Windows 7 optimization: speed up your computer

Over time, many users of the Windows 7 operating system notice a decrease in performance and a slowdown in the computer. New programs are installed on the PC, the antivirus is running, the user actively uses the Internet, a large amount of unnecessary data accumulates on the disks.

All these circumstances affect the performance of the computer, which gradually decreases. To eliminate the negative impact on the operation of the operating system, you need to optimize your Windows 7 computer.

Optimization of Windows 7 – comprehensive measures to improve the efficiency of the operating system, increase the performance and speed of the computer. After performing the optimization, in most cases, there will be some acceleration of Windows 7.

The performance of a PC is influenced by various factors: the available hardware, the installed software, the actions of the user himself. It must be borne in mind that many circumstances will not allow solving the task: speeding up a Windows 7 computer.

First of all, it concerns the hardware component of the computer. Due to the limitations of the hardware installed on the device, PC performance is not possible, for example, if the computer does not have enough RAM, a slow hard drive is used, or a low-powered central processor is installed.

In this case, optimizing the performance of Windows 7 will do little to help due to hardware issues. You can solve this problem by upgrading your computer: replacing the processor, adding RAM, installing a fast SSD instead of a regular hard drive (HDD), using a more powerful video card for those who like to play computer games.

The implementation of these activities will have a noticeable impact on the overall performance of the PC. An additional effect will be the optimization of Windows 7 using software methods.

Not all users have the ability to replace important computer components, so upgrading the device is not possible. How to optimize Windows 7 for weak computers?

You can try to improve PC performance in software ways. These activities help improve overall performance on any desktop or laptop. On weak PCs, a miracle will not happen, but still it is worth trying to slightly speed up the system.

All necessary actions are divided into two stages:

  • Preparatory – checking the state of the computer, eliminating negative factors that affect performance.
  • Optimizing Windows 7 for better performance.

First you need to check the system and computer. This will help to troubleshoot various problems, such as checking the integrity of system files, testing the disk for errors, removing viruses, etc. All these factors affect the performance of the PC.

In the second step, to optimize the Windows 7 system, various settings are changed directly in the operating system.

Before optimizing, create a Windows 7 restore point. This will help you restore the previous state of the system if the new settings do not suit you or you make some mistake.

The instructions in this guide have links to other articles on the site that detail some of the necessary steps to complete when setting up your Windows 7 PC. Follow the links, follow the steps, and then continue with this article to optimize your Windows 7 PC.

Install updates for Windows 7 and installed programs

The first step is to update the software available on this computer. Install available updates for Windows 7, update installed applications and drivers.

These measures will improve security and improve the stability of the software. Developers make changes to the software: solve security issues, fix errors and problems identified during the operation of the software product.

Putting things in order on PC

In fact, this is an important circumstance that many neglect. Proper distribution of files on your computer improves the efficiency of your computer.

As a result of putting things in order, you can quickly access the information you need on your PC and delete unnecessary data.

Checking your computer for viruses

Malicious software has a negative impact on the operation of the computer. After a virus infection, the system may slow down, Windows settings and applications may change.

The anti-virus installed on the computer cannot always detect dangerous software. Therefore, it makes sense to check your device for viruses using antivirus scanners from other manufacturers.

These anti-virus programs do not require installation on a computer, they are used for a one-time virus scan. After the scan is completed, the anti-virus scanner will offer to remove the found malicious software from the system.

System File Checker

The Windows 7 operating system has a built-in tool for checking the integrity of system files. The sfc.exe utility checks and, if necessary, restores Windows system files.

By running a check, you will fix system files or make sure that there is no damage in the OS on your computer.

Check disk for errors

Built-in system tool – CHKDSK checks the hard disk for errors, detects bad sectors on the disk, and fixes file system errors. Run a scan to fix possible problems with your hard drive.


Windows has a built-in troubleshooter that can help you fix some common problems on your computer. Fixing the problem improves the stability of the PC.

Go through a few steps:

  1. Enter the start button menu.
  2. Click on “Control Panel”.
  3. Click on the “Troubleshoot” icon.
  4. In the “Troubleshoot your computer” window, in the “System and Security” section, click on the “Scan for performance problems” link.
  5. From the Performance window, run a troubleshooter.
  6. If the module has detected a problem, follow the suggested actions.

Freeing up space on the system drive

The Windows operating system is usually installed on the logical drive “C:”. For the normal operation of the system, it is necessary that there is free space on the disk, which is used to store temporary files and other data during various operations on the PC.

The lack of free space negatively affects the speed of Windows. The OS warns the user about the lack of free space on the system disk in Explorer when it colors the used space in red.

Delete unnecessary information or move part of the data to another disk partition, to another hard drive, or to external media: external hard drive, USB flash drive, CD / DVD drive, memory card.

