into windows, you can close it by unchecking it. For an example I wanted to disable my MSN from coming up at startup, I unchecked it in here and now it doesn’t load until I manually open the program. You can do this for any program in the list that you don’t want to load at boot and it will help speed up your boot times and performance.
Turn off all of the fancy Windows 7 transparency and visual effects. This one is kind of a sore spot with a lot of people I talk to about it, they want the cool look it’s what they paid for, but the visuals can be real resource hogs, so if you really want to speed up Windows 7 you might want to consider turning them off. To turn off transparency you will want to right click on the desktop and choose Personalize. In the window choose the Window Color button, it will open a window and there is a check box next to Enable Transparency, uncheck it and this will disable the Transparency and help improve performance. Now some of the other visual settings you can set to improve Windows 7 performance, you will right click on Computer, choose Properties, then choose Advanced System settings, click the advanced tab, and then choose settings in the performance option.
There are a load of options to choose from so you can take the easy way out and just choose adjust for best performance (it will end up looking a lot like Windows XP) or you can pick and choose to disable some of the options that might take up valuable system resources. If you want to do them manually I suggest you turn off; anything that says animate – turn it off (uncheck the box) and anything that says fade or slide. This should help you performance quite a bit.
Another tip for speeding up Windows 7 is turning off the Windows Search this thing eats a ton of resources. To disable it simply open control panel, choose programs and features, and then choose turn Windows features on or off link. When the window opens find Windows Search and uncheck the box next to it, click OK and you are done, you may have to reboot before the change works though and usually Windows 7 will tell you if that is the case.
Another resource hog is the Hibernate mode; I suggest turning this off if you don’t use it. To do this go to Control Panel and choose Power Options (settings), change which ever power plan is set to be used (it will have the radio button clicked) you will need to click on the “Change Plan Settings” link. Once in the new window you will want to click the “change advanced power settings link”. Go to the sleep option and expand it, expand hibernate after and set it to NEVER. This should help you out with performance as well.
These suggestions should help you out with some performance issues and will really help you if you have only 1GB of RAM. I am running a 64bit Windows 7 Ultimate with only 2GB of RAM and a 1.8GHZ processor and I haven’t had any issues with Windows 7 performance. I even keep the Aero theme on (it has all the stuff in this we said to turn off set to on) and it runs really fast and clean. I really like Windows 7 and don’t think it has nearly the performance issues Vista did but just in case you want to try to make it faster I hope my suggestions help. Also please post other ideas in the comments to help out others and myself.