Essential Performance Tweaks for Windows 7

tweak_keyboardAlthough Microsoft’s latest operating system Windows 8 is now up for grabs there are many users who would much rather continue using the older Windows 7 with its traditional interface. Whether it is for the better multitasking in Windows 7 due to the ability to open and space out as many windows as you need to or for the comfort and functionality of the Start menu which is a feature absent in Windows 8, the older OS isn’t about to disappear. So, for those who are planning to stick with Windows 7, here are some essential performance tweaks for a powerful user experience.

Windows 7 Tweaks:

Disabling the Search Index Feature

There are a host of functions in Windows 7 that we normally don’t use. The Search Indexingfeature is one of them. It eats into your computer’s performance even when not being used. Those users who frequently perform searches on their PCs should skip this step. To disable this feature:

  • Right click on the icon where it says “Computer” and choose “Manage”.
  • You may now select “Services and Applications” in the screen that opens.
  • When you see a list, right-click on “Windows Search” and select “Properties”.
  • A window will appear where it says “Windows Search Properties” – just select “Disabled” from the drop down menu in front of “Startup Type”.
  • Click on the button “Apply” and “OK” to disable the Search Indexing Feature.

Disabling the Aero Theme

The aero interfacecertainly adds style to your desktop but takes a lot out of the graphics card thus negatively affecting performance. If you check your computer’s memory consumption when aero theme is turned off you’ll find it greatly reduced. To disable this:

  • Right-click and select “Personalize”.
  • Remove the check where it says “Enable Transparency”.
  • Click on ‘classic appearance’.
  • In the window that pops up, select a standard or basic theme, preferably the Standard Windows 7 theme.

Disabling Unnecessary Visual Effects

There are tens of visual effectsin Windows 7 that only serve to bog the system down and most people don’t even notice them. Although they add to the general appearance they can be securely disabled to improve performance.

  • Click “Computer” and then select “Properties”.
  • Click on “Advanced System Settings”.
  • When you see the “System Properties” screen – You can just select the tab that says “Advanced.”
  • Under “Performance”, click on “Settings” and select “Custom”.
  • There you can safely uncheck all but the last four options.

You’ll notice the difference once you log off and log back in.

Disabling the UAC Feature

The User Account Controlfeature is technically supposed to protect your computer from unfamiliar websites and harmful activities. But advanced users can safely disable this feature which can be quite a nuisance sometimes.

  • Open the control panel screen and choose the “User Accounts”.
  • Click the option where it says “Change user account control settings”.
  • Drag the slider down to “Never notify”.
  • Then reboot your system and you are good to go.

Setup the ReadyBoost Service

With the ReadyBoostfeature on Windows 7, you can use your flash drive or USB drive as added RAM and improve your PC’s performance and speed especially when running heavier applications like Photoshop. The external device you use has to be high speed and compatible with ReadyBoost.

  • Plug in the pen drive and open “Computer”.
  • Right-click the pen drive and select “ReadyBoost”.
  • Select the box where you can see “Use this device”.
  • You can then choose the amount of space you want to use on your pen drive.

In addition to the above tweaks, you can turn off all Windows services and features that lie unused which negatively impact your Windows 7 System’s performance. You have to make sure that your PC is running the “High Performance” power plan as only then do you get the optimum performance out of your PC.

An internet enthusiast, Ryan Larkin writes about Internet and Technology. He is writing for www.broadbandproviders.com – the leading provider of the best value broadband internet.