Windows

10 ways to speed up Windows 7

You don't have to live with a Windows 7 machine that's becoming unbearably slow. Here are 10 basic steps that will optimize system performance.

With Windows 7, Microsoft did a really good job making the system perform well. However, over time, Windows 7 systems can slow down and need some care and feeding to regain their former glory. Further, some Windows 7 features can be leveraged to improve overall system performance. In this article, I will outline 10 steps you can take to boost the performance of your Windows 7 systems.

Note: This post is also available as a PDF download.

1: Disable unnecessary services

Not every system service that is running on a stock Windows 7 machine is necessary. A number of services can either be disabled or modified to run only when needed. Once you make these changes, the service no longer has to consume system resources and the system no longer has to spend time starting the service. Earlier this year, I wrote an article here at TechRepublic titled 10+ Windows 7 services you may not need.

2: Reduce the number of startup items

Windows 7 systems eventually begin to suffer under the weight of software that is installed in the normal course of business. Many software titles install more than is necessary and include helper applications designed solely to make the software start up more quickly or facilitate other communication (e.g., iTunes helper). And new software installations might add a permanent presence to the system tray, even if it's not absolutely necessary for the system to function (Steam games, for example).

You could go through your system tool by tool and remove the offending software, but you might want to keep the underlying tool around and just prevent the helper from loading. This and more can be accomplished through the use of MSconfig, a tool that has long been a part of Windows. MSconfig allows you to selectively disable startup items and take other steps toward improving overall system performance.

To use MSconfig, go to Start and in the search box, type MSconfig. From the Startup tab (Figure A), you can disable items. Just be careful about what you choose.

Figure A

Disable items to improve overall system performance.

3: Remove the bloatware installed by vendors

I've long felt that Microsoft's OEMs sometimes actively work against the Redmond behemoth and sully the company's name. Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of what has become known as "bloatware." In the never-ending race to the bottom of the PC market, lower cost PCs have had their profit margins bolstered by OEMs through the inclusion of mostly junk software - short-term trials and the like -- that does nothing but add a few dollars of profit while bringing performance to a crawl. Frankly, this is one of the reasons that I believe that Microsoft's Surface announcement, in which Microsoft noted that it would make its own device, is brilliant. The company needs to start with a clean slate in some ways (no pun intended).

If your PC shipped with a bunch of stuff you'll never use, get rid of that software. Generally, you can go to Start | Control Panel | Programs And Features (Figure B) and remove software you no longer plan to use. If the software adds items to the startup process, getting rid of it will make the PC start faster and, ultimately, perform better overall.

Figure B

Use Programs And Features to remove unwanted software.

4: Keep viruses and spyware off your system

If you're running Windows, you need to be running an anti-malware program to keep viruses and spyware off your system. Nothing will ruin good performance like a boatload of spyware. My personal favorite (and free!) tool for combating malware is Microsoft Security Essentials. In my experience, it's been successful in catching bad stuff while not significantly degrading system performance itself.

5: Check your memory

How much RAM do you have? Is your system consuming all or most of your RAM? Does the system page out to disk? If so, you're suffering a massive performance hit, which can be solved by adding more memory to your PC. Greg Shultz explains how to do this by using Resource Monitor.

6: Go solid state

Solid state is all the rage these days, and with good reason. It's fast! More and more laptops and even desktops are moving to the technology because of the performance benefits. Solid state disks use memory cells from which data can be read very quickly, as opposed to the relatively plodding nature of rotational storage. By moving to SSD, you can give your Windows 7 system renewed life -- and give yourself a whole new user experience.

But SSDs can be expensive, so you need to be smart about how to use them in the most cost-effective way. See ZDnet's Windows 7 and SSDs: Trimming the fat from your system drive for tips on manking good decisions about how to implement SSD.

7: Ensure that power settings favor performance

This one is easy! When you're plugged in, configure Windows 7's power plans to favor performance over power savings. When you choose to use Windows 7' high performance power plan, you might increase the computer's performance in some (but not all) circumstances. It really depends on the kind of work you're doing and how often you allow the computer to sit idle.

To change power plans, go to Start | Control Panel | Power Options and choose your power plan settings (Figure C). For more about how these plans operate, see Evaluate the efficiency of Windows 7 power plan settings.

