By Terry Blount This is a round up of processes, services and features that I have turned off. I have tested these for months under Windows 7. My system is faster and stable and has far less overhead than the day I installed Windows 7. My boot time as recorded by BootRacer is down to 17 seconds and I have had several feedbacks from users who said these tweaks improved their system and reduced bootup time. You may experience different results, so I recommend that you disable a few at a time, reboot and check out your system and make sure you can go online. A Win 7 fresh install, has about 200 features that are enabled by default that are NOT needed for the typical home system. It has also been documented that turning off some of these features is the solution to fix several conflicts and close some security holes that can be exploited. Since I want my system to focus as much of it's resources as possible to the task that I give to it, I turn off everything that's not essential. There are several ways to turn off some features so they may be mentioned more than once. You'll find it easier to go to User Accounts and set your alert to "never noitfy" so you don't have to give permission to every tweak. The top 4 "features" I first disable are: *** Turn off Windows Search Indexing Indexing 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. (This has to be done to all hard drives on the system individually.) *** 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. Most software that saves data, like text editors, have features to save your work every few minutes. *** Turn off Windows Defender - 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. If you are doing a demanding task like graphics editing or CAD recalculations and defrag kicks in, you'll just have to go to lunch. *** The largest group of unnecessary processes that run are in the Task Scheduler. By DEFAULT there are almost 150 tasks enabled after a clean install of Win 7. Most don't actually run all the time but many are diagnostic tasks and some tasks just send report logs to Microsoft. They are triggered by a multitude of events and they take baud width and system resources. I'm convinced that there are enough people who won't turn them off... and Microsoft can check with their customer support department... to get a pretty good idea of what they need to fix, WITHOUT using my computer. They should be paying me to leave these task turned on. BAD: there are software programs that insert their updates checks, registration check, error reporting, etc. from the Task Scheduler... they will tax the system and can cause problems when they automatically activate. You can check for updates from within your applications. Updating every time a new feature is available is using your system for beta testing. UGLY: worse of all are viruses/trojans/malware/crapware that uses Task Scheduler to get loaded. When they are activated undesirable results are inevitable. If Task Scheduler is turned off, that avenue will no longer be available for them to do their dirty work. You can run Task Scheduler and disable them on an individual basis (if you want to leave some running) or simply turn off the Task Scheduler. I have the entire Task Scheduler disabled. It can NOT be disabled by unchecking a box when you run Msconfig and go to Services. Here is the manual method to turn off the Task Scheduler. Run these commands from a command prompt or put them into a batch file and run it then reboot. takeown /f c:\windows\system32\taskschd.msc /a icacls c:\windows\system32\taskschd.msc /grant administrators:f cd c:\windows\system32 ren taskschd.msc taskschd.mscc pause Verify that it DID get renamed. Things like sharing violations can still get in the way. If you have connection lags and problems go to Task Manager /services /services and Disabled the Function Discovery Resource Publication service Note: Windows 7's new "HomeGroup" connectivity requires this service. *** Here are about 30 Win 7 services that can be turned off: Note: Services can be set to Automatic, Manual or Disabled so it's recommended you use "services.msc" because Msconfig just disables them. HOWEVER, I ignored that advice and use Msconfig to disable them because I want them turned OFF and it's much easier to do that by unchecking their boxes under services - when you run Msconfig. They can all be easily turned back on by checking their box. Click on the Name field to list them alphabetically and find them easier. Application Experience - Older "non-Vista or Windows 7 compatible" programs may need this service running. Bitlocker - Unless you need to protect trade secrets or national security documents it's best to avoid all encryption software. The best security is to store sensitive data on a USB and lock it up. Bluetooth - you know if you use bluetooth devices Desktop Window Manager Session Manager - reverts back to basic style themes when running applications that are not compatible with Windows 7 Distributed Link Tracking Client - not needed for home network Error Reporting Service - I don't run it, it's not connected with Administrative error logs under Event Viewer \custom Google Updater - Not a Windows service but I'm including it because I'm suspicious when it comes to testing new software for Google or anyone. I'll manually update when/if I want to. I have included this it as an example of what you may find listed. IP Helper - Very few ISP's offer a native IPv6 network to home users and no reason exists to have both IPv6 and the tried and true IPv4 on a home network. Offline files - If you do not synchronize files between computers, disable this service. Print Spooler - If this service is disabled, printing to a local or network printer will not work or any applications that use the printing sub-system (like PDF converters)...normal printing doesn't need this. Remote (everything) To prevent remote use of this computer, clear the checkboxes, If you use a hardware gateway or router, this service is not required. Secondary Logon - not needed Server - My system runs ok without it.. there have been security vulnerabilities with this service and we still don't know if its secure. Smart card (both) - you know if you use smart cards Tablet PC Input Service - you know if you use table pc Task Scheduler - doesn't matter.. if you uncheck it, it will just be checked next time. The only way to turn it off is to rename taskschd.msc as I mentioned above. TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper - If your network does not use NetBIOS and/or WINS, disable this function Telephony - This service is only required for dial-up modem connectivity and to use the Fax service Windows Backup - Provides Windows Backup and Restore capabilities. You can still backup and restore manually. Cloning your hard drive to a bootable backup hard drive is THE only real (smart/effective/reliable) method to backup. Use Acronis True Image. Windows Media (both) - TV and FM broadcast reception Windows Media Center Service Launcher - Starts and stops recording of TV programs within Windows Media Center Windows search - Searching for a file does not take "that" long to justify always having this service taking up resources and beating the life out of my hard drive. Wlan Autoconfig - This service is only required for Wireless Networks -- however it polls for a better connection every 60 seconds... sometimes causing brief freezes. Most of the details came from this great site... with a lot more excellent info about windows 7 services: Windows 7 Service Configurations by Black Viper Also, when you run Msconfig, go to startup and uncheck anything you don't need to load automatically at bootup. There is an excellent free program called Autoruns you can Google for that will display everything your computer is set to load at startup....and another really excellent program you can Google called StartupMonitor that will alert you when malware is trying to load into your startup menu. If you want to go really hardcore, there are over 100 MORE services you can tweak. These websites builds a .reg file to automatically optimize or disable about 150 windows services (with a single click of the mouse.) You look over/modify and accept their recommendations and it builds a reg file you just download and merge. Use some caution... you may lose a finger or two if you aren't careful. http://serviceseditor.com/http://www.blackviper.com/WinVista/customREG.htm Although I haven't setup any side by side test like this one that demonstrates Windows 7 memory management Vs. Vista (Opening 70 windows on identical systems side by side under Vista and Win 7) Viddler.com - Windows 7 memory managment - Uploaded by engadget I have done my own torture test and opened over 50 programs and browser windows and defragged at the same time and only about 50% of my resources were used. I have confidence that I could probably open 100 applications without crashing... and I only have 3 gb memory.