Windows

Quick Tip: Speed up menus in Windows 7

If you are still trying to squeeze more speed and performance out of Windows 7, here is a tip that will accelerate the display of menu items.

For some users, Microsoft Windows 7 can never go fast enough. There is always a tweak or Registry edit that can squeeze more speed and performance out of the operating system. This Quick Tip shows you how to speed up the display of menu items in Windows 7 with a simple Registry edit.

Note: Editing the Windows Registry file, if not done correctly, could make a PC unusable. Please, back up the Registry file before you attempt this tip. This blog post is also available in PDF format in a TechRepublic download.
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Speedy menus

Follow these steps to speed up menu display in Windows 7. In the Start Menu's Search box, type the word "regedit" and click the regedit.exe entry (Figure A).

Figure A

Start the Registry editor.

Under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive, navigate to this key:

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

In the right-hand pane, look for the MenuShowDelay item (Figure B).

Figure B

Locate the MenuShowDelay item.
Right-click on the MenuShowDelay item and select the Modify option in the context menu (Figure C).

Figure C

Click Modify.
You can now change the value in the Edit String dialog box to a number lower than the default 400 (Figure D).

Warning, don't go crazy and set the value at zero or otherwise extraordinarily low because it could make navigating Windows impossible. A better value would be around 100.

Figure D

Change the default value.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

10 comments
Mr. Fix
Mr. Fix

Totally unnecessary! Utilities are available that can tweak these settings FOR YOU. TweakNow PowerPack 2011, for example, is a FREE download and it's packed with all kinds of performance enhancing tweaks, including the one featured here which may be found under the category "Windows Secret/Start Menu/Menu Delay". As the author suggested, I always set it to 100 milliseconds, which works really great in conjunction with fade/slide animations turned off, as TG2 suggests. Like many other performance degrading novelties, who needs them?

TuneUp Utilities
TuneUp Utilities

Thanks for this tip, Mark. I think it???s important to do everything you can to squeeze out the most performance from your PC. For users who are looking for some additional tweaks, I just put together a blog post on how to automate your PC with Windows Task Scheduler ??? this tool can definitely save you time and frustration . If you???d like more info, check it out: http://bit.ly/hsfep5

TG2
TG2

Why not also disable menu fade? And for that you don't have to go into the registry .... speeding up the display of menus gives many users a feeling of snappy peppy performance. Control Panel -> System -> left side "Advanced system settings" -> top section of the "Advanced" tab, click the Performance Settings button. And there, even for the lazy, are choices to set for Best Appearance, Best Performance, or Custom ... who needs the Fade effect? or the "Slide open" effects.. yeah.. they're uber cool the first few times.. but more often distracting when we're serious about getting things done.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Will this work with Vista or XP or even server editions?

NetMan1958
NetMan1958

Was there supposed to be a link to an article or something here? If so, I don't see it.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you have a quick registry edit that you have found useful and would like to share?

jonlee1580
jonlee1580

@Mr. Fix yup...a pretty decent software...have been using it for years and its free and safe in the sense there's a backup point and it does registry backup for you if I remember

Cystor
Cystor

Ouch! Double snappy fast. Cleans up all that nancy boy designer decor as well.

Theoran
Theoran

Yes. This trick has been the same since at least Windows 98 and possibly Win95.

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