Figure C

Go to Power Options to choose Windows 7 power plan settings.

8: Keep your system defragmented (unless you've followed item 6)

If you're using a traditional spinning disk in your Windows 7 system, you can keep your system operating at peak efficiency by periodically defragmenting the hard drive. If, however, you've opted to go with SSD-based storage, don't do this. First, you won't get any performance benefit and second, you'll significantly reduce the life of that expensive SSD.

Disk defragmentation is scheduled to take place once per week, but you can change this by going to Start | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Defragmenter (Figure D). In addition to changing the schedule, you can run an on-demand defrag from here. You can also run a defrag from the command line instead of from a GUI. Bill Detwiler's video explains how.

Figure D

You can schedule a defrag in the Disk Defragmenter dialog box.

9: Disable or tune search indexing

Windows 7's search is good, but it can also affect system performance. If you really need to run a tool at full tilt, you can disable indexing altogether. Or you can tune the indexer to meet your specific needs, possibly reducing its overall impact on system performance.

10: Use ReadyBoost

Perhaps you don't want to jump into the solid-state game right away but would like some of the benefit that can be had from flash-based storage. Using nothing more than a USB stick, you can do so through a Windows 7 feature known as ReadyBoost. (Note that if you're already using an SSD as your system drive, ReadyBoost won't be available, since there would be no performance gain.)

ReadyBoost allows the system to make use of one of these speedy storage devices as a cache, improving overall performance of the system. The flash storage device that you choose to use for ReadyBoost should meet the following specifications set by Microsoft:

  • Capacity of at least 256 MB, with at least 64 kilobytes (KB) of free space
  • At least a 2.5 MB/sec throughput for 4-KB random reads
  • At least a 1.75 MB/sec throughput for 1MB random writes
Here's another nice feature: If Windows doesn't think ReadyBoost will provide a performance gain, it will tell you and won't let you enable it. In Figure E, you can see that I've opened the properties for a portable USB stick, which I've added to my Windows 7 system. However, Windows knows that the system disk is already fast enough, so ReadyBoost isn't available as an option. If you want to learn more about how to enable and configure ReadyBoost in your system, see Take a closer look at ReadyBoost features in Windows 7.

Figure E

ReadyBoost isn't needed for this system.

About

Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive w...

62 comments
glossoprepairs
glossoprepairs

I agree that all the above, done with guidance can actually improve overall system performance but I think that unless you know what you are doing, 90% of the above shouldn't be done, as one slight tick box may make your machine inoperable. Here at glossoprepaircentre.co.uk We make sure that we we do, is proven to get results. 

alfredan
alfredan

use krojam cleaner it might be help full.

ooparvez
ooparvez


i completet some few step as u submeted that blog frist disable unnecsssary services
the reduce the number of startup then remove the bloawater installed by vendor but unforchuantaly
i dont use any antivirus beacsue i m not a big person u know then i cheak may memory and many more u provided
but bassicly i dont understand how to go power settingg favor can u explain how can i do it thank for doos posting
<a href="http://www.aniyanetworks.net"> aniyanetworks  ltd </a>

jortiz8
jortiz8

A lot of consumers don't realize the amount of unnecessary software that comes pre-installed in their computers. What's even worse is that they automatically run at start up and impact system performance significantly. I use Autoruns to prevent a majority of these programs from starting up.

zaidmark
zaidmark

I addition, one should be adjusting its PC for best performance instead appearance. Compromising on Appearance, results in high speed so you should adjust your PC for best performance. moreover, Along with disk defragmentation, doing Registry Defrag also helps programs to load faster. you can defrag registry with help of safe registry cleaners like Registry Recycler (http://www.registryrecycler.com/). Plus, regular maintenance such as cleaning temp files and browser clean up is important for overall speed increment.

Bob in upstate NY
Bob in upstate NY

av-comparatives.org has tested Microsoft Security Essentials and found it wanting. In the most recent file-detection report (September 2012; I believe another is due this month), MSE missed 5% of the malware samples. That's a lot! Only two products were worse, PC Tools and Webroot. See http://av-comparatives.org/images/docs/avc_fdt_201209_en.pdf No anti-virus program is perfect, but MSE is too too imperfect, even if one person has had good results.

