Windows Vista Performance Tuning
The following document lists steps that can help improve system performance in Windows Vista:
- If you currently have 512 MB of memory, you should consider upgrading. 512 MB is the minimum requirement for Windows Vista. Adding additional memory helps your computer perform better.
- Windows Vista includes an indexing feature to perform fast searches on the hard drive. When you first get your computer it indexes the common files on the hard drive. During this process the computer may appear slower than normal. The initial indexing process may take several hours to complete, but is a one time task and you should not see it in the future. You cannot turn off the Windows search index, but it is possible to remove locations. If you wish to remove locations included in the index, follow these steps.
- Remove any unused programs in Programs and Features. Removing unused programs removes any startup items the program may have added and also frees up hard drive space. To remove programs in Programs and Features, follow these steps.
- Over time, unused files begin to accumulate on your hard drive. It is good to periodically clean up these unused files with Disk Cleanup to give you extra free space and make your computer run better. To clean up these files with Disk Cleanup, follow these steps.
- Fragmentation makes your hard disk do extra work that can slow down your computer. Run Disk Defragmenter to rearrange fragmented data so your hard disk can work more efficiently. To run Disk Defragmenter, follow these steps.
- Programs that start when the computer starts and run in the background take resources. You can use System Configuration (MSConfig) to disable some of these programs and services and free up resources so your computer can perform better. To disable startup programs and services in MSConfig, follow these steps.
- Certain features of Windows Vista enhance appearance but lower performance. You can adjust what settings are enabled and disabled to adjust the performance of the computer. This can be done in Performance Options. To adjust Performance Options, follow these steps.
- Spyware and adware can hinder system performance. You can run Windows Defender to help prevent malicious software, Spyware, and other potentially unwanted software from infecting your computer. Your antivirus program, such as McAfee or Norton, may already include a Spyware scanner and can also be used instead of Windows Defender. To run Windows Defender, follow these steps.
Internet Explorer 7 Performance Tuning
In addition to tuning Windows Vista, it is useful to tune Internet Explorer to improve your internet browsing experience:
- When browsing the internet, Internet Explorer downloads files from the sites. Over time these files begin to build up so it is good to periodically clean up these files. To clean up these files, use Delete Browsing History (Temp files, cookies, history, form data, and passwords). To delete browsing history, follow these steps.
- If you are having experiencing slow internet performance in IE7, you can use Internet Explorer (No Add-ons) to see if it runs better. To open Internet Explorer (No Add-ons), from the Windows Vista default Start menu, click All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then click Internet Explorer (No Add-ons). If Internet Explorer (No Add-ons) runs better, you can use Manage Add-ons to disable any unneeded add-ons. To manage add-ons, follow these steps.
- If Internet Explorer 7 is slow to open Web sites, you can disable the Phishing Filter to see if it helps. The Phishing Filter adds additional security so in most cases it should be enabled but can be disabled for troubleshooting purposes. To disable the Phishing Filter in IE7, follow these steps.