Tips on how to speed up Windows 7
Dec 21, 2009, 17:51 GMT
Washington - Windows 7 has been lauded because it's no slower than Windows Vista. In fact, in some benchmarks, it's almost as fast as Windows XP. But that doesn't mean it's fast enough. In the never-ending quest for speed, many Windows users want lean and mean Windows machines, ones that respond instantaneously, or close to it. The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can tweak Windows 7 to perform faster than it does out of the box. Here are a few.
--- Turn off animations
Windows 7, like Vista before it, sometimes appears slower than it actually is. That's due in great part to animations that are used to make the operating system seem more sophisticated. Animations include applications windows that slowly merge into the taskbar when an application is minimised, menus that slide open rather than snap open, and dialog boxes that gradually zoom into view rather than appear suddenly.
While these animations may be appealing at first glance, those who value speed rather than glitz will want to turn them off and thereby increase the perceived responsiveness of Windows 7. To do so, open the Start menu, and type 'adjust.' Click the search result labeled 'Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows.' The Performance Options dialog box opens.
From the Visual Effects tab in the Performance Options dialog box, you could simply click the option button labeled 'Adjust for best performance,' but doing so simply turns off every conceivable visual effect in Windows 7. You may wish to be more selective by scrolling through the list of visual enhancements and specifically de- activating those that mention 'fading,' 'sliding,' or 'animations.' Experiment to see which options you can turn off and still be satisfied with the look and feel of Windows 7.
Note that de-selecting the option labeled 'Enable transparent glass' will largely remove one of the major interface features provided by Aero, Microsoft's name for the graphical enhancements provided to the operating system since XP. De-activating anything related to Aero or transparent glass will result in onscreen windows that are slightly more responsive and may be of particular use to notebook and netbook users who do not have high-end graphics cards installed.
--- Boot up faster
One of Microsoft's goals with Windows 7 was to increase the operating system's boot speed - the amount of time you have to wait between hitting the power button and seeing a working desktop. In Vista, bootup time was far too slow. Things have improved with Windows 7 - for some users, dramatically so - but there's always room for improvement.
Open the Start menu, type 'msconfig,' and press Enter. When the search result msconfig.exe appears, click it. The System Configuration applet opens. Click the Boot tab, and then click the Advanced Options button. In the resulting BOOT Advanced Options dialog box, select the 'Number of processor' check box, and from the drop-down list box below, select the number of processors in your computer. For dual core systems, select 2, and for quad-core, select 4. Click OK. Back in the System Configuration dialog box, you can optionally select the 'No GUI boot' check box, which will tell Windows 7 not to waste time loading any graphical displays before taking you to your logon prompt. Click Apply.
Now switch to the Startup tab in the System Configuration dialog box. There, you'll see a list of programs and processes that load each time you start your computer. If you see some that you know you don't need upon startup, turn them off by de-selecting the appropriate check boxes. This tweak may end up benefitting you the most, since it's not uncommon for people to end up with dozens of unnecessary startup processes after they've installed applications that wedge themselves into your startup routine without your knowledge.
Also, don't forget to visit the Programs and Features dialog box in Windows 7 every once in a while in order to remove programs that you no longer use. Keeping your Windows 7 machine unburdened by unused applications is a sure-fire way to keep your system running at top speed.
--- Filter out unused fonts
Finally, take the time to make an adjustment that many people never think of when it comes to improving both bootup times and overall system performance: reduce the number of fonts you have installed to just those you actually use.
Windows loads into memory each installed font that you have on your computer each time your computer starts. The reason: faster retrieval when you actually call upon the font in an application. But most of us use a small fraction of the number of fonts installed on our Windows machines. In fact, you probably have dozens if not hundreds of fonts that were installed by applications without your knowledge. You can safely delete them.
Or, to be safe, before you delete fonts from your Windows 7 computer, you might want to move them to a folder for safe-keeping until you find out whether moving without them will break any of your applications. To move fonts, open the Windows 7 Start menu, and type 'fonts.' Click the first search result, which should be the Fonts folder. Within the fonts folder, select any fonts you wish to move by first copying them to a different folder and then deleting them from the Fonts folder itself.