10 Simple Ways to Speed up Windows Vista

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 19, 2007
Updated • May 15, 2014
Windows, Windows Vista

Kline over at Connected Internet posted an interesting article about 10 simple ways to speed up Windows Vista. I actually tweaked Windows Vista right when I unpacked my notebook which had Windows Vista Home Premium preinstalled, got rid of a lot of useless stuff that I did not need anyway, and also modified a couple of system settings to increase the system's performance further.,

Some of the optimization that I made can be found in Klines articles as well. If you are new to Vista or just would like to read what others are doing to speed up Windows Vista it is definitely worth a read. I would not recommend some of the tips that he is giving but most make sense.

What I really recommend are the tips 2,6,7 and 8. Those are 'Disable Aero', 'Get rid of the sidebar', 'Defender has a use?' and 'Tweak your services'. Why don't you head right over and check it out.

Here are all ten tips:

  • Turn off UAC, or at least make it less annoying so that you are not interrupted during work all the time.
  • Disable Aero to speed it up by disabling a couple of eye candy features.
  • Use Readyboost to speed up your system if you do not have lots of RAM.
  • Disable Search indexing, only recommended if you do not use search.
  • Fix the rest of the search options
  • Get rid of the sidebar if you do not use widgets at all
  • Make use of Windows Defender
  • Tweak your services. Disable services that are not needed to speed up system start and block unneeded processes from running on the system.
  • Tweak your programs
  • Personalization options.

You do not really have to apply all tweaks and modifications to speed up the operating system. Some like turning off Aero have a larger impact than turning off UAC though, and others may have an impact besides performance or workflow improvements. While turning off the User Account Control may speed up your workflow, it may also reduce the security of the system at the same time.

It is interesting to note that some of the tweaks can be applied to newer versions of Windows as well. It makes sense to go through the services listing for instance to disable any that you do not need. If you do not use a printer for instance, it does not really make sense to run the printing service on startup.


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  1. Kline said on November 27, 2007 at 3:42 am

    and yes, I turned on my computer about 10 minutes ago, and it is using 62MB of ram. Maybe the difference is your resolution and number of screens. 62 is not much when one usually has over a GB, but rocking an IDE that eats up 640MB, firefox that eats down about 100mb and whatever test running set i am working on eating down another couple hundred… it gets down to every mb counting.

  2. Kline said on November 27, 2007 at 3:39 am

    Well, aero (DWM) visualisations is disabled when running games. I am positive in my article, if you had read it, that I said that instead of turning it off you should just tone down the animations, as they do slow down your productivity, even if only by a little bit, just by the time it takes to bloody animate screen openings, etc.

    Sorry again if I gave the wrong impression in my comments above. And, when doing processor intensive actions, and aero is still sucking down 5-10% of your CPU, it does get annoying.

    I guess it all depends on what your computer needs are. Games needs are much different than number crunching needs, especially since most of them are GPU driven these days. Also it sucking down 60+ MB of ram is a bitch since it never gets paged out, and working with large datasets, every mb counts.

    I do appreciate your take on it, but I wouldn’t call it a ‘myth’ ;)

  3. Anthony said on November 23, 2007 at 4:10 am

    Turn off Aero? Ok, I thought this myth was killed a long time ago.

    Aero does use about 30mb more RAM, but it also speeds up your display. The composer of Aero itself is a performance boost, and working with WDDM it provides other mechanisms that improve performance, like assisting GDI/GDI+ and WPF on screen drawing.

    Go look at some serious ‘performance reviews’, even games when running in a Window with Aero on usually run a few FPS faster than with Aero off.

    Sure it is eye candy, but it is also the whole composer and acceleration portion of the Vista WDDM video subsystem.

    Please, kill this myth and stop telling people to turn it off to speed up their computer.

    If you really hate the animations, turn them off. If you hate the transparency, turn it off as well, but don’t turn off Aero/DWM.

  4. Kline said on October 20, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Martin, alright, just trying to figure out if something was wrong with some of them by your thoughts.

    Well, in theory readyboost should benefit all users regardless of how they use their computer. I’ve read varying reports, but all have shown some improvment. I’ve yet to figure out if it is based on the drives they are using as many flash drives are absolute shite. I did mention that point however.

    UAC.. turning down the screen blanking has no effect on security, but for me, I see the screen quite often due to my own computer usage. So, for me, it is frustrating to have my whole screen blank, wait a while, then come back… not performance per say, but usability of the computer as well as overall productivity increase. If a user never sees UAC messages, then you are right, it has questionable increases on performance.

    Of course, the same would go for almost any tweak out there.. if its for a part of the system you do nto use, it is of no benefit.

    I have not used UAC tweaker.. what all does it do that cannot be done via the management tool?

  5. Martin said on October 20, 2007 at 7:17 am

    Kline, I simply pointed 4 tips out that I thought the most useful, this does not mean that I would not recommend the other 6 tips.

    What I really have difficulties with is that some tips are probably ways to speed up Vista for you but many users would not say they are. Talking about UAC and Readyboost.

    btw, do you know UAC Tweaker ?

  6. Kline said on October 19, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Which ones wouldn’t you recommend?

    I can see reservations on #1, but getting rid of the screen blanking is fairly harmless, and on some computers takes like 10 seconds to do..

    Readyboost? You have issues with readyboost? Bah..

    And fixing the indexing service? What possible issue could there be with that?

    9 is just smart computer usage. No program needs a ‘quick launcher’ to run all the time when superfetch does it natively already. Its double overkill. ;)

    10 isn’t a tweak, but its completely harmless, and if you have 2 screens, its better than paying for a $30 program to do it for you.

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