Cleaning the system from unnecessary data

Cleaning and optimizing Windows 7 will help you get rid of unnecessary data that uselessly takes up disk space. Temporary files and other digital garbage are not needed, it is better to delete this data from the computer.

Disk cleanup works like this:

  1. Click on the start menu.
  2. In the list of programs, open the “Accessories” folder, and then “System Tools”.
  3. Click on the Disk Cleanup application.
  4. Select a device in the window that opens. By default, the system drive is selected.
  5. In the Disk Cleanup window, some options are already checked for deleting various types of files.
  6. To clean up system files, click on the “Clean up system files” button.
  7. After assessing the space that can be freed up, you will be prompted to delete some data.
  8. Remove unnecessary information from the system, and then restart your computer.

Using an antivirus

Any PC is not immune from the appearance of malicious software. Viruses enter computers in many ways: via the Internet, from removable storage media, via email, etc.

Virus programs, in addition to causing other harm, often slow down the PC. To prevent infection, an antivirus is installed on the device.

Antivirus slows down the computer, but in this case, you need to make a compromise, because security issues should not be neglected. Unlike Windows 10 or Windows 8, Windows 7 does not include a full-fledged antivirus – Windows Defender, so it’s better to use the services of third-party programs.

Before installing an antivirus, take an interest in reviews about the selected product on specialized security sites. You need to find a balance between security and system speed, because some antivirus software is more “heavy” than similar solutions, and this has an impact on performance.

Intermittent PC shutdown

Some users use the hibernation or sleep features on their computers to quickly get to the unfinished business. This saves time, which is uselessly spent on loading the operating system.

At the same time, the data is stored in RAM. Errors, various failures of processes and services accumulate in the PC memory. Over time, this slows down your computer.

Restarting Windows will help fix some issues. To clear memory and shut down all software, unplug your computer from time to time.

Removing unnecessary programs from startup

Let’s move on to the OS settings that will help us optimize a Windows 7 laptop or desktop PC. Particular attention should be paid to autorun programs.

Some applications, after installation, register themselves in startup. This means that these programs are automatically launched after the start of the Windows operating system. This software consumes computer memory and increases OS startup time.

The software runs in the background, often uselessly consuming computer resources. Many applications are used very rarely, but continue to work all the time.

Some applications should be in startup, for example, antivirus. Other programs have nothing to do there, so the user can run them on their own only when needed.

To configure autoload, follow these steps:

  1. Press the keys “Win” + “R”
  2. In the Run dialog box, enter the command: “msconfig”.
  3. Click on the “OK” button.
  4. In the System Configuration window, open the Startup tab.
  5. In the “Startup item” column, uncheck the boxes next to the names of those applications that you do not need to run in the background immediately after turning on the computer.
  6. Restart your PC to apply the changes.

Experienced users can take advantage of a more advanced option: the free AutoRuns program, which displays all the processes that start when the operating system boots.

You can reduce Windows boot time by delaying the launch of some programs from startup. Programs will start running in the background after a certain number of seconds or minutes, so they will not slow down the loading of the OS. In this case, applications are loaded one by one without interfering with Windows startup.

A similar function to delay the launch of programs is available in the Autoruns Organizer application.

Controlling the number of running programs

If the computer has performance problems, the user needs to reduce the number of concurrently running programs. It is necessary to ensure that the windows of several applications are not opened in vain while the user is doing other things.

Many modern programs consume quite a lot of resources, and this affects performance. Leave on the desktop only those applications with which you are working at a given time. Close unnecessary browser tabs. Remove unnecessary programs.

Disabling visual effects

The performance of the operating system is affected by various special and visual effects. Some of these features can be disabled.

Disable visual effects:

  1. In the Control Panel window, select the Small Icons view.
  2. Click on the “System” icon.
  3. In the “View basic information about your computer” window, click the “Advanced system settings” link.
  4. In the “System Properties” window, in the “Advanced” tab, in the “Performance” section, click on the “Settings …” button.
  5. The Performance Options window will open the Visual Effects tab with default settings.
  6. Activate the item “Ensure the best performance”.

The appearance of some elements of Windows will change a lot.

  1. I recommend ticking the following options: “Animate windows when minimized and maximized”, “Display thumbnails instead of icons”, “Smooth scrolling of lists”, “Display shadows cast by windows”, “Smooth jagged screen fonts”. In this case, the system will switch the parameters to Special Effects.
  2. The display options will change to Special Effects.

If someone is intimidated by the overly spartan look of the system, change the theme used on the computer.

Disable Windows 7 Personalization Items

The appearance of Windows has an impact on system performance. The user needs to decide what is more important to him: a faster computer or a beautiful appearance.

