How to Make Windows Vista Run Faster and More Efficiently

By Techwalla Contributor

One complaint users have about the Windows Vista operating system is that it runs too slowly. You can take measures to improve Windows Vista's functionality in a number of ways and make it run faster -- even on computers lacking sufficient RAM. A half hour of fixes can save you considerably in the long run.

Step 1

Change the display settings. Running Windows Vista on Aero takes up far more RAM than necessary, and after a couple weeks, the novelty of Aero wears off quickly. Instead, switch your display to Windows Standard. To do this, click "Start" > "Control Panel" > "Appearance and Personalization" > "Personalization" > "Window Color and Appearance." In the Color Scheme menu, click "Windows Standard," then click "OK." If you don't see the Color Scheme menu, click the "Open classic appearance properties for more color options" link.

Step 2

Disable the Windows welcome screen. Click "Start" > "Control Panel" > "Classic View" > "Welcome Center" and un-check the box at the bottom of the window that reads "Run at startup."

Step 3

Disable Windows Vista features. Click "Start" > "Control Panel" > "Programs and Features." Click the "Turn Windows Features on or off" link in the left pane. Un-check everything, unless there is something in particular you need to keep enabled. Click "OK" to save the changes.

Step 4

Uninstall any unused programs. New computers often come loaded with unnecessary programs that have little use and are never used. Click "Start" > "Control Panel" > "Programs and Features." Look through the list of programs. Uninstall anything you don't use clicking the program name and clicking "Uninstall."

Step 5

Remove unused items from the task bar. Right-click an empty space on the task bar at the bottom of your screen and click "Properties." Click the "Notification Area" tab and click the "Customize" button. Go through the list of programs. On the right side, you have the choice of selecting Show, Hide when Inactive or Hide. Click "Hide" for anything you do not use. Click "OK."

Step 6

Clean your Desktop. The fewer icons you have on the Desktop, the better. Delete any that you don't use regularly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Back up your system and/or create a restore point in System Restore before making any changes to your system.