Windows 7 is one of the most powerful and best implemented Microsoft operating systems so far, but with a few minor touches of advanced customization, it is possible to free up resources of a system and speed it up. In this post, we’ll cover some easy ways to help you speed up your slow PC without any hassle.
When we turn on a PC for the first time or just install the operating system, everything goes very smooth. But with the passage of time and everyday use, the installation is degrading significantly and we lose much of the performance we have the benefit of at the beginning.
The Windows Registry, the processes that run in the background and the services that are loaded by default in each startup, among other components, are some of the sections that we can “fix” to easily optimize our operating system and to speed up your slow PC. This will result in faster start-up and shut-down as well as greater stability in normal operation.
Also, using a USB key for managing virtual memory or making the most of the powerful settings for optimizing the paging file, we can go further. And, of course, for older machines, it’s also easy to free up components by adjusting visual effects, removing fonts we do not use regularly, or stopping the indexing service. Let’s check all the ways one by one that can speed up your slow PC with ease.
Speed up your slow PC for free:
Accelerate the startup of your machine
To increase a few valuable seconds every time we turn on our PC, we have more than a few options.
- The first is available from the Registry, under the HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft category. From there we can consult all the services that start automatically after starting the operating system. Right-clicking will remove the ones we do not want to keep anymore.
- The other is more secure and intuitive, and accessed from the msconfig utility (you can search and run it from the Start menu). Once the main window of this utility is opened, the Windows Start tab will display a list with all the applications that are performed when starting the system, and simply by checking or unchecking the ones that interest us we can accelerate the startup of a machine.
- Finally, to speed up your slow PC you can download a free utility from the web that is more complete than msconfig and do come with the options that go beyond startup programs, covering other components.
Remove superflous keys
Every time we install or uninstall a utility, the Windows Registry adds information that, in the long run, can lead to the discrepancy that may end up at the expense of the stability and fluidity of the system. Without going any further, even though we have removed a program from our system, it may have left a trail with usage preferences or other technical parameters.
One of the most secure and effective options is to use external registry optimization and defragmentation software, but with some advanced knowledge we can do it manually as well.
To get started, in the search box on the Start menu, we will launch the regedit command and the Windows Registry will open.
As any operation of this type can be really delicate if we do not know what we do, the first thing is to make a copy of the Registry, navigating to File/Export and representing a name for the backup that we will generate. In Scan interval we will mark Everything and then we can save. To restore it, the all you need to do is simply double-click on the .reg file that we get hold of.
Now that we have everything safe, we are going to review what is in the each division. The first one, HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, contains all the file associations established (for example, that a.doc document is opened with Word), although in reality all we see are shortcuts to the path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINES \ Software \ Classes. Precisely, HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software is where applications create their entries, so if we detect any of some software that we have already uninstalled, we can delete it without problems.
In HKEY_CURRENT_USER we will see the configuration information of the system and the software of the user with which we have logged in. From here, we can customize what is displayed in the Control Panel, the installation directories, the network configuration, etc.
On the other hand, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE focuses on what affects the hardware and the controllers of the PC, while HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG is a dynamic branch, in which are created on-the-fly entries, according to the applications that are running at the time and the services Windows that are in use.
Go with faster shutdown
In addition to speeding up the boot time of a system, there is a need of making the system shutdown faster. Specifically, when we are going to shut down Windows it sends a signal to all running processes and applications to stop, and as a preventive measure there is a set time in which the system waits for a response.
From the Registry we can modify this time period and indicate that, in case of delay, everything stops automatically and shut down or restarts the system, although we run the risk of losing information if we have not saved the documents that we had open. Specifically, we will create an entry of type String Value (from the menu bar Edit/New) with the name WaitToKillAppTimeout inside the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\ Desktop branch. We right click on it and, in Value information, we will introduce a figure in milliseconds, so if, for example, we only want to wait a maximum of 5 seconds, we will write 5,000.
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Manage your paging file
This tip also helps in improving the performance of a PC. The Windows virtual memory is used to store data temporarily programs and processes that are in use and require additional space in main memory. To manage it, a paging file is created on the hard disk, so the access ends up being somewhat slower (unless we have an SSD solid state disk). With the current configurations, in which the usual is to have more than 4GB of memory, we can make all this data to run directly always on it and thus gain some performance.
