9 Windows 7 Speed Hacks

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Microsoft created Windows 7 from the ground up for speed. Because of this, Vista users were told that they would see a noticeable performance increase after upgrading to Windows 7 on the same machine.

For the most part, analysts seem to agree that Windows 7 is faster than Vista, but there are still plenty of ways for you to make Windows 7 even faster. Here you will find 9 Windows 7 speed hacks that will help you squeeze out the most performance from your machine.

1. Turn off the Windows search index:

A lot of system resources are spent running the Windows indexing service that could be used better for productive work. To make this change, select the “Computer Management” option after clicking “Manage” from the right-click context menu for the “Computer” icon on your desktop. Next, click the “Services and Applications” option and then choose “Services.” Scroll down until you see “Windows Search” in the main window. Double click on it and change the startup setting to “Disabled.”

2. Boost your hard drive performance with AHCI:

If you have a SATA hard drive, open Regedit and browse to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetservicesmsahci” and set it to zero. When this is done, reboot and enter your BIOS setup and make sure AHCI is turned on there.

3. Set your system for best performance:

Press and hold the Windows “Start” key and then pres “R” to open your “Run” window. Type in the following into the “Open” field: “SystemPropertiesPerformance.” When the “Performance Options” window opens, click the “Adjust for best performance” option. You should notice a speed improvement right away.

4. Turn off Aero:


Aero is the cool, 3D looking interface and wallpaper that looks really nice and slows down your computer. To turn this off, right click the desktop and choose “Personalize.” From there, select a theme from the “Basic and High Contrast” group.

5. Disable unneeded services:

Windows search index isn’t the only service you can turn off to speed up Windows Services like “Application Experience,” “Diagnostic Policy Service,” “Distributed Link Tracking Client” and others can safely be set to “Manual Start” so they are available in case they are needed, but stay out of the way when they’re not. Search Google to find one of many lists available that document the services you can disable or set to manual start.

6. Get the junk off of your new computer:

You can manually uninstall pre-installed software or you can use a free tool such as the PC Decrapifier (http://www.pcdecrapifier.com) to get rid of all that junk at once. Now that all that stuff you really can’t use anyway is taken off your computer, you will find that Windows 7 will start up and run faster.

7. Turn off the “Open with Internet” option for unknown file types:

Windows slows to a crawl when you try to open a file type that is not registered on your system because it starts polling the Internet for possible applications you can open it with. Disable this annoyance by using Regedit to browse to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer” and then creating a DWORD value called “NoInternetOpenWith.” Set this new value to “1.” This will speed Windows by taking you directly to the application selection list.

8. Turn off User Account Control (UAC):


Open Control Panel and then choose the “User Accounts and Family Safety” icon. Choose the “Change User Account Control Settings” under the “User Accounts” menu. Move the control slide to the very bottom.

9. Get rid of unused features:

Open Control Panel and then choose the “Programs and Features” icon. Click the “Turn Windows features on or off” option and then turn off the things you never use.

Use these 9 Windows speed hacks to make your computer work harder for you. You will get more done and have more time for yourself.

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Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

I am Vishal Gaikar, Software Engineer, Web Addicted, Living in Maharashtra, India. If you like This post, you can follow Tricks Machine on Twitter, also you can add me on Google+.

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  • Morgan

    Please please please could tweak sites stop recommending that UAC be disabled?  It’s a useful features that stops a lot of viruses/worms/rootkits/etc.  Unless you are just getting a new computer set up and thus installing a lot of software the UAC prompt doesn’t really show up that often.  Most of the time that the UAC prompt is displayed it is because software is trying to write to areas of the computer that it shouldn’t be.  Either try to find an updated version that works properly on newer (vista/7) versions of windows or find software written by a developer that cares about keeping up with changing windows paradigms that are put in place to improve security.

  • Joakim

    Disabling UAC is a really bad idea. Most end users have no clue about security, and every bit helps when they surf porn and download warez.

  • Ken Creten

    I am in total agreement with Morgan and Joakim.

    It’s very bad to coach people to turn UAC off. I would never tell anyone to do that, let alone toss that suggestion out on the Net. Let alone for liability, but disabling a designed-in part of Windows security for the sake of … probably no speed increase; not a good exchange. Then, consider your audience. You’re a software engineer. People with less knowledge might trust you. You might be sitting behind some hellatious firewall you built, but who else is? This recommendation could hurt people.

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