If you have followed our BASIC guide to speed up Windows 7 OS, then in this post we are ready to see some advanced tips that allows you to further speed up your machine. Keep in mind that in order to perform below mentioned tweaks you are required to login to your computer as an administrator, as all these tweaks requires administrative privileges.
- If you DON’T understand what you are doing, then try not to follow everything in this guide blindly. Read this guide carefully, understand the things and then only proceed with the tweaks.
- Some of the below mentioned tips are also applicable for those machines which are running Windows 8/8.1/10 OS.
Advanced Tweak related to Visual Effects
Adjust the Appearance and Performance of Windows
To favor performance Windows 7 OS gives you loads of options to adjust the appearance of your computer all at one place. To customize the appearance of your computer as per your requirements, all you need to do is to follow these simple steps:
1. Right Click on the icon of My Computer and select Properties:
2. Click on Performance Information and Tools present at the bottom left corner of your screen and then on the next screen select Adjust Visual Effects:
3. A new Performance options window will pop-up on your screen. On this window, under the Visual Effects Tab, first select Adjust for Best Performance and then check all the sub-options that you’d like to enable like:
- Animate controls and elements inside Windows.
- Animate Windows when minimizing and maximizing.
- Animations in the taskbar and start menu.
- Enable desktop composition.
- Fade or slide menus into view.
- Fade or slide ToolTips into view.
- Fade out menu items after clicking.
- Save taskbar thumbnail previews.
- Show shadows under mouse pointer.
- Show shadows under Windows.
- Show thumbnails instead of icons.
- Show translucent selection rectangle.
- Show window contents while dragging.
- Slide open combo boxes.
- Smooth edges of screen fonts.
- Smooth scroll list boxes.
- Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop.
- Use visual styles on Windows and buttons.
Note: If you uncheck the the last option i.e. Use visual styles on Windows and buttons, then it will disable almost every charm element present in Windows 7 and you will have to use a Windows 98 styled theme. Using a Windows 98 styled theme is perhaps the best way to boost overall speed of your system.
Advanced Tweak related to System Configuration
Disable Unwanted Start-up Items
When you start or reboot your computer, many unnecessary processes and services may automatically load during start-up and these processes eventually slow down your computer. However Windows OS allows you to disable unnecessary processes at startup. Follow these steps in order to do so:
1. Type msconfig in the RUN/Search box and press ENTER. A System Configuration window will pop-up on your screen. On this window head over to Startup tab:
2. On this tab you will be able to see a list of all start-up items (programs) that automatically loads when your computer starts. Apart from the name of the program you will be able to see following details also:
- Name of Manufacturer/Publisher in front of the name of each program.
- Exact location of the program on your computer’s hard drive.
- Location of program in your system’s registry.
- Date on which a particular program was disabled.
Read about all the items VERY CAREFULLY before you disable any of them. Once you are sure about all the programs that shouldn’t load at startup, un-check the box present in front of their name and click on OK Button.
Keep in mind that to apply your new startup settings, a system restart is required.
Disable Unnecessary Services
Suppose you are watching your favorite movie on your computer and at the same time many services automatically start and runs silently in the background, secretly eating your system resources. These can be Microsoft services or services of a third party software installed by you.
Disabling these type of services frees up considerable amount of system resources and makes your computer faster. To disable unwanted Windows Services follow these steps one by one:
1. Type msconfig in the RUN/Search box and press ENTER. A System Configuration window will pop-up on your screen. On this window navigate to Services tab and check the option Hide all Microsoft Services present at the bottom left corner of the window:
2. You can now uncheck all the third-party services that you do not want to silently start and run in the background. Keep in mind that after un-checking any service, you will have to start/update it manually.
3. Click on OK button. To apply your new settings, a system restart is required.
Turn Off unnecessary Windows 7 Features
Windows 7 OS provides you with many features that improves user experience. Yet there are many features that we neither use nor require. Thus, it is a good idea to disable all such features, as it helps in speeding up your machine. To disable unnecessary features on your computer, follow these steps:
1. Click on Start button and go to Control Panel. When Control Panel window opens on your screen, click on Programs:
2. Under Programs and Features, select Turn Windows features ON or OFF:
4. You can now browse through an entire list of features that are currently enabled on your machine. To turn any feature off, simply uncheck the box present in front of its name:
Using this window, you will be able to enable/disable following features:
- Internet Explorer.
