Optimize Windows Vista Performance
The reason many people have never migrated from Windows XP to Windows Vista is that Vista very quickly got a name of being slow and having a lot of (initial) problems. Luckily Vista has become much more stable by now with SP1 and SP2 addressing many of the earlier problems. But on the performance aspect, Vista can certainly not compete with Windows XP.
Vista Performance Improvements
One of the reasons that Vista is slow is because there are many services running by default. Although this helps in helping Vista run in different configurations and with various hardware devices, it also affects the resource utilization.
So if you did switch to Vista, or have a computer that came preinstalled with Vista, you might be interested in improving the Vista performance a bit. Stopping some of the default Vista services is one option. A nice little program to help you with this is Vista Services Optimizer. You can download Vista Services Optimizer from the program’s website. It is only a 3 MB download file.
Once you have downloaded the installer, double-click it to execute it. The installation wizard will help you install the program.
We used the Typical installation option.
Double-click the new desktop icon for the program to start Vista Services Optimizer.
The user interface might look a little overwhelming, but there are options for both beginner and advanced computer users. If you are a gamer, you would want to try the Gaming Mode, where many of the not needed services are turned off temporarily. This will help improve the gaming performance, and this mode is really more intended as a temporary services configuration.
If you are not very knowledgeable about Vista services, you can use the Automatic TuneUp.
In the User Profile window that comes up, you can specify what you do and do not use in plain English. No need to know technical terms, most questions can be understood by all computer users. And in case you do not know, select the Maybe option.
After clicking the OK button, you still need to click the Optimize button in the main window to active the service configuration changes. The program will then make the necessary changes to your system configuration.
When the changes have been made, the Please Wait… dialog disappears, there is no “complete” message.
You need to restart the computer to let the changes take effect.
The Manual TuneUp option allows you a more detailed control on the individual services that are running in Vista. Each can be enabled or disabled separately.
A word of care regarding the use of the program, consider making a system restore point before you start making any changes to the Vista services, so you can always revert back to your initial configuration. The program makes services snapshots with every change that can be restored as well, but it is better to have an extra recovery option just in case.
Also keep in mind that you can run the program as often as you want, so try making small changes to see if everything is still working as you expect. It is easy to turn a service back on, and additional services off.
More Vista Performance Tips
Of course many of the common Windows performance improvements can be used across different versions of Windows. Regularly running a registry cleaner can help in Vista as it can in XP. Making sure that you run updated Vista drivers for your system hardware is also important for maximum performance. Especially the audio and video drivers are important for smooth computing!