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;

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– 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.

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.
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