- Internet Information Services.
- XPS Services and Viewer.
- Work Folders client.
- Windows TIFF Filer.
- Windows Process Activation Service.
- Windows PowerShell.
- Windows location provider.
- Windows identity foundation.
- TFTP client.
- Telnet server and client.
- Indexing service: Windows Search Indexing helps to search your files faster, but also eats up considerable amount of system resources in the background. If you do not perform frequent searches and want best performance, then disabling Search Indexing is a good option.
- Windows Search.
5. Click OK. A system restart is needed for the new settings to take effect.
Advanced Tweaks related to Hard Drive and other Devices
Defragment the Hard Disk
When there is not enough space left on a particular drive on your computer, Windows starts placing your files and program data wherever there is space on your hard drive. Due to this a file may not be located at one particular physical place on your hard drive. This process keeps on continuing overtime and your system eventually becomes sluggish.
A Disk defragmenter is a software that arranges all scattered parts of a particular file together in same location on the drive, so that the Operating system can access that file/information quickly. To de-fragment your hard drive using Windows in-built disk defragmenter follow these steps:
1. Click on Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.
2. Under Current status, select the drive you want to defragment.
3. Now click on Analyze disk to see the fragmentation level and if your disk needs to be defragmented. If the number of fragmented files is above 10 percent, it is generally advised to defragment your drive.
4. Click on Defragment disk to start the defragmentation process:
Important note: Try not to use your computer for other tasks when defragmentation process is running.
Enable Write Caching On Device
Windows OS provides you with an option to increase the performance of your system by flushing the changed data to the Hard Drive, whenever the system is idle. In other words, Disk Write Caching help applications to run faster as it allows them to run without waiting for the data write requests to be written to the Hard Drive.
Keep in mind that you should not enable this option unless you have an external power backup like UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) attached to your computer OR you are working on a portable device. Because in case of a power outage the system data may get corrupted and you may lose your system partitions and valuable data. Follow these steps in order to enable disk writing cache on your computer:
1. Right click on Computer and select Properties.
2. A new window will open on your screen, on this screen click on Device Manager present in the left sidebar:
3. A new Device Manager window will open on your screen. On this window look for Disk Drives category and expand it.
4. Now right click on the drive on which you’d like to enable write caching and then select Properties:
5. A new window will pop-up on your screen, on this window navigate to Policies Tab and check the option Enable Write Caching on the device, under Write-caching policies:
6. Click on OK button and it’s all done. After applying this setting you will see a considerable improvement in the performance of your applications.
Turn On ReadyBoost
Windows OS provides you a very useful feature that allows you to use a Flash Drive or a Thumb Drive as Memory (RAM) to speed up your system. All you need to do is to plug-in the device to your computer and do a little configuration and you are good to go. For best results, it is recommended that you should use a device that has a storage capacity of at least double the amount of RAM on your system. To enable ReadyBoost follow these steps:
1. Plug-in the USB storage device to your computer. When an Auto-play box pops-up on your screen, click on Use this Device to speed up my system:
OR Plug in the device > go to Computer > Right click on the name of the device and then select Properties:
2. A new device properties window will pop-up on your screen. On this window, navigate to ReadyBoost tab and choose one of the following options:
- Select Do not use this device if ReadyBoost is already active and you’d like to turn it off.
- Select Dedicate this device to ReadyBoost, if you’d like to utilize the maximum available space on your device as a RAM. Keep in mind that if there are files stored on your device, then Windows won’t erase them; instead the OS will leave them and use the rest of the space to speed up your system.
- Select Use this device, if you don’t wish to allocate entire available space of your device to ReadyBoost. Once you have selected this option, move the slider to allocate the amount of space you wish to assign to ReadyBoost.
3. Once everything is done, click on OK button.
- ReadyBoost can be considered a very useful feature if your computer has less than 1 GB of RAM and you need to use resource intensive applications on it.
- When you are using ReadyBoost, you won’t be able to use the USB device for storage and file transfer.
Hope above mentioned tips helps in speeding up your system.