StevenDDeacon
StevenDDeacon

Perform Windows Registry Reorgs regularly. A cluttered Registry may have a significant impact to system performance. How to ... Create a System Restore Point following immediately by recovering the system using this newly created System Restore Point. Note ... It is best to do this after taking your regular System Backup and have cut a new bootable System Repair "Disc" after completion of the System Backup. Also consider looking at Windows utilities which provide this service.

vietit21
vietit21

Very usefull for me! Tks! -------------------- Asean Vietnam Travel Bang dinh

thawks88
thawks88

Disabling unnecessary services is also a good way to speed up your system. Also minimizing the amount of programs that automatically start up when you boot. Microsoft Security Essentials is an excellent anti-malware. I also prefer McAffee as my anti-virus, it is definitely the best. Set up scheduled scans on your PC or laptop to avoid future attacks as well.

zwayne
zwayne

Surprised no one has mentioned the great freebie autoruns (now owned by ms) to manage/disable/delete startup items, services, tasks, etc, as well as to get a comprehensive overview of codecs, drivers, and other stuff installed. It will also take you directly to the registry entry if so desired.

Monijo2
Monijo2

I started working for a small company with 25 computers, and in the past 5 months, I've had to clean one computer that had several rootkits (one was ZeroAccess) and many trojans, exploiters, etc. I've also had two others that were infected while I was here, and I was able to stop them and get them straight pretty quickly. The only antivirus that was installed was Security Essentials. Since then, I have enabled/installed Windows Defender, Avast, and kept the Security Essentials, and have had no more problems. I also run the occasional MalwareBytes scan, just to be safe. Don't ever depend on just one antivirus solution.

garry
garry

I'm one of these geeks that takes care of a lot of end users in our company. I have learned, and try to teach my team members something about understanding when an end user complains about speed. Don't always assume that it is the speed of the computer or Windows they are actually complaining about. A lot of times it's the speed of a program or the start up speed where they have changed something that they thought would speed up the first time on in the morning (like putting Outlook and IE into the start menu, or having 10 home pages in their browser). So before you start looking for bloatware, or extra items in MSconfig, interview the end user. Have them show you what they are talking about. I've had people say "my computer is so slow" and come to find out they are doing wide parameter searches in our County Document Imaging program. There is 7TB of data they can search through, and they'll have it search through 5TB of it. Or they try going to a certain website, and it's always slow to open. Here again, it's not the computer that's slow but that's the only way they know how to explain it.

fluxtatic
fluxtatic

With 500GB or 1TB disks being the norm, defragging is hardly necessary anymore. Generally, by the time a defrag would do any good, you may as well wipe and reinstall Windows itself. Happily, even that is not necessary like was up through the XP days. If you're running 64-bit, memory is so dirt cheap you may as well get at least 8GB. When I upgraded my work PC from 4GB to 8GB a week or so ago, the 4GB cost $28. Shove in another 4GB and turn the page file off - Windows has gotten better, but it still likes paging way more than is necessary. If you're feeling ambitious, get 16GB, use a utility like ImDisk to create an 8GB startup RAM drive and point programs to that for temp/caching. I had a SQLite db I would load into my RAM drive and queries that would take nearly a minute from HDD would take 10 seconds from RAM. Avoiding multiple A/V packages is solid advice - I recently cleaned up a C2D desktop running Vista that took nearly 15 minutes to fully boot. Once it did, I discovered the problem was not spyware or viruses...it was 4 different A/V programs and two more anti-spy/'tuner' programs that would all start up on boot. All that said, this article seems a little mis-aimed. This might be good advice to post up on MSN or Yahoo, not TR.

rpetitpas
rpetitpas

In many years looking how to speed up Windows systems, I came to this conclusion draw from experience: if I run a utility to "wipe" or to "compact" the MFT, the system will run snappiest than ever. That should be done along with the rest of the other steps. Windows do spend a lot of time going through that MFT for its file accesses. If you have many many files, lets say from having temporarily backuped user files or that kind of thigns, your MFT is bloated and a treatment to it will do wonders. Alas there are very few utilities to do that. I have found R-Wipe&Clean and a product from Paragon. Best regards, Roberto

