Increasing the performance of Windows Vista

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 16, 2006
Updated • May 22, 2013
Windows, Windows Vista

My first impression of Windows Vista was that it was a very shiny operating system with lots of useless stuff (for me) that wasted lots of valuable ram on my system. Things like the sidebar which may be useful for some are absolutely useless to me. Besides that, these new features seem to use a lot of memory. I have decided to remove all features that I do not need and won't use to increase the overall performance of the system.

The tips may also be useful to users who happen to run Windows Vista on old computer systems which may just meet the minimum system requirements to run the operating system.My Vista installation is using about 430 megabytes of Ram in default state with only one instance of Internet Explorer 7 running as well. The following guide offers a list of changes that I made and their effect on the system.

  • Disabled the Sidebar
  • Changed the theme to Windows Classic
  • Changed the background image to a solid color
  • Disabled Windows Firewall and Bitdefender

Those changes alone dropped the ram usage by 60 megabytes to 370 with one Internet Explorer window open. There are many settings that can still be tweaked to gain even more performance, for instance removing unnecessary services and indexing. I will take a look at those in the coming days.

The question of course remains why you would like to change to Vista if you disable anything "new" that Vista offers. I personally think that it introduces lots of gimmicks that freeware on XP offered for years. And if it is security that you want you should take a look at Linux instead.

Update: Vista users should make sure to install all Service Packs for the operating system as it is improving the overall performance of the system significantly. There are other changes that you can make to improve the Vista performance, including moving the pagefile to another drive, installing more RAM or a faster hard drive, or to use disk cleanup regularly.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. David Chelin said on March 31, 2009 at 7:44 am

    After reading the comments, I’m even more upset that my new Asus laptop with 4gb of ram, using Vista Premium is requiring so much ram to operate, betweeen 1 and 2 gb, even though I’m not running a lot of useless things on the surface. Same thing with my friend’s Toshiba. It seems too, that the more ram one has, the more ram gets used. Not sure why. I haven’t yet learned enough about which services I can safely stop, as I’m sure this would help. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. sDarshana said on March 29, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Thinker is right what for waisting extra 300MB RAM , since XP takes 100MB of RAM.

  3. Thinker said on December 16, 2006 at 11:46 pm

    omg :|
    430MB ram? what for?
    I think I wont switch fast, even if I like software news.
    Windows XP uses aoub 100MB of ram, and all programs are runs on it.. so what for waste another 300MB of ram?
    For shiny windows and buttons?

  4. Joe said on December 16, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    I just want to thank you for the great work you’ve been doing here. I regularly follow your site and enjoy reading it. Keep it up.

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