To change this parameter we go to the registry and look for the HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Session Manager \ Memory Management entry. There, we double-click on DisablePagingExecutive and change the Value Information from 0 to 1. After restarting the system, the changes will be applied and we will have optimized paging file.
Disable background processes
When our equipment is in operation, many processes run in the background. Some are specific to the operating system and others depend on the programs that we have open at the moment, but it can also happen that, once closed, leave some operational trace.
You can speed up your slow PC by pressing the key combination Ctrl + Alt + Delete. This way you can access the Task Manager, and, in Processes, you can see them all and the amount of RAM and CPU they consume. If anyone has become unstable (we will know from an excessive use of resources) you can close it by clicking End Process. However, if an error has occurred, Windows is unable to stop them.
In that case, we have to use the System Prompt, invoking it from the Start menu search box. Once in it, to list the open processes we will type the command tasklist and we will stop the one that interests us writing the line taskkill / PID ” PIDnumber” / F (here goes the figure that corresponds to it without quotes). For example, if we want to close Windows Explorer because it has stopped working, which in the illustration has the PID number 1844, we will enter taskkill / PID 1844 / F.
Stop the expendable services
The system services are processes and small programs that Windows loads by default to facilitate most common operations with a computer. Some of them are essential for the proper functioning of the equipment, but others may not interest all types of users (for example, the needs of a home user are not the same as those of a professional or a small business, without going any further far). Thus, even if they run in the background and transparently, they collectively capture a portion of resources that we can easily release if we know well what we are doing.
To access your management, in the search box on the Start menu, type the order services.msc and a window will open with all the existing ones. To remove one of these services, double click on it and press on Pause or Stop . Pay particular attention to the description of each one of them, since although we think that we can do without it lightly, it may be connected to another service that requires its previous operation.
In the Type of startup box it is also possible to disable it so that it does not start again when we restart the computer next time. Usually, the ones that we can deactivate safely and safely are the following: Access to human interface devices, Parental control (if we do not need it, of course) and Tablet PC input service (if not available touch screen).
It is best to take a look and decide according to our needs, but there are others such as Call for Remote Procedure that are essential for the proper functioning of the Security Center or Print Queue, among others. We also recommend enabling the Superfetch service, which maintains and improves system performance over time. In any case, handling must be carried out with care.
Put the visual finish to your liking
The look of Windows 7 is truly attractive and is very accomplished, with more transparencies and shadows than ever before. But these graphics also have an impact on the consumption of resources, and if our machine is not the most advanced, disabling certain options of appearance we can get a plus of performance.
On the one hand, we can deactivate Aero themes by right-clicking on an empty area of the desktop and entering Custom. In Change the visual effects and sounds of the computer, simply choose any of the themes Windows 7 Basic or Windows Classic. On the other hand, we can also dispense with visual effects to give our computer more fluidity. Under Computer, right-click, enter Properties and select Advanced System Settings. Under Advanced / Performance / Configuration, we go to the Visual Effects tab and select Adjust for the best performance. Thus, we will get rid of shadows and animations, among other features and will speed up your slow PC.
Remove fonts you will not use
Windows includes many different types of fonts as standard, but the more we have, the longer the system will load them all. That is why, eliminating those we do not use is always good advice, especially those of alphabets other than ours that will rarely be useful.
To access them, we go to the Start menu, and from there we look for Installed fonts. To make sure that we do not lose anything it is best to copy them before completely eliminating them, so we can always restore them in case we need them. After selecting the ones we want to delete, we right click and copy them, then paste them into a folder and put them in a safe place.
Dismiss the indexing service
The integrated search in Windows 7 works flawlessly and is often very useful to find what we want at any given moment and quickly, but indexing is working constantly and causes an overall decrease in the speed with which the computer works.
To speed up your slow PC, luckily it is possible to stop the indexing service when we want if we prefer to save the CPU and memory resources it hoards. We just have to press the right mouse button on Computer and access to Manage. In the left bar, select Services and Applications / Services and look for the field Windows Search. After double clicking on it, in the General tab, we will mark Start type as Disabled. After applying and accepting the changes, it will be stopped and we can re-activate it without problems at any time if we wish.
Here’s to hope that the above tips will surely help you to speed up your slow PC. Don’t forget to mention in the comments section below that how did you find this tutorial and whether this post proved helpful to speed up your slow PC for free.