Windows 7 is the best-looking and the fastest Microsoft operating system so far. With the right hardware and settings it runs better than XP and is way faster than Vista. But some users complain of having a slow computer even though they have Windows 7. This usually happens when Windows 7 is either installed on an older computer or if the OS is not optimized for a particular hardware configuration. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to tweak Windows 7 for better speed and performance. Here are 5 tips to help you make your Windows 7 PC run faster.
1. Disable Aero
If you prefer performance over fancy looks, then disabling Aero is a great way of boosting your Windows 7 PC’s speed. That’s because disabling Aero will free up RAM. Here is how it’s done:
- Right-click on your desktop and select Personalize, then go to the Windows Color tab
- Uncheck the Enable Transparency box and then click on Open classic appearance properties for more color options
- A new window will open. Choose the Standard theme and apply it.
Now your Windows 7 won’t look as fancy as it did, but it will definitely run faster.
2. Enable ReadyBoost
ReadyBoost is a feature that made its way into Windows 7 from Vista. With this feature you can use a USB thumb drive as secondary memory cache, which increases computer performance. Remember that using ReadyBoost is not as effective as adding RAM, though.
To enable ReadyBoost simply plug in the flash drive and you will see the ReadyBoost option in the AutoPlay window. You can also enable ReadyBoost by right-clicking on your USB drive in Windows Explorer and going to its Properties.
3. Disable the sidebar (Windows Vista only)
The Windows 7 sidebar is cool – there’s no doubt about that. But at the same time it can increase startup time, especially if you have a lot of other items loading at Windows boot. Here is how you can disable the sidebar and gain a couple of seconds during startup:
- Right-click on the sidebar and go to Properties
- Uncheck the Start sidebar when Windows starts checkbox
- That’s it. Now your Windows will start without the sidebar
4. Disable Windows sounds
Do you really like the sounds Windows makes when starting up, shutting down, and so on? Windows sounds are totally useless and they take up system resources. The good news is that you can disable them:
- Go to Control Panel – Hardware and Sound – Change system sounds.
- Find the Sound Scheme drop-down menu.
- Select No Sounds and uncheck Play Windows Startup sound. Click OK and you’re done.
5. Adjust indexing
Like in any version of Windows, indexing in Windows 7 is designed to speed up search. But there is a downside to it as well – indexing takes up system resources and can slow down your PC when you are not searching. The answer is to adjust indexing options and index only the locations you search frequently:
- Go to the Control Panel, search for Indexing and select Indexing Options
- Click on Modify. Make sure you have Show All Locations enabled.
- Clear the checkboxes for the folders you rarely search.
Now your Windows 7 computer should run faster and smoother. Don’t forget to cleanup junk files and defrag your hard drivers regularly to keep your PC healthy for even better performance.