Windows 7 performs much better than Vista (but then so does a cabbage), but you need to have reasonable hardware specs. Nobody likes to be hanging around too long whilst their computer struggles to complete a seemingly easy task. This article will give you basic tips on improving Windows 7 performance and generally speeding your PC up.
Whilst it’s convenient to buy a PC with Windows 7 already installed, retailers often add “extras” to your PC that you just don’t need. And these extras are usually useless and more often than not impede your computer’s performance. A useful utility for getting rid of these useless gifts from PC makers can be found at The PC Decrapifier. Tip: always create a restore point on your computer before you start removing things you think you don’t need!
Speeding Up Boot Time
Typically, the boot time of your PC will increase the more you use it. We know: you just want to turn the damn thing on and start using it. There are a number of steps you can take to combat long boot up times:
- Remove unwanted startup items. Installing new software is an unavoidable consequence of being a human with ever increasing needs. The more software you install, the more startup items you accumulate, such as application launchers and other helper utilities. Although they help their applications start more quickly when you open them, they slow down boot time as they are configured to run at startup. To reduce your list of startup programs, download and run Microsoft’s Autoruns for Windows. Many startup items are updater programs that run automatically and tell you when an update for a program is available to download. We don’t need those as the program will tell us in its own time.
- Disk Cleanup. This useful utility frees up hard drive space by removing unused temporary files.
- Don’t shut down your PC. We are conditioned to turn our machines off, but in actual fact this is usually a redundant task. Windows 7 supports advanced power management states, including Hybrid Sleep and Hibernation, and these states enable your PC to shut down and boot up much more quickly than real shutdowns and boot ups. Alternatively, when you’ve finished with your PC for the day, restart it to free up resources.
- Windows 7 performance options. Click the Start button and search for performance info.
- Turn off unnecessary visuals. The new Windows 7 user interface may be pleasing to look at, but it hampers system performance. If you want to tweak your PC appearance to improve performance, click Start and search for adjust performance. Choose one of: Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer, Adjust for best appearance, and Adjust for best performance.
- Disable animations in the taskbar. This is a new feature for Windows 7. But let’s face it: you don’t need it so turn it off!
- Disable the visual styles on windows and buttons. You don’t need fancy schmancy visuals on your buttons. Turn this feature off to return to the days of ugly buttons and windows. Your PC will be imbued with lightning fast performance. But it’ll be ugly.
- Use the Reliability Monitor. This genius application charts the reliability of your PC and helps you pinpoint problems.
Useful comments from experienced users on how they decrapified their PCs/improved performance are most welcome.