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys

I run Win 7 Pro 64 bit on an Asus 2.33GHz intel quad core with 8 gig ram. We run nothing but Avast antivirus on all our machines here at home. Weekly maintenance is spybot S & D, malwarebytes, and ccleaner with the occasional Avast boot time scan. I've also turned off all the bells and whistles (I'm not a fan of fancy, flashy things that just slow down my machine and make things look like cartoons). My husband bought me this machine 3 yrs ago so I would have something decent to do my school work on when I returned to college. I think we may have reloaded it once but to this day, it boots in less than 15 seconds. Thanks honey :)

Sensei Humor
Sensei Humor

First off, RedyBoost should be at the top of the list. A 4 GB thumb drive is cheap and the speed difference is extremely noticeable. Secondly, resident anti malware programs are a scam. In addition to eating your RAM and CPU cycles they are quite invasive. Get Spybot Search & Destroy ONLY from http://www.safer-networking.org/ or a mirror linked from that site. Update it once a week and schedule it to run twice a week. Then get What's Running or Process Explorer (SysInternals) and know what's happening on your system. Both of those free products will show you what is actually running on your system, including the contents of Microsoft sanctioned wrappers such as svchost. This is the equivalent of knowing how to change your oil or change your tire on your car, basic knowledge. It's YOUR computer, not Microsoft's. Take some personal responsibility.

desecam
desecam

I have a brand new Acer Aspire 5349 3Gb DDR3 Ram and 320 Gb disc, running Windows 7. My my machine isn't slow in boot up but extremely slow in closing down. Boot up in less than 1 min closing min. 1,5-2 min. Any ideas

Gisabun
Gisabun

Readybiost wil only take 4GB of disk space. on a USB key or SD card. Buy the clas 10 SD card, insert it and forget it. Beter than a USB key. Don't expect huge improvements in sped though. If you get a largert key or SD you can move your temp folders over to it. [Not realy a sped boster but use a third party DNS service like OpenDNS instead of your ISP. Your ISP won't block much or any malware/suspicios sites. places like OpenDNS will.

dosmastr
dosmastr

I'm following most in here by design of default. Default: I installed 7 myself and thus have 0 bloatware This also means minimal startup items.... though wifie's WP 7.5 is demanding I install zune software if i want to get anything off of it. So far no spyware. (install is ruffly 8 months old) And by design I use readyboost, hey I had a spare flash drive so why not.

dosmastr
dosmastr

I;v got an old pent D 805.. he runs windows 7 fine, 6 seconds to shut down and about 30 to start. MUCH FASTER than vista which was probably about 30 to shut down and at least 3 minutes to start. Now if only my android phone could boot in under 5 minutes.....

Sir_Twist
Sir_Twist

First of all, I get the feeling that this is written mainly for a desktop computer. Second, laptops need some of what's called bloatware to run. I own a Toshiba Satellite laptop, and need the TECO, or Toshiba Eco Utility, it helps with the power management. As well as a couple other things. Now, let's tackle the list, as if we are on a desktop. 1) Some services aren't needed, some should never be ran, and some are needed. Remote desktop is not needed and should never be running, or ran, at all. The remote desktop from Micro$oft. 2) There are somethings you can disable for startup, but do you really need to turn off somethings to make a decent machine faster? Of course running a 6 core AMD Phenom II, it's fairly fast, and you don't need to turn off as much. 3) If you built your own computer, installed Windows 7 from CD, or DVD now, you don't have any bloatware, but Windows. If you buy your computer off the shelf, then you will have some stuff added by manufacturer, vendor, and even store. Google is your friend here, and use it to search and make sure things are good, or not. 4) Run one anti-virus, a couple of anti-spyware/malware programs, and Windows stuff. Now, I recommend Avast for the anti-virus. Others use AVG, others other stuff. Go with what you like, and comfortable with. As for anti-malware, the absolute best is Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware. Keep it running all the time. MBAM is one of the best out there. There are others you can run, as well. 5) Memory is good, but make sure your motherboard, etc. can handle more memory, sometimes you have wiggle room, sometimes you don't. 6) SSD is nice, if you can afford it. But I would put the money towards a better CPU, cooling, memory, video card, etc. before you buy a SSD. The little speed you gain from an SSD is offset by the amount of space they have. 7) Desktops, if you are like me, are never off, so you do need to adjust the power settings. I recommend, though, that you adjust it for max performance, and never turn off the monitor, you can do that yourself. You can adjust other things. But never turn off your hard drives, unless the system is going to sleep. And then only put the drives to sleep as well. 8) you should schedule defrags for when you aren't using your computer. Either asleep, at work, etc. Running a defrag in the middle of an intense game will do more harm than good. Utilities that do defrag as well are better than Micro$oft's defrag 9) I hate search in windows 7. I prefer the older XP method. It's should be an option on 7, not mandatory. And I prefer searching from where I need to be, not from the start menu. 10) If have the USB slots for Readyboost, then you should use it. I recommend double, at least, the memory you have, if not triple, or more. Readyboost is a nice thing, for the moment. But buying more memory may negate the need of Readyboost. And guess what people, this is placing the page file on a flash drive. If you don't have a flash drive, then another hard drive, or partition, can be made for just your page file, and won't take up all that hard drive space, and you should be able to defrag that space.

