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Optimize Windows 7 for Better Performance

Everyday I get people asking me this simple question, How to optimize Windows 7? And also, Will getting more RAM help?. In a nutshell, yes it will, but then again, it all depends on what you have running on your computer. If your Windows 7 machine has loads of malware, spyware, viruses, or just program after program constantly running in the background, all that resources being used, is pretty much your RAM, and you may find that adding more RAM will actually feed it, resulting in a few days of faster performance, but then straight back to the sluggish Windows 7 machine, you dreadfully hated.

6 Tips on how to optimize Windows 7 for better performance

Even the visual effects take the memory out of your RAM, so don’t forget to take that into consideration. Using these 6 tips you will know how to optimize Windows 7 for better performance, but I recommend performing a clean install of Windows 7. You’ll have to back everything up before you attempt this, but it will give you a clean slate (Like buying a brand new pc, with a fresh copy of Windows on), freeing up every little ounce of RAM that Windows doesn’t need, giving your PC a boost it really needs. Plus using the tips below will help to improve your Windows 7 machine even more!

Tip 1. Configure advanced system settings to optimize Windows 7

This has to be the best tip and my favorite on how to optimize Windows 7 for better performance. From the start menu, right-click on‘Computer” and select ”Properties”. Now with the screen below, select ”Advanced system settings” on the left.

Optimize Windows 7 Advanced-system-settings-1

With ”Advanced system settings” window open, select ”Settings” under the Performance section.


Now the ‘Visual Effects” tab should be opened in performance options, untick all the boxes I have unticked in the image below, everything else can stay ticked. If your computer has less than 3GB of RAM, to see better results, I would choose ”Adjust for best performance” which will untick everything in the list, this will also bring back the Windows 95/98 theme, as the visual demands of Windows 7 can be demanding.

Advanced-system-settings-3-Optimize Windows 7

Once you’ve copied the settings above, hit ”Apply” and then select the ”Advanced” tab at the top.

Under‘Virtual Memory” click ”Change”.


”Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” may already be ticked by default, if so, untick it.


Now we can customise our virtual RAM for Windows. Select ”Custom size:” and in the ”Initial size (MB):” I recommend using the Recommended size that you see near the bottom, and in the ”Maximum size (MB):” box, I would recommend putting it another 1GB (1000MB) higher than the initial size.

Note – It won’t give you the effect of physical adding more RAM to your system, but it’s the next best thing if you can’t afford any RAM, or your motherboard is at its limit. Aim for 1.5GB to every 1GB of RAM.

Once you’ve filled your custom sizes, hit ”Set” and then ”OK” to confirm the changes.

You may be prompted to restart your pc so that the changes can take effect.

Tip 2. Configure your start menu to optimize Windows 7

Another way on how to optimize Windows 7 for better performance is by configuring the start menu. Think about it, your start menu is just like a folder with all the other shortcuts in (Just like the Desktop), the more shortcuts in that folder, the longer it will take to load up, get me?

What I like to do, is to minimise what i have on my start menu, to do this, click ”Start” —> ”Control Panel”,

Start-Menu-Settings-1-Optimize Windows 7

Quick tip – I like to see everything in my control panel, as it makes it easier and faster for me to find what I need, to do this select ”Small icons” in the top right corner next to ”View by:”, you can stick with the default settings if you prefer.

Start-Menu-Settings-2-Optimize Windows 7

In Control Panel, select ”Taskbar and Start Menu” to bring up properties. Once it’s open, click the ”Start Menu” tab,

Start-Menu-Settings-3-Optimize Windows 7
Start-Menu-Settings-4-Optimize Windows 7

Untick the two boxes under ”Privacy” and then select ”Customize…”,

Start-Menu-Settings-5-Optimize Windows 7

Here you want to:

Untick – ”Connect To, Default Programs, Help, Highlight newly installed programs”

Tick – ”Homegroup, Network”

Start-Menu-Settings-6-Optimize Windows 7
Start-Menu-Settings-7-Optimize Windows 7
Start-Menu-Settings-8-Optimize Windows 7
Start-Menu-Settings-9-Optimize Windows 7

Once you have changed the settings in the images above, hit ”OK” to confirm changes.

And hit ”Apply” and ”OK” to save changes and exit ”Taskbar and Start Menu Properties”.

You should end up with something like the image on the right.

Start Menu Settings 1 1
Start Menu Settings 10

Now you can add specific shortcuts to your start menu, which you actually need, or keep it blank, entirely up to you.

Tip 3. Limit how many programs run at startup so you can optimize Windows 7

Depending on how old your Windows 7 machine is, you may find it takes a lifetime to boot into Windows, and usually, it’s because there are programs trying to start up straight away, even if you can’t see them on screen, they will be running in the background. How to optimize Windows 7 for Better Performance by eliminating these programs from starting up, saving valuable minutes off your boot time. Let’s get started!

Hit ”Start” —> ”Run” and type ”msconfig” and hit enter.

msconfig-1-Optimize Windows 7

Navigate to the ”Startup” tab,

msconfig-2-Optimize Windows 7

Here is a list of all the programs that are starting up every time you turn your pc on. Some programs need to start up straight away, for example, anti-virus software or graphics drivers. But things like Daemon tools, Acrobat Reader, iTunes, etc. don’t need to, they’ll start up once you click on their shortcut anyway, so why allow it to start first thing, and slow down the performance of your computer?.

So go ahead, and untick all of the programs you don’t want to start up and if you’re unsure about anything, either leave it ticked or Google it to see what it is. That way you can determine whether it needs to start up or not. Once you’re done, hit ”Apply”, and click ”OK” to save changes.

Windows will ask you to reboot the system so that the changes can take effect, and you should notice a difference on the next boot.

Tip 4. Delete programs you never use

Installed something months ago, and never really use it anymore? Get the hard drive space back, by uninstalling it from your computer.

To achieve this you can either use the default uninstaller that comes with Windows itself, or a highly reviewed piece of software called IObit Uninstaller, which I believe to be a far superior piece of software and it’s FREE!

IObit Uninstaller

Check it out here.

To use the default Windows uninstaller, click ”Start – Control Panel – Programs and Features”.

From here highlight the software you want to uninstall and click ”Uninstall” at the top, and after a few minutes, you should get an ”Uninstall Completed” message.

Tip 5. Defrag your hard drive

Defragmentation, organizes your files and folder, etc., like a file cabinet, so that your computer can quickly locate and find what it needs to when it needs to.

There are loads of defrag programs out there, but I’ve only ever found three that I’ve liked.

O&O Defrag is the number one defragging software in 2020. I use it on all my Windows machines. I highly recommend you take a look at it. Visit the website here

The first program I would recommend is Diskeeper, it’s not free but it does a great job, and has loads of extras to help maintain your hard drives.

The second is Smart Defrag, the best thing about it? It’s free. Not only that, but I do think it gives Diskeeper and some others a run for their money. Click here to download it now and give it a go.

Tip 6. Install Advanced System Care (Free Edition) from IOBit helps to optimize Windows 7

Advanced System Care

Advanced SystemCare is a free registry cleaner and PC optimizer for Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10

Why use ASC?

  • PC Optimizer To Make Your Computer 300% Faster,
  • Up to 200% Quicker PC Startup,
  • Faster & Smoother Browsing.

It also gives you a widget that allows you to keep track of your CPU and RAM usage.

Advanced System Care 2

Download Advanced SystemCare 9 now.

I’m always looking for new ways on how to optimize Windows 7 for better performance, if you have any suggestions, please comment.

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