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Windows Optimal Settings

How to Optimize Windows Appearance Settings

Everybody loves nice-looking things and cool designs no matter whether it’s clothes, gadgets or your computer. That’s why most people love the way Windows 7 looks with all of its visual effects enabled. And that’s why people tend to download cool wallpapers and have elaborate screensavers. But did you know that cool looks come at a cost?

Graphics and visual effects are very resource-hungry and can severely affect system performance, especially if you have an older computer and an integrated video card that has no dedicated memory of its own. Even if you have a newer, more powerful system with a graphics card that has its own memory, you could make your computer run faster and smoother by optimizing Windows appearance settings.

Turn off wallpaper and disable screensaver

The first thing I recommend is switching off your wallpaper and screensaver. Wallpapers and screensavers can take up a massive amount of RAM and a fair bit of disk space. Both your wallpaper and your screensaver are not needed by your PC and only have an aesthetic value. True, screensavers were a necessity for old CRT screens, but now they are pretty much obsolete, just like the screens that required them.

Switching your wallpaper and screensaver off is super-easy:

Windows XP:

1.       Right-click somewhere on your desktop and click on Properties
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2.       Go to the Desktop tab and set the background to None. You can then choose a background color that you like best.
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3.       Now go to the Screensaver tab and set it to None.
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4.       Click Apply, then click OK and that’s it!

Windows 7:

1.       Right-click somewhere on your desktop and click on Personalize
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2.       Click on the Desktop Background icon, then select Solid Colors in the Picture Location drop-down box and choose a background color that you like best.
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4.       Click on the Save changes button.
5.       Now click on the Screen Saver - None icon to disable the screensaver.
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6.       Click OK and that’s it!
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Adjust color scheme and visual effects

Remember that the pretty Windows is not the fastest Windows, especially if you have the “eye candy” Windows 7 with Aero and transparency enabled. So, if in your book performance is more important than looks, you should consider choosing a more minimalistic look. Here is how:

Windows XP:

1.       Press the Windows key + the Pause/Break key to open System Properties
2.       Go to the Advanced tab
3.       Locate the Performance section and click on the Settings button
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4.       Now select the Adjust for best performance radio button.
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This will make your Windows look very minimalistic and even out of date. If you don’t mind that, then simply enjoy the performance gain. But if you’d still like XP to look more like XP, simply select the Custom radio button and select the visual effect you like.
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Windows 7:

If it’s the first time you are customizing Windows 7 appearance settings, you will need to switch Aero off. Yes, it looks nice, but it’s also exceptionally resource-hungry. Here is how you can disable Aero:

1.       Right-click somewhere on your desktop and go to Personalize
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2.       Now you can select a less resource-hungry theme, such as Windows 7 Basic or Windows Classic.

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If you want to keep Aero, but still gain some performance, click Window Color in the same window and uncheck the Enable Transparency box.

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You can also use the Windows XP method described above to adjust Windows 7 for best performance.

There are other things you can do to optimize Windows appearance settings. We’ve covered them  in our ebook “Turbo Windows – the Ultimate PC Speed Up Guide”. Download it for FREE now!

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