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

I notice in the updated laptops with 4-8 GB ram, core i5/i7 and ssd hard drives, the ammoung of software loaded at startup is irrelevant. I check a very good vaio laptop with 2 x ssd in raid0 with tons of software loaded in memory and works like a charm. Is amazing the performance you can get in the pc systems today. video cards now have 2Gb of ddr5, cpu have 8 cores, you can have tons of memory: 8gb to 32gb without too much investment. And with generation 4 SSD, the performance bottleneck is not now in storage. I spend less time now tuning computers.

kevin
kevin

I'll start at the beginning. #1 Services: Microsoft has already done a pretty good job of optimizing Win 7, you said that yourself in the first sentence. Shutting down additional services probably isn't going to help much since some disable themselves anyway when there is no purpose. You won't save move that a blink of your eye...maybe. #2 Startup Item: This is the primary cause of poor performance. It seems that every programmer thinks I want to 'Quick-Start' their code just because I turned on my computer. WRONG! Again, for what to salvage a blink of an eye in the course of a days work. DUMP EVERY STARTUP DEVICE except what is native to Windows and specific to built-in hardware. That ALSO means the crapware from your printer. I don't need to be told my INK is low or the printer is out of paper, just to be lead off to some webpage to replenish supplies. BUT WAIT don't be stupid here. DO NOT USE MSCONFIG! MSCONFIG is a troubleshooting tool NOT a bootloader! DO NOT EVER RUN WINDOWS in any other mode than NORMAL STARTUP. Using MSCONFIG to control startup devices is a LAZY and irresponsible way for a TECH to deal with the problem. First, look at each device that loads. If you don't need it at all, remove it entirely using the control panel 'Programs and Features'. If you want it present choose whatever options/preferences that control starting with Windows. If there are no choices use REGEDIT find where it loads in RUN and delete the entry. DO NOT USE MSCONFIG!!!!!!!! #3 and #4 are already understood DUH! #5 and #6 Well, of course add new HARDWARE, more memory, Solid State drive, hey while your at it swap out that 2nd Gen core i5 for the new 3rd Gen i7...Come on man, anybody can tell someone they could use the newest hardware. After a couple weeks everything is obsolete anyway. This is supposed to be advise on how to improve on what we have to work with. #7 Defragmentation: The default settings of Windows 7 will take care of that for you. The only time one might run this manually is after installing something like MS Office and the 100 updates that butchers your hard drive into microscopic sized fragments. On the other hand, leave it alone and Win 7 will straighten that out for you. #8 Power settings: Are you kidding? Changing power setting only change what devices shut down or sleep while you are not in front of your computer. If you are plagued with waiting for your computer to resume from hibernation multiple time during your work day just disable it completely, but power setting won't make the computer 'faster'. #9 Search indexing: Really? Just uninstall Google Desktop or similar junkware. #10 Readyboost: Again anybody can advise NEW HARDWARE. Most flashdrives won't help performance anyway. Run the Performance Index in the Control Panel device 'System' with and without Readyboost. Not even a blink of on eye. Here is what you totally left out: Control Panel System Advanced System Settings Performance Settings Adjust for Best Performance Windows will never adjust anything for you. All the performance robbing functions of Windows should be disabled.

