Speed Up Windows 7

Category: Windows-7

I loved your tips on making XP run faster. But I just upgraded to Windows 7, so now I'm looking for ideas on how to make Windows 7 faster. Can you share any tips and tricks?

How to Speed Up Windows 7

Windows 7 is slicker and glitzier than any previous version of Windows. But some people don't want slick; they want raw speed. Dazzling visual effects come at a performance cost. Here is how to tone down the glitz in Windows 7 and get more of your computing power back.

I'm glad you mentioned my article on how to Make Windows XP Run Faster, because the most of the tips listed there apply equally well to Vista or Windows 7 as well. I suggest you try each of the performance boosting ideas there first, then come back here for some tips that are more specific to Windows 7.
Speed Up Windows 7

Back already? Okay, our first Windows 7 performance tip has to do with tweaking your visual effects. To begin, click Start, type "SystemPropertiesPerformance.exe" and hit Enter to open the System Properties Performance control console. On the "Visual Effects" tab, uncheck the box next to "Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing." That will save a lot of CPU cycles when switching from one window to another. Also, experiment with disabling the other visual effects to see which ones you can live without. Each effect disabled will gain you a bit of speed. To turn off the snazzy Aero interface completely, right-click the Desktop and select Personalize from the popup. Then scroll down and select the Basic theme.

Eliminating Unnecessary Windows 7 Services

Like every version of Windows before it, Windows 7 installs by default with numerous services active in memory. These services consume RAM and CPU cycles, and many of them are unnecessary for home and small business users. They just slow down your system. There are a number of services you can turn off safely if you do not use them. Here's how:

Click Start and in the search box type "services.msc" and then hit Enter. (Note: you should not use the Microsoft System Configuration Utility ("msconfig.exe") for this process; it only enables/disables the starting of a service at logon. Services.msc gives you more control over how a service behaves.) Going down the lengthy list of services, here are many that the average home or small business user does not need:

  • Application Experience
  • Error Reporting Service
  • Desktop Window Manager Session Manager (only needed with Aero)
  • Diagnostic Policy Service
  • IP Helper
  • Offline Files
  • Portable Device Enumerator Service
  • Distributed Link Tracking Client
  • Protected Storage
  • Secondary Logon
  • Server (If your computer does not connect with any network)
  • Tablet PC Input Service
  • Themes
  • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
  • Windows Media Center Service Launcher
  • Windows Search
  • Remote Registry
  • Windows Time
  • Windows firewall (most high-speed routers have a firewall built in)

Disable a service by un-checking the box to its left. If you want more details about what any of these services are for, check out the BlackViper Windows 7 Service Configurations page. When in doubt, leave a service on. Reboot after clicking OK to save your changes. If Windows tells you it needs a service in order to complete a task, just run the services.msc program and enable the service again.

Don't Try This at Home... Really.

There's another idea floating around the Web that tweaking a setting in MSCONFIG's Boot/Advanced Options will turbocharge your boot time by enabling all available processor cores. But it turns out that you don't have to tell Windows to use all processors during boot-up -- it does this automatically. So why does the "Number of Processors" option exist? According to Microsoft reps who have posted in various online forums, it's only there to LIMIT the number of processors during boot-up, in order to troubleshoot certain hardware or software problems. So there's nothing to see here folks... move along!

Do you have other tips on speeding up Windows 7? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Speed Up Windows 7"

Posted by:

23 Mar 2010

In addition to Black Viper's excellent website I'd also recommend looking through the Performance & Maintenance section here:


Posted by:

23 Mar 2010

For free personal use only, Belarc Advisor shows you the number of cores your CPU has, as well as a pile of other useful information about your PC.

While it's nice to have a fast PC, it's also nice to make use of the features your PC came with as appropriate for what you do. I love Aero!

Posted by:

23 Mar 2010

OMG! Amazing boot tip re the dual core processor. Thank you! My Win7 & WinXP Pro desktops now boot even faster than before!

