7 Ways to Speed Up Windows 7

Windows 7 is the most demanding Windows operating system to date. It requires at least 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of hard drive space, and recommends a multi-core processor. Due to these tough requirements, it could help you out to tweak Windows 7 to run more efficiently.

Disable Visual Effects

The visual effects in Windows 7 are nice and add to the experience. They aren’t that great if your computer is running really slowly though.  To get a speed boost, you can use the steps below to disable the visual effect.

  • Locate and right click on “Computer” and then select “Properties”.
  • Click on “Advanced System Settings”.
  • In the new window that just opened up, select the “Advanced” tab in it.
  • Next, Under “Performance”, click on “Settings”. Choose “Custom:” Options from it.
  • Next, uncheck all of the options and select only the last four options.
  • Click Save and then restart your computer. Keep in mind you can always undo what you just did.

Disable the Aero Theme

The Aero theme is another cosmetic improvement in Windows 7. However, it can really slow the PC down. The Aero user interface really taxes your graphics card and your CPU. If you need the extra speed, then it is not a bad idea to disable it.

  • Right Click on your Desktop and select “Personalize”.
  • Click the Window Color Tab.
  • Uncheck the Box that says “Enable Transparency” and then click on “Open classic appearance properties for more color options”.
  • Next, a window will open up.
  • Apply either the Standard or Basic theme from it. We would recommend the Standard theme.

Defragment Your Hard Drive

If you haven’t defragmented your hard drive in a while, you should take the time to do this. You can get to this by clicking start, in the search box type “defragment”, and then by clicking on the defragmentation tool.

Have a USB drive sitting around? Use Windows ReadyBoost

ReadyBoost is a feature in Windows 7 that allows you to add system memory by connecting a flash drive. If you are on the low-end when it comes to memory, this is a good thing to try. Keep in mind that it is better to just buy more memory then to go out and buy a flash drive for this only.

Clean the Hard Drive

Windows 7 needs a certain amount of free disk space to function properly. Moving or deleting old programs, files, and folders can help your hard drive run more efficiently.

Stop Unneeded Programs from Automatically Starting Up

You can make your Windows 7 machine run faster by only starting up programs as they are needed.  There are probably quite a few unneeded programs that you didn’t even know were opening at startup. To manage windows startup, click start, type “msconfig” in the search box, hit the enter key, and click on the startup tab. From here you can disable programs that you don’t want Windows to automatically start up.

Turn Off Desktop Gadgets

Every Gadget you add requires system resources to run. You can turn some or all of these gadgets off. Turn them off by typing “gadgets” into the start menu search bar, choose “View list of running gadgets” and then select each gadget you want to get rid of and click Remove.

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Computer Maintenance Schedule

I was asked by a few of my readers lately about what my monthly, or even weekly, computer maintenance schedule looked like. I figured this was a blog-worthy topic. Let’s dive right into what a good computer maintenance schedule looks like.

Weekly PC Maintenance Tasks

There are a few things that should be done on a weekly basis for sure. The first, and probably most important, is to run a virus scan. I would highly recommend setting up some type of automated schedule in your virus protection software so you don’t forget to do this. I personally like to do Friday at lunch for my work PC. This way I am not disrupted by the scan too much.

Another task I would recommend doing weekly or biweekly is defragmenting your hard drive. This will keep your hard drive running efficiently at all times and keep fragmentation at a minimum.

Monthly Computer Maintenance Tasks

There are things that should be done on a monthly basis as well. I like to run a spyware scan monthly to make sure my computer stays spyware free. This is something that could be done more often if you would like. I would recommend Ad-Aware as a good, free spyware scanner.

Another good task to do monthly is cleaning up your disk when it comes to unused programs, folders, and files. I like to delete temporary files and cookies, check to see if I have any unused programs I can delete, and check to see if I have any old docs, videos, pictures, etc that I can delete. Cleaning up your disk monthly can help keep your disk usage low and your hard drive running efficiently.

One last thing I like to do monthly is to clean my registry. This is something that I would consider optional. This is a debated topic as some people say it does wonders and other people think it is not worth the risk. The risk being you could delete a needed registry key. Most registry cleaners backup your registry before cleaning, which should cut down or even eliminate any risk. I personally have not had any problems when using a registry cleaner. Also, I have tested it using performance monitoring tools and noticed that it does help performance a bit. I personally use Registry Booster. However, there are many good registry cleaners on the market.

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