I love a fast clean system that will focus all it's attention to the tasks I give it to perform. So I turn off or optimize all features that I don't need to run all the time. Here are the tweaks I start with. User Account Control When you are tweaking features you will be prompted to ALLOW access to almost everything you try to change. The following procedures step you through the tasks of turning off UAC, disabling Admin Approval Mode -thus disabling (most) prompting. Click "Start" and type "use" and select "User Accounts" then "Change User Account Control settings" and slide the bar to "Never notify" Turn off Windows Search Indexing It has a severe impact on system performance. (I think it will be removed in future versions of Windows because it beats a hard drive to death.) My hard drive finds anything I want in a few seconds without indexing. Click "Start" "Computer" (or winkey + e) and Click the C: Drive Then RIGHT click to get to Properties. On General Tab, Uncheck "Index this drive for faster searching" On the subsequent dialog box, Select Include subfolders and files Here is a tip for locating files: Since I'm usually trying to find "what is turning that program on" and it's usually a system file that has hidden and system attributes, the Windows search feature probably will not find it anyway. So I use this trick from the DOS age: Go to the command prompt and change to the root: cd\ Then run this command: attrib filename.ext /s The first time I run it, it takes about 20 seconds to search through every file name on my system and reply "file not found" but the next time it takes less than 3 seconds.... EVEN if I close the command prompt window and open it again later it only takes 3 seconds to locate any file. Only rebooting slows it down the first time it runs. Several Windows "features" are not needed and they hinder system performance. To disable these services, Click "Start" and type "fe" and select "Turn Windows Features on or off" These are the most unnecessary: Remote Differential Compression Offline Files (unless youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re using Offline File Sync) Tablet PC Input Service (unless you have a tablet PC) Terminal Services Fax (unless youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re using a fax modem) You can turn them all off EXCEPT "Windows Search" because that one will remove the search box that you type into when you click "Start" You may want to leave on the "Internet Explorer" and "Media Features" since they add extra features to those programs. Put the Axe to Scheduled Task Windows 7 has over 100 tasks scheduled. I turned ALL mine off because I will run them when I want them to run (like defrag, backup) and I'm not interested in sending Microsoft about 20 diffrent reports on a daily/hourly basis. You can look them over and decide for yourself. There is a brief description when you mouse-over them. Click "Start" and type "ta" and select "Task Scheduler Manager" go to Microsoft/Windows and right click and start disabling. There are tweaking utilities that make it easier by giving you boxes to uncheck... but the ones I have used don't show all the tasks that are listed by this method. Check this FREQUENTLY because this has become a very popular method for third party programs to secretly get loaded and run all the time. Install Ad-Aware and go to the Task Scheduler and see it checks for updates weekly. This service will be abused more and more as companies realize their products are being removed from the start menus. Turn off Hibernation Unless you are worried about your laptop battery going out while you are working on an important document and losing the data, Hibernation is a waste of disk space. It builds large files that slow down backup and cloning. To disable hibernation: Click "Start" and type "powercfg -h off" (without quotes) and when you press enter a screen with come up and disappear. Windows Defender - Too much defence - it wants too run often. Click "Start" and type and enter "def" and select "Windows Defender" click "Tools" "Options" and uncheck the box "Automatically Scan" It's easy to create a desktop shortcut and run it when you want it to run. Create a desktop shortcut to "\program files\windows defender\MSASCui.exe" and run it from time to time. It searches for malware and spyware, much like AdAware Turn off automatic Defragmenter Defragging every week or two is often enough, so run it manually when you are going to take a break. Click "Start" type "di" and select "Disk Defragmenter"and "Configure scheduler" and uncheck the "Run on schedule" box. A little more speed (yeah, I can never get enough) Click "Start" "Computer" "System Properties" "Advanced System Settings" and under Performance click "Settings" Then click "Custom" (under the Visual Effects tab) and uncheck all the boxes EXCEPT "Show window contents while dragging" "Smooth edges of screen fonts" and "Use drop shadows for icon labels" Reboot and Enjoy. Whew... this is enough for today. I should be getting paid for this! I'm writing this from my research notes and my personal experience setting up Windows 7 several times and running it for a few months... not copying and pasting from some webpage.