The “Aero” feature provides a transparent effect, consuming a lot of resources, so it makes sense to switch to a lighter theme.

Go through the following steps:

  1. Right-click on an empty space on the screen.
  2. In the context menu, click on the “Personalization” item.
  3. In the “Change the picture and sound on your computer” window, select the basic (simplified) theme: “Windows 7 – Simplified Style”.

In this case, the desktop appearance will become more familiar, and resource consumption will decrease.

Choosing how to allocate resources in the performance settings

In the performance settings, you can optimize the performance of processor resources and configure virtual memory.

Follow these steps to optimize your processor:

  1. From the System Properties window, navigate to the Performance Options window.
  2. Open the “Advanced” tab.
  3. Choose how you allocate processor resources to optimize your programs.

The Virtual Memory section displays the total size of the paging file. You can change this setting. Read more about this in an article on my website.

Choosing a power plan

A power plan is used to ensure optimal computer performance or a power saving mode. You need to set up a plan for maximum PC performance. This mode consumes more power.

Do the following:

  1. In the Control Panel window, click on the Power Options icon.
  2. In the “Select a power plan” window, click on the “Show advanced options” icon.
  3. Activate the item “High performance”.

Disabling UAC

Windows 7 has a built-in User Account Control (UAC) feature. Before launching programs or attempting to make changes to the computer, a warning window opens in which the user can allow or deny these actions.

The User Account Control feature improves the overall security of the PC, but has an impact on performance. Therefore, UAC can be disabled if the PC has antivirus protection.

Do the following:

  1. In the Control Panel, select the “User Accounts” setting.
  2. In the “Making changes to a user account” window, click on the “Change User Account Control settings” link.
  3. In the “Setting up notifications about changes made to the computer” window, move the slider down the scale to the “Never notify” option.
  4. Click on the “OK” button, and then confirm the change of settings.

Perform regular defragmentation

Performing Windows 7 disk optimization will help improve the performance of the operating system. With the active use of the PC, a lot of fragmented files appear on the device.

When accessing files, the hard disk searches for fragments of files throughout the disk, spending time on this. To avoid this situation, it is necessary to regularly perform defragmentation – a process in which individual fragments related to specific data are collected into one whole file. This provides faster access to the information on the disk.

Do the following:

  1. Enter the start button menu.
  2. Select All Programs.
  3. Find the “Standard” folder, and in it “Utilities”.
  4. Run the Disk Defragmenter utility.
  5. The “Disk Defragmentation” window will open, in which you can configure the operation to run on a schedule, or manually start the disk space optimization process.

The site has an article with a detailed description of the procedure for performing defragmentation in Windows 7.

Optimize your PC with ReadyBoost

With a lack of RAM on your computer, it makes sense to try the ReadyBoost function. This technology involves the use of a USB flash drive as an extension of the RAM. The cache of the most frequently used software is written to a flash drive and then used as needed.

When using ReadyBoost, there is a faster data exchange than with a swap file. Read more about this at the link.

Using programs to optimize your computer

Some of the suggested actions can be performed using third-party applications designed to optimize the system. Basically, these are multifunctional programs – combines, with support for a large number of operations to optimize and clean up the PC.

Despite the convenience and versatility, this method has disadvantages compared to Windows tools. As a result of cleaning the system, it is possible to remove some of the data that is necessary for the operation of some components or applications, because the optimizer application considered them unnecessary.

About programs designed to optimize the Windows operating system, there are many articles on my site.

Controversial optimization methods

On the Internet, many recommend a controversial solution – disabling Windows system services. Disabling services will have little to no effect on Windows performance.

In this image, you see an example of similar recommendations, which services can be disabled in Windows 7.

Disabling some of these services can lead to system problems. For example, your computer is having a serious problem with Windows, and to resolve the problem, you need to perform a system restore. This will not work, because system protection is disabled on the device, the services “Software Shadow Copy Provider (Microsoft)” and “Volume Shadow Copy” do not work.

The advice to disable the Disk Defragmenter service is simply harmful. Defragmentation optimizes disk space, which has a beneficial effect on system performance.

You also need to take into account that many services are disabled or do not work in normal Windows mode, because they are started manually by the user as needed from the OS settings when performing various operations.

They offer another non-obvious method – registry defragmentation. By itself, this procedure will not harm your system. The registry will be compressed, which implies faster access to this data.

It is possible that this advice was relevant before the days of Windows XP. In practice, after defragmenting the registry, there is no acceleration of the system, or you will not notice it.

Article Conclusions

Some users are facing problems related to low computer performance. They are caused by objective reasons: insufficiently powerful hardware. Some problems are solved with software. The user can optimize Windows 7 to improve performance and speed up the operating system.

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