Windows 7 OS was launched in the year 2009 and at that time Microsoft was dedicated to make it more faster, smoother and “simply better” than what its predecessor (Vista, XP, 98 etc.) were. The company has already released the successor of Windows 7 known as Windows 8 (or 8.1), but many people around the world are still using Windows 7 as their computer’s primary operating system.
If you’d like to speed up your Windows 7 based computer, then let’s check out in this post some BASIC but useful tweaks.
Tweaks Related to Visual Effects
Inbuilt visual effects in Windows 7 may bring some treat to your eyes, but these effects affects your system performance as well. Disabling unnecessary visual effects may help you in reducing memory usage of your system and boosting its performance. If you are ready to sacrifice the visual charm of your computer, then following visual tweaks will definitely make your system perform more faster:
Remove unwanted Gadgets from Windows Sidebar
If you are running Gadgets in the sidebar of your desktop, then you should know that these gadgets utilizes your system resources. It is highly recommended that you should completely TURN OFF these gadgets. By turning them off you will be able to free up some extra resources for your system. To turn off any particular gadget, just right click anywhere on it and then select Close Gadget:
Disable Windows Sidebar
Windows inbuilt sidebar feature consumes considerable amount of your system resources. To speed up your computer’s startup time, you should disable Windows 7 sidebar completely. Follow these steps in order to do so:
1. Right click on Windows Sidebar and select Properties. A new window with name Windows Sidebar Properties will pop-up on your screen:
2. On this window uncheck the box which says Start sidebar when Windows starts.
Note: After disabling the sidebar, if you want to re-enable it at a later stage, then just click on Start button, type Sidebar and press ENTER.
Disable Screen Saver
If you are not using an old Monochrome Monitor, which are highly susceptible to screen burns, then you may want to completely disable screen saver on your computer. Disabling the screen saver frees up some extra memory and helps in speeding up your system. Follow these steps in order to do so:
1. Right click anywhere on your Desktop and select Personalize:
2. A new window with name Personalization will open on your screen. Click on Screen Saver’s icon present at the bottom right corner of this window:
3. A new Screen Saver Settings window will pop-up on your screen. On this window under Screen Saver select None using the drop down menu:
4. Click OK.
Completely disable Aero Theme
The most refreshing visual feature in certain versions of Windows 7 OS is perhaps the Aero effect. Aero theme requires great amount of system resources and as a result your PC becomes sluggish. Follow these steps in order to disable Aero effect completely on your computer:
1. Right click anywhere on your Desktop and select Personalize.
2. When Personalization window opens on your screen, click on Windows Color present at the bottom.
3. Now un-check the box present in front of Enable Transparency to disable Aero Transparency completely. Once done click on Save changes button:
Use Icons instead of Thumbnails
If you have a huge amount of data stored on your computer’s hard drive then you may have have noticed that it takes a while to load the thumbnails of all your files and folders. This process uses a lot of your computer’s resources and as a result affects your overall file browsing experience in Windows Explorer. You can increase the browsing speed of your files and folders by using simple icons instead of fancy thumbnails. All you need to do is to follow these steps:
1. Open My Computer, click on Tools menu and then click on Folder Options. A new Folder options window will pop-up on your screen:
2. On this window, head over to View Tab and then check the box Always show icons, never thumbnails:
3. Click OK.
Tweak Related to Audio
Audio is an integral part of your computer’s operating system. However various types of audio effects also uses your system resources and contributes in slowing down your machine. Following tweak may help you in freeing up some extra resources on your computer:
1. Click on Start button and in the search box/RUN box, type mmsys.cpl and press ENTER.
2. A new Sound window will pop-up on your screen. On this window navigate to Sounds tab:
3. Change the Sound Scheme to No Sounds and click on OK Button.
Tweak Related to Hard Drive
One of the most important components of any computer is its hard drive. Freeing the hard drive from unwanted and unnecessary clutter may help you in improving your system’s performance.
There are many unwanted files stored on your computer’s hard drive at different locations such as in Downloaded Program Files folder, Temp files folder, Internet cache, Saved forms, Passwords etc. Cleaning all such junk files may give your system a performance boost. Disk Cleanup is one such system tool. Follow these steps in order to perform a cleanup of your system using Disk Cleanup:
1. Click on the Start Button and then navigate to All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup. Now select the drive that you want to clean up using Disk Cleanup and click OK:
The program will first calculate the amount of space that could be freed up on your selected partition and then provide you with a list of all the files that are available for deletion:
3. Check the files that you want to delete and click OK to perform the Cleanup. A final confirmation box will appear in front of you. On this box Click on Delete files button and it’s all done:
Note: If you’d like to clean junk files on your hard disk drive more efficiently, then you should download and install CCleaner. The application allows you to scan and clean following:
- Temporary internet files or Internet Cache.
- Internet and download History.
- Cookies and sessions.
- Recently typed URLs.
- Index.dat files.
- Last download location.
- Auto-complete form history or saved form information.
- Site preferences.
- Saved passwords.
- Recycle bin.
- Font cache.
- DNS cache.
- Windows error reporting.
- Windows log files.
- Chkdsk file fragments.
- Memory dumps.
- Windows event logs.
- Outdated Prefetch data.
- Menu order cache.
- Tray notification cache.
- Window size/location cache.
- Environment path.
- User assist history.
- Registry entries – Missing shared DLLs, Unused file extensions, ActiveX and Class issues, Type libraries, Applications, Fonts, Application paths, help files, installer, Obsolete software, Run at startup, Start menu ordering, MUI cache, Sound events and Windows services.
- and more…
Tweak Related to Power
By default the power plan in Windows Operating system is set to Balanced and this setting is perhaps the best to accomplish everyday tasks like editing documents, surfing the web, watching videos etc.
But if you use a heavy application (or play a resource intensive game) on your machine that needs maximum amount of resources, then you need to change your power plan accordingly in order to favor the performance. The power plan High Performance may help you get this job done. To change the power plan of your computer, simply follow these steps:
1. Click on Start Button > go to Control Panel > click on Hardware and Sounds > Power Options.
2. Now Choose High Performance under Select a power plan:
If you want then you can further customize all these power plans. To do so click on change plan settings and you will be able to set following things on the next screen:
- Time after which your display gets automatically dimmed.
- Time after which your display gets turned off automatically.
- Time after which your computer is put to sleep automatically.
- Adjust your screen’s brightness.
To customize advanced settings for a particular power plan, click on Change Advanced Power Settings and a new Power options window will pop-up. On this window you can:
- Set the time after which your hard drive gets turned off automatically. If you don’t want to turn off your hard drive automatically, then select NEVER using the drop down menu under both Battery and plugged in.
- Set power saving mode for your wireless adapter.
- Set suspend settings for your USB.
- Set power management options for your processor like minimum processor state, system cooling policy and maximum state of processor.
- Set even more options as per your requirements.
Once you have done all the above mentioned tweaks, we are now ready to follow the Advanced Tweak Guide.