As one of the most popular operating systems in the world, Windows 7 is used by millions of people every day. Unfortunately, like all operating systems, Windows 7 is not immune to slowdowns, crashes, and bugs. Today, we’re going to look at some of the things you can do to speed up Windows 7 as quickly and easily as possible.
First, it’s important to confirm that your computer has the minimum hardware required to run Windows 7. If you don’t, then trying to speed up your PC will be an effort that ends in frustration. Here are the bare minimum requirements that your PC needs to run Windows 7:
- 1GHZ CPU (Can be either 32-bit or 64-bit)
- 1GB of memory
- 16GB of hard drive space
- 128MB graphics card (If you don’t want to run the Aero interface, then you might be able to get away with a lower-end graphics card)
- A DVD – R/W drive
Now that you’ve confirmed that your computer meets or exceeds all of the requirements listed above, it’s time to tweak your performance.
Disable extra visual effects
Not every computer has a top of the line graphics card. If you find that your computer’s performance with Windows 7 leaves something to be desired, then you may want to disable some of the extra visual effects that are displayed on the screen. Follow the steps listed below to do just that:
- Right click on ‘My Computer’ and select ‘Properties’
- Choose ‘Advanced System Settings’, which will open up the ‘System Properties’ window
- Choose the ‘Advanced’ tab
- Find ‘Performance’ and click on ‘Settings’. Choose the custom option.
- Next, simply uncheck all of the visual effects except the last 4.
- Restart your computer. You should notice an increase in performance, particularly when switching between windows or browsing through files and folders.
Disable Aero theme
As cool as the Aero effects appear to be, they can cause some computers to slow down. Fortunately, disabling this effect is very straightforward. Simply follow these steps:
- Right click on any blank spot on your desktop and select ‘Personalize’
- Choose the ‘Window Color’ tab
- De-select the box which says ‘Enable Transparency’ and then choose ‘Open classic appearance properties for more color options’
- This will cause a window to open up. Choose to apply a Standard or Basic theme (most users prefer the standard theme).
Disable search indexing
One of the most convenient parts of Windows 7 is its constant search indexing, which allows users to instantly scan their computer for any files that they need. Unfortunately, search indexing also takes up valuable system resources and disabling this feature can result in massive increases in performance.
To disable search indexing, follow these steps:
- Right click on ‘My Computer’ and click ‘Manage’
- Click ‘Services and Applications’, which is located under the ‘Computer Management’ window
- Click on ‘Services’
- You should see a long list of Windows services. Find ‘Windows Search’, right click on it, and choose ‘Properties’
- Find ‘Startup Type’ in the window that pops up, click on the drop-down menu, and click ‘Disabled’
- Apply your changes and press ‘OK’
Disable unused Windows programs and features
Windows 7 comes with a lot of extra tools. However, if you never use these extra features, then there is no point in running them on your computer, and disabling them can speed up your PC’s performance. To disable some of Windows’ extra features, follow the following steps:
- Go to the Windows Control Panel
- Open ‘Programs and Features’
- Choose the ‘Turn Windows Features On and Off’, which should be in the left window
- De-select any features that you don’t use and then restart your computer to apply these changes.
Maximize your computer’s power options
If you’re running Windows 7 on a laptop, then it may be in a lower performance mode by default. While this mode can preserve precious battery life, it can frustrate users who are already having performance issues. Some desktop PCs with Windows 7 may even have this feature enabled, and if you want to make Windows 7 go faster, then you will want to bump it up to a higher performance mode. Here’s how to do that:
- Open up the ‘Start’ menu and select ‘Control Panel’
- Choose ‘Power Options’
- Choose the arrow that says ‘Show Additional Plans’ and select the ‘High Performance’ power plan
- Click on the ‘advanced’ tab for further tweaking of power options