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Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows

Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows - PCSTATS
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Abstract: Newest Update! Take control of Windows with help from PCSTATS. We've got 99 ways to squeeze out better performance, enhance boot times, free up hard drive space and trim away Windows's fat.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Feb 25 2014   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

First Booth the Essential Tweaks: Tips 13-16

13. Learn to use the search bar as a Run command.

This is an essential tip for using Windows Vista, so if you haven't figured it out already, please pay attention: The search bar is your friend.

While the lack of options and a Run command can seem a little disorienting for first-time Vista users, the search bar more than makes up for the other changes to the start menu. By default, the search bar will check all your personal folders, the program files and Windows directories and your Email and Internet history and favourites every time you enter something.

What does that mean? It means that every document you've created, every web page you've recently visited and every program you've installed is going to be accessible with just a few keystrokes.

Try this: Hit the Windows key once, type mail and press Enter. Convenient huh? Try again, this time with 'cmd'. Still missing the Run command? Didn't think so. Once you've added sites like Hotmail or Gmail to your favourites, you can access them from the search bar directly in the same fashion.

14. Disable automatic device driver searching and installation

By default, the Windows Vista update service will search for and download device drivers for your hardware. Trouble is, the drivers that it finds (and installs automatically unless you have disabled the option as seen in tip#12) are not necessarily the best choices for your hardware, and in rare cases may cause their own problems.

PCSTATS is of the opinion that it is much better to disable the update driver function and do your own driver updates when necessary.

To disable automatic driver updates:

Open the 'start' menu and right-click on 'computer'. Choose 'properties'.

Click on 'advanced system settings' on the left-hand pane.

Choose the 'hardware' tab and click 'Windows update driver settings'.

Select the 'never check for drivers when I connect a device' option.

Click 'ok'.

15. Use Windows Defender to disable startup programs

Windows Vista includes Windows Defender, which most people know as Microsoft's in-house anti-spyware application, and it's very good at that. Defender has a few other tricks up its sleeve though, including the handy ability to monitor and disable startup programs. Nothing slows down a computer like a few dozen application set to load when you boot Windows and then sit idle in the taskbar, so let's look at using Defender to clear these pesky parasites.

To disable startup apps using Windows Defender:

Go to 'start/all programs' then run 'Windows Defender' as administrator (see tip # for how to do this).

Click on the 'tools' icon at the top of the screen.

Click on 'software explorer'.

The left hand pane show the programs that are set to load every time your computer starts up, sorted by the name of the company that created them. Clicking on an item brings up details in the right-hand pane.

Note the 'remove', 'disable' and 'enable' buttons on the bottom right.

Removing an application deletes it from the list entirely (though not from the whole computer, just the startup section). Disabling an application prevents it from running on startup, and the 'enable' button obviously re-enables a previously disabled program.

We would not recommend disabling any of the Microsoft branded apps besides the sidebar.

16. Power options to high performance

By default, Windows Vista uses some fairly conservative power settings, which can be good for your laptop or for the environment, but maybe not for you if you want your computer running at its maximum speed and capability at all times. To remedy this, Microsoft included a third standard power option in the control panel, the 'high performance' setting. What this does is to disable virtually all power saving features (the hard disks will still spin down after 20 minutes if not accessed), allowing your computer to run at it's full rating even when left unattended.

To set your Vista machine's power profile to 'high performance':

Go to 'start/control panel'

Click on 'classic view' in the left hand pane.

Open 'power options'.

Select the 'high performance' power plan.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows
 Pg 2.  System Preparation - Tweak Insurance: Tips 1-3
 Pg 3.  System Preparation - Hardware: Tips 4-7
 Pg 4.  System Preparation - Hardware: Tips 8-10
 Pg 5.  First Boot the Essential Tweaks: Tips 11-12
 Pg 6.  — First Booth the Essential Tweaks: Tips 13-16
 Pg 7.  First Boot the Essential Tweaks: Tips 17-20
 Pg 8.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 21-23
 Pg 9.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 24-26
 Pg 10.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 27-29
 Pg 11.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 30-31
 Pg 12.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 32-34
 Pg 13.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 35-38
 Pg 14.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 39-41
 Pg 15.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 42-44
 Pg 16.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 45-47
 Pg 17.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 48-50
 Pg 18.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 51-53
 Pg 19.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 54-57
 Pg 20.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 58-61
 Pg 21.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 62-64
 Pg 22.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 65-68
 Pg 23.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 69-71
 Pg 24.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 72-74
 Pg 25.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 75-77
 Pg 26.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 78-81
 Pg 27.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 82-83
 Pg 28.  Customizing Vista Aeroglass Interface: Tips 84-87
 Pg 29.  Network and Internet Performance Tweaks: Tips 88-91
 Pg 30.  Vista Tuning for Notebooks: Tips 92-94
 Pg 31.  Windows Vista Gaming: Tips 95-99

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