Posted by:

Tune Up
26 Mar 2010

Thanks for these tips! Although, increasing your start-up speed by changing your CPU setting will not work. We did a test to see if this was possible and our test results show that it’s false. How were you able to prove this? What kind of test did you performed? If you would like to check out our results please click here http://bit.ly/d5cZHk

Posted by:

30 Mar 2010

These tips are always useful, although is not advisable to turn off some of Win services. You never know what the user will need to run. But even turning off all the services, it is not a big help when we are talking about an OS that consumes all the resources available to do simple tasks.

I'm struggling with Win 7 on my laptop because seems that an Intel 1.30 GHz and 3 GiB RAM is not enough to keep Win 7 running fast. Ubuntu however, that is installed on the second partition, fly like a bird with all the services and fancy animations turned on.

So far, the only machine that I saw running Win 7 perfectly was an Intel Duo Core 2.5 GHz with 6 (six) MiB DDR3. Is that really necessary all that? Soon we will need a NASA computer to run Windows.

Posted by:

Jim Green
31 Mar 2010

Anyone claiming the "enable more processors" item from msconfig speeds ANYTHING up, is experiencing the placebo effect. According Microsoft support (multiple confirmations)all cores are enabled by default. The ONLY use for the "enable more processors" option is strictly for testing your system using LESS than your maximum number of core. As one MSMVP succinctly put it, "this option absolutely does not speed up boot time...."

Posted by:

04 Apr 2010

Re: The "enable more processors" tweak in msconfig. I have a dual core laptop. I looked at this setting and the check box next to "1" is ticked. The option to check the box for "2" processors is there. So which is it... is my machine using only one out of two processors or is it really using both processors? If it's using both processors by default, why is the box for "1" processor checked? According to the article and Jim Green wouldn't this mean my laptop is being LIMITED to one processor? Shouldn't the box for "2" be checked?

Posted by:

05 Apr 2010

Follow-up info re: "enable more processors" tweak. I opened Task Manager while the box for "1" processor was checked. I clicked on the Performance tab and was presented with a single CPU Usage History graph. I ran 5 separate cold boots, timed them with a stopwatch from the moment I hit the power button until my desktop appeared and my network connection became functional. My average re-boot time was 78 seconds.

I went to msconfig, changed the box to "2" processors, and went back to Task Manager. I now show two separate graphs for CPU Usage History. Next, I repeated the 5 separate cold boots and got an average boot time of 67 seconds. Seems obvious that changing the msconfig from "1" processor to "2" processors had an effect on my machine.

Maybe an 11 second decrease in boot time isn't all that earth-shattering. And maybe the fact that Task Manager now shows two graphs instead of one is merely coincidental. And certainly, this was not a scientifically controlled experiment using multiple computers with multiple types of processors. But I have to conclude that SOMETHING changed and it was more than a placebo effect. Based on my own observations I would recommend that people go to msconfig > boot tab > advanced options and make sure your computer hasn't been LIMITED by default.

Posted by:

30 May 2010

thanx for inprovement like speed up my win 7...

Posted by:

07 Mar 2011

Manually tuning your system is not a good choice and may have bad side effects which cannot be recovered. It's better to use a good and comprehensive tuning software already tested and approved. A very good example which I like is TuneUp Utilities.

Posted by:

12 Mar 2011

Hey! Thanks for mentioning about service configurations. Usually, i checked the box named "Hide all Microsoft services and remove some unnecessary services. Here is my guide. Hope it also helps


Posted by:

29 Aug 2011

@Frank: your page is unpublished. If you ever want to republish it or let us know why you removed it, I'd appreciate it.

Posted by:

19 May 2012

Thanks Bob; arrived here from your email and tore into services.msc. Sure helped me id what was going on and what wasn't needed. Now to see if there's any improvement. Wins7 keeps growing and I've been trying to make more room on this partition. Also ran task manager and found that Google chrome browser uses a bunch more resources than Opera browser. Netflix doesn't work on Opera without some sort of browser fix. Had Firefox for years but since version 10 it kept CRASHING and I ditched it yesterday. Really disappointing when filling out job applications. Will visit the Black Viper site for other suggestions. Thanks again.

Posted by:

29 Mar 2013

I really like Process Explorer to help determine unneeded processes. It's like Task Manager (on crack) pardon the pun. I wrote a guide on http://fixingaslowcomputer.com showing how to use it on the post called "Too Many Programs Running at Once". I hope you find it useful. Feel free to leave a comment.

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