How To Speed Up Windows

 Every now and again Microsoft makes a popular operating system that sticks around for a while. First there was Windows 95, then XP, and now finally Windows 7.

No, Window’s 8 “the ocho” didn’t make the list. The reviews explain why.

I have yet to come across anyone who says they really like WIN 8 including social media friends, salesmen at computer stores, and family members.

The number one complaint is the START MENU and the fact that it’s gone, kaput, adios.

As a matter of fact, if you want to speed up your windows installation and you are using Windows 8 the first step is to get your start menu back.

Read Amit Banerjee’s article Bring back The Classic Windows 7 Start Menu in Windows 8.

 Why is your PC so slow?

Before you can increase the speed of your system the first thing you need to understand is what will cause it to slow down in the first place.

A computer can only complete or “compute” a certain amount of tasks (memory) at a certain speed (processor).

When your computer has more programs running than memory or RAM and it can’t processes it fast enough a bottleneck effect happens causing your computer to slow down and freeze up.

If you remember when your computer was brand new the same thing would happen when you opened too many programs.

This is the issue.

Your computer has too many programs running or a few really greedy programs that are hogging all its resources.


STEP #1 – Check for virus infections.

The biggest issue with running too many programs is the fact that YOU didn’t necessarily open these programs or even install them.

Viruses are programs that use your computer’s processor power and memory to serve their own nefarious purposes.

If you ever have issues of a computer performing slowly the first thing to check for is viruses.

Read Randal Schaffer’s post:  The Anti-Virus Story

Read Lori’s post: All About Rootkits.


STEP #2 – Stop the greedy programs.

Now that you are sure your system has no viruses like spyware and root kits it’s time to put an end to these greedy programs that are using up your computer resources.

CLICK START > RUN > now type “MSCONFIG” and click ok or hit enter:



When the system configuration utility opens you will notice it’s set to Normal Startup as below:


Change the radio button to Selective startup as below with all three check boxes selected:



Now click the Startup TAB.

You will see a list of all the programs that run when your system starts.   

I recommend clearing all boxes except for your antivirus software:


 When you are finished clearing the check boxes click OK.

You may be prompted to reboot so go ahead and restart your system.

Then repeat this process again by opening the system configuration utility.

If you notice the same programs are starting up uninstall these programs using the control panel utility.

READ Rita Wood’s article: Uninstalling a Stuck Program


STEP #3 – Stop the sneaky programs.

Some programs are running on your system and they aren’t too GREEDY so they don’t get noticed. However, collectively these programs are hurting your system performance. 

They are a little bit more difficult to stop because they are sneaky, here’s how to shut them down.

Open the task manager.

Click START > RUN > type taskmgr and click ok or press enter.



The task manager utility provides a real time view of your system’s performance. The objective is to identify unnecessary programs that are running and uninstall them from your system.

Click the Processes tab and resize the window so that you can see more information on each column:


Scroll down the list and check if there are any non critical programs running.

For example in the image above EXCEL.EXE and WINWORD.EXE are running and this is OK because I opened these programs. 

You can also use the DESCRIPTION column to get more info about the processes.

When in doubt don’t just remove the program, search Google for the process name and you’ll find additional information on if the program is critical or not. For example SearchIndexer.exe is a program identified as the Microsoft windows search indexer, so I don’t need to bother with it. Investigate every single process and you will find tons of opportunities to lessen the load of your system.

In the beginning you want to focus on the 3rd party software that has been added to your system, but it’s a good idea to review all processes to be thorough. The end result will be a faster, cooler running Windows system that’s not always dragging and a happier you.

 ~ Darnell Jackson

0 thoughts on “How To Speed Up Windows

  1. Good tips, well written, thanks.
    Now my problem: Using msconfig, I select normal start and reboot. Checking msconfig, it has been changed back to Selective Startup. Done this over and over and over with the same results. I chose Normal, and after reboot, it’s been changed back to Selective Startup. Any ideas?

    1. Hello Bob,

      The key here is you don’t want to choose normal make sure you select “selective startup”. This is what you want.

      If you keep having a problem with these process starting just search google for each specific .exe file and remove the program via uninstall or find the physical files on your harddrive and delete them. hope this helps.

      1. I have used msconfig for decades on many computers and always set to Normal. Why wouldn’t I want Normal mode> Selective Startup is great for troubleshooting and I’ve used it countless times. But when fixed, I go back to normal. Why not?
        And more importantly, why won’t it stay where I want it?

    1. This will work on any version of windows that’s worth owning (smile) ie WIN XP, WIN 7, and even WIN 8, just remember you have to get your start menu back first.

  2. Fantastic tips about msconfig and taskmgr. Everyone should do this. Give this guy a raise. Great common sense tips.

  3. Going thru this agony of wasted time…because I didn’t pay attention…w/the WS experts now. SO, if you read this, Please, PAY ATTENTION! unless all you want is attention, then go somewhere else…please.
    Thanks WS geeks & gurus.

  4. Thanks. Very practical & lucidly written. Truly meant for non-System-Admistrators i.e. ‘ordinary users’.

  5. It’s a pretty standard tip, but well written and worth repeating.

    I’ll admit something strange. I like Win 8 better than 7. I have a triple boot laptop: Vista, Win7, Win8 so it is easy to make 1:1 comparisons (hardware wise). Win 8 does make my OLD laptop run faster. And I do like the graphics in Win8 better than Win7.

    That being said, I absolutely LOATHE Metro and the Start Screen on my laptop. They are obtrusive and non-intuitive and a total waste of time and space on my Laptop. All of my applications are “Desktop”, I don’t bother with Metro apps other than to play with them maybe once a week. The first time I tried the Win8 Beta/”Preview” it lasted only 5 hours before I wiped it out in total frustration because Metro was so counter-intuitive.

    I didn’t bother with a Start Menu app, I’m now used to using the Win8 Search tool. It does need a little work, that apparently has been one in 8.1

    It is too bad that MS is trying to bully everyone into using their Smartphone OS on high power desktops and laptops. Win8 would have sold so much more successfully if they had simply made the “traditional” Desktop/Start Menu vs Metro/Start Screen a user optional choice. They could have even set Metro as the default and people would have been happy to switch it. It is the same bully approach they took with the move to the Ribbon UI.

    1. That’s hilarious Ron,

      I couldn’t have said it better.

      Personally I’m waiting for the next version of Windows 7 to be released MS always throws a few bad OS’s out there then a good one every now and then, I would expect WIN 9 to be back to the basics OR MS could be toast long term.

      Maybe we should start seriously looking at linux?

  6. Thanks for an article that is easy to understand. (i.e., for computer Dummies!) I’ve been trying to get a NEW PC (running Win 7) to speed up with no success. I followed your article and things are much improved! Thanks so much.

  7. The screenshot of the Startup tab shows only common program names. Mine shows only indecipherable ones such as AGRSMMSG, Ltmoh, SynTPEnh plus another 20 odd except for readable NeroCheck and Smartizard Wireless. I’ve got Chrome and Adobe but they are not listed.
    OK I’ll have to Google all those oddities to find out what they are so a little perplexed that these odd items are not a possibility. Otherwise very good information.

  8. After doing this I started having a lot of occurances of error http 400 on What did I do to cause this? I must have erased something. Please help.

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