michael.speyer
michael.speyer

Do EXACTLY what people have been suggesting eversince the roll-out of Windows 7. Why did this author spend the time duplicating what has been easily sourced in search engines for YEARS??? This is OLD, OLD news! There are, infact, many more tweaks which have a far more noticeable impact on Win7 performance such as uac, superfetch, network auto-tuning (I call it DE-tuning), aero peek, sidebar and ten-tonne more which the author negated to mention. Poor article, poor plagiarism, lack of effort and a very bad advice throughout. :(

TsarNikky
TsarNikky

Items #1 and #2 are always on the list. But, make it easy for non-hyper techie types to do it. Trying to decipher cryptic services file names is not fun, nor is the "try it and see what happens" method.

ecmorgan69
ecmorgan69

My SATA3 SSDs made an incredible difference in performance. I have four presently in my PC - 120GB C Drive (Windows, some apps,) 120 GB D Drive (still empty - haven't decided what to install on it yet,) 240 GB E Drive (Steam & Origin games - FPS games need the speed to load maps,) Older 80 GB F Drive (still empty as well.) The biggest lag I run into at boot time is from the Asus Sabertooth 990FX UEFI boot checks which for some reason are about 20 seconds, and after that, about 15 seconds max. Opening apps is just about instantaneous. Kicking the RAM up to 8GB minimum helps a lot as well.

remanuel
remanuel

For years I have despised the poor performance of the Microsoft search utility, indexing included. Recently I tried a free utility called EVERYTHING. I am constantly amazed that it takes only seconds to search entire disk(s) to produce a complete listing. Everything does create a database but to kick things off but even that only takes a very short time - from then on Everything will be creating a list on the screen as you are typing in the search target.

wedge1
wedge1

Supposedly that reduces drive fragmentation on traditional drives, but I've heard mixed feelings about that in Windows 7. Thoughts?

1DaveN
1DaveN

Aside from the obvious benefits of quick and accurate PC-wide search, the indexing service rapidly and efficiently gives up resources when needed by other processes. When you're working on your PC, indexing pauses until you're finished. It would never cross my mind to turn it off - search is a function I use frequently, and IMO disabling it would eliminate one of the most useful functions of the PC.

bmadams
bmadams

Having worked with all versions of Windows for many years its interesting that, for the most part, the basic "Speedup Tweaks" have really never changed...I would also suggest, for low end machines (CPU/Ram limited), turn off automatic update, run them manually monthly or biweekly, especially for Laptops

Sir_Twist
Sir_Twist

Defrag is good, no matter what. It is still needed, no matter what. It helps with compacting things down, and freeing some drive space.

Sir_Twist
Sir_Twist

Not 4 gig, as 4 gig will only allow you to use 2 gig for ready boost. 8 or more will help, a little. And only if you have enough USB slots to do it.

Sir_Twist
Sir_Twist

Ready boost will take a little over half of what is on a flash drive. So a 2 gig flash drive will "boost" your system up to 1 gig, maybe a tad more. 4 gig, 2 gig. 8 gig, 4 gig, 16 gig, about 8 gig, etc. So, 8 gig should be the smallest, unless you have 4 gig of memory already. 16 or more would help, to a point. As to malware/suspicious sites, a good anti-virus, anti-malware (MalwareBytes Anti-Malware is great), and OpenDNS all help.

j-mccurdy
j-mccurdy

I'm calling bull crap on the Pentium D with a 30 second boot time. No way unless you stuck an SSD in it. I have done too many clean installs with Windows 7 to buy that.

