Optimize Windows 7 – quick tips

By Liz Cornwell | June 14, 2009 |

greater than 2 minutes

Optimize Windows 7Windows 7 looks and feels a lot better than any previous Windows version – it’s fast, responsive, and highly customizable. Nevertheless, it’s still possible to optimize Windows 7 for even better speed, performance, and usability. Here are a few “how to make my computer faster” tips that will help you.

1. Optimize appearance settings

Like in any Windows OS, you can disable visual effects for maximum performance. Here’s how:

  • Go to System Properties (press Windows + Pause/Break keys and then click the Advanced system settings link from the left panel);
  • Select Advanced tab;
  • Then press the Settings button in the Performance section;
  • A new window will open;
  • Select the Adjust for best performance radio button.

If you don’t like the minimalistic early-Windows look, select the Custom radio button, uncheck the effects you don’t need, and leave the effects you like.


2. Switch between windows faster

The Minimize – Maximize window animation was introduced in Windows Vista and made its way into Windows 7. While it does look cool, it also creates a delay and makes your PC slower. Disabling this effect is really easy. It will speed up your computer and make it more responsive.

  • Type SystemPropertiesPerformance in the Start menu search field and hit Enter;
  • Go to the Visual Effects tab;
  • Uncheck Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing;
  • Click OK.

3. Customize folder and search options

Another thing you can do is customize folder and search options. Disabling some features will help you save system resources and improve performance.

  • Open Windows Explorer;
  • Go to Organize -> Folder and Search Options;
  • Select View tab;
  • Disable the following:

– Hide extensions for known file types;
– Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items;
– Display file size information in folder tips;
– Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in colour.

4. Optimize Windows 7 UAC

Windows 7 UAC (User Account Control) isn’t nearly as annoying as Vista’s. While UAC is a good thing in theory, you might want to make it less intrusive and change the way it works:

  • Type UAC in the Start menu search field and hit Enter;
  • Now you can adjust the settings to your liking. Usually it’s good to have the slider just above Never notify, since that way UAC doesn’t keep annoying you and provides the necessary security at the same time.

5. Expand the “Send To” menu

A lot of people love right-clicking because it’s such a great way to get more options quickly. For example, the “Send To” option when you click on a folder in Windows Explorer can save you a lot of time.

By default the Windows 7 “Send To menu” offers a choice of only a few locations:

That doesn’t look too impressive. But luckily there is a simple trick to it – press Shift before right-clicking and the “Send To” menu will expand:

Now that looks a lot better, don’t you think?


6. Use keyboard shortcuts

Strictly speaking, this is not actual Windows 7 optimization, but using these keyboard shortcuts will improve your Windows 7 experience:

Press these keys: To do this:
Alt + P Display/hide the Explorer preview pane
Windows key + G Display gadgets in front of other windows
Windows key + + (plus key) Zoom in, where appropriate
Windows key + – (minus key) Zoom out, where appropriate
Windows key + Up Maximise the current window
Windows key + Down Minimise the current window
Windows key + Left Snap to the left hand side of the screen
Windows key + Right Snap to the right hand side of the screen
Windows key + Home Minimise/restore everything except the current window


I hope these simple tips can help you speed up computer performance.

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  • D
    don barajas
    March 6, 2014 @10:14 am

    hello , i have a question. if i run your pc checkup program and it comes back saying there are 30 issues on my pc. do i then download the boost speed program and does it fix all the issues it showed with the free version ? if i decide not to purchase the program at $ 49.95 but can keep the free version are you speaking of the auslogics defragger ? what im asking in all honesty is does the free version fix problems when they occur again by just having the free version ? i know the answer will be no , it does not fix any problems after the trial ends and all i have is the free version. otherwise you wouldnt be selling it. i hope you dont take me the wrong way because common sense will say it fixes the problems during the trial version and then without the program the issues will remain. im not the type of person that would say i’ll download the free version , clean up my pc and then tell you i only want the free version. i believe you understand what im saying and when you have time can you look at my email and simply brief me on the questions. im assure you im not here to rip you off by cleaning up my pc and then say that’s all i wanted to do. again , that’s ” ME ” and i could clean up my pc and just say i dont want to buy it. sorry this is so very long. please accept my apology on that , but i just would like to know. thank you very much for your time as it is appreciated. note: after my initial defrag with your product i gained 4% free space and the end result was all the little boxes were green. no red.
    thank you , don barajas

  • A
    Anna Lind
    March 7, 2014 @08:08 am

    Thanks for your message Don. I have forwarded it to our support department along with your email address. You should hear from them soon.

  • C
    Cyrus Wong
    November 2, 2014 @09:52 am

    You should also add “Most frequently used Hotkey”

    Ctrl + C = Copy selected item
    Ctrl + V = Paste selected item
    Ctrl + A = Select all available items
    Ctrl + X = Cut the selected item

    Alt + F4 = Terminate current programs
    Ctrl + F4 = Close the active document (in programs that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)
    Ctrl + Alt + Delete = old method to call “Task Manager”
    Ctrl + Mouse scroll wheel = Change the size of icons on the desktop (In browser: change the size of the display content)
    Alt + Tab = Switch between programs

    Ctrl + Shift = Switch the keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are enabled

    Windows key = Open or close the Start menu
    Windows key + D = Display the desktop
    Windows key + M = Max minimize all windows
    Windows key + Shift + M = Restore minimized windows to the desktop
    Windows key + E = Open “My Computer”
    Windows key + R = Open the Run dialog box
    Windows key + Spacebar = Preview the desktop

    Shift + Enter = Next line only (it will not send message in fb message box)

    F2 = Rename the selected item
    F5 = Refresh

    Keep pressing F8 before load the Windows = enter the Windows startup menu (to enter Safe Mode of Windows System)

  • C
    Cyrus Wong
    November 2, 2014 @09:57 am

    One more thing to startup a Task manager:

    Ctrl + Alt + Delete = old method to call “Task Manager”
    Ctrl + Shift + Esc = open “Task Manager”

  • G
    May 15, 2015 @10:26 pm

    Turning off Windows Search for SSD will break search for Outlook. I had to turn it back on