Slayer_
Slayer_

It doesn't take long to search the file tables. But the index search tends to cause files to get missed, especially if they are on a network drive.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

is bloated down with unnecessary junk, services, etc. that don't necessarily need to be running on every workstation (desktop / laptop) by the time I've finished configuring a bare install the running process count is split almost in half a fresh install of XP SP3 is around 30 - 35 processes as shown in task manager when I'm done configuring it's usually down to 17 - 20 laptops tend to be just a bit more because of extra hardware such as wireless NIC, etc. but my XP laptops still only weigh in at 24 - 26 processes

Audiblenod
Audiblenod

For #1 and #2, a competent tech can use Autoruns. This is the superuser version of MSCONFIG. If you're in an enterprise environment and have mapped drives; use a batch file at startup to "net use" to the mapped drives each time instead of letting Windows handle it. I've found this saves 5-10 seconds if you have 5 or more mapped drives and printers. (#5) Sticking to Sysinternals, use RAMMAP to observe and troubleshoot your memory. Identify heavyhitting apps and eliminate/mitigate them. (#3) Schedule a 'spring cleaining' for your system to remove old apps and archive personal files and pictures. And everyone once in a while, test out your backup-recovery plan.

hillelana
hillelana

Please tell me what's wrong with using msconfig to control startup.

F___M
F___M

First thing I look for is some "genius expert" using msconfig. Leave services at default. Disk cleanup and defrag after a major software and update install. I could go on forever... Best bet? FIND (if you can) and PAY a tech that knows what they are doing.

jdm12
jdm12

Ditto in my experience. Most of this also has to do with start up speed. The SSD drive probably provides the biggest performance gain, but that's like placing a Farrari engine in the car. You can gain the speed if you're willing to pay the cash. I've also found that multiple hard drives add speed to desk tops. Failing that, partitioning drives also provides a slight performance boost by, among other things, decreasing fragmentation issues. Data rarely becomes fragmented on a partition separate from the partition with the OS on it. The same is true for applications.

Sir_Twist
Sir_Twist

I have a network drive, so I can access things. In order for me to find things in anything other than XP, I just use a search engine, and type in where is thisflie.xxx and search. I am careful when I do that, as sometimes the files are in different places, or I could even get to a website I don't want to go to. Most of the time, though, I do rather well on that subject, and I don't need to search for everything all the time. Just when I am playing games on both my desktop and laptop, and can't find where to put the files from XP into 7 to play the game from where I left off.

jonc2011
jonc2011

If you don't use a network drive (like me) - no problem. If you do use a network drive - don't ask Windows to index it. Simple. I wouldn't give away my indexing for quids. Allows me to search the 80,000 files in my data partition for text or filename in a split second.

Sir_Twist
Sir_Twist

I know that Windows itself has some stuff that maybe needed to run it. I have about 45 processes right now, some are what I need to run parts of my system, like my mouse driver, and also the drivers for my sound card. I have a Razer Lachesis mouse, and a Creative Sound Blaster sound card. I can't really give those up, in order to increase memory, but I do shut down other things I don't need.

John.P.Dearing
John.P.Dearing

There's absolutely nothing wrong with using MSCONFIG as a troubleshooting tool to temporarily alter startup. It was never designed to be used on a permanent basis though. It was designed to allow you to easily turn things on/off and test the results. After things are the way you like them, go and make the necessary permanent changes and put MSCONFIG back in normal startup mode. It's a troubleshooting tool, an excellent one, but a tool nonetheless.

enderby!
enderby!

Nothing really wrong with msconfig. Some garbage keeps getting reinstalled unless you are obsessed with avoiding websites and installs. Using regedit and searching for the related file system objects to get rid of something which will very likely get reinstalled later is not for everyone. Not everything can be located easily with search in regedit, particularly if it is encrypted or used odd key names. It depends on the circumstance whether you really have the time and inclination to be a purist, and, for me, paying someone else to clean my PC feels like hiring a male prostitute for my wife. Use the Windows image create just in case and make exports of the keys you are touching. With a good image (and restore disk) available, you can hack away without too much fear.

hillelana
hillelana

Gotta admit. I'm one of those hobbyist "genius experts". Thanks for answering my question, but please allow me to rephrase it. I noticed that in Windows 7, msconfig actually tells you the date items were disabled. Gives me the impression it's not just a temporary tool, at least in W7. I really meant to ask, what could go wrong with leaving the settings changed in msconfig? With your alternate solution, regedit, I know one mistake can mess up the whole system.