Speed up your computer

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

No matter how good you are about keeping your computer clean and up-to-date, they tend to slow down after time. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to help speed them up― without upgrading your hardware.

Depending on the version of Windows running on your device, you can either use the free automated tool from Microsoft to diagnose and resolve some of the issues that slow your computer down or follow the steps detailed below to identify and fix the issues yourself.

Fix it Automated Solution



Microsoft Fix it is a free tool that can automatically diagnose and improve system performance. Common scenarios that this tool can identify include:
  • Power saver settings
  • Multiple anti-virus programs running on the same device
  • Unnecessary programs running at startup
  • Not enough hard drive space
  • Too many unused programs
  • Leftover programs
  • Old, cached, and temporary files
  • Too many programs running in the background
  • Data corruption
  • Hard disk fragmentation
  • Missing Windows updates or outdated drivers
    Note: Microsoft Fix it is currently NOT AVAILABLE for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.

Do-it-yourself

Note: If you are an advanced user, you can download a free tool from the Microsoft website that shows you all of the programs and processes that run when you start Windows, including the ones that Windows requires to operate successfully. Use this tool only if you are comfortable restoring Windows after an error occurs.

Uninstall extra antivirus programs

If you use more than one antivirus or antispyware program at the same time, your device may experience decreased performance, become unstable, or restart unexpectedly. To remedy the issue, you should select one Internet security program to run on your device. You should then uninstall the other programs.

Caution: Make sure you have an Internet security program running on your device before you uninstall other security programs.

Some Internet security applications do not uninstall completely. You may need to download and run a cleanup utility for your previous security application to completely remove it.

If you use another antispyware program together with Microsoft Security Essentials, we recommend that you turn off real-time scanning in the other program. For more information, see the documentation supplied by that antispyware program.

To remove an antivirus or antispyware program, select the version of Windows installed on your device and follow the instructions.

Windows 8.1 and Windows 8
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).
  2. Tap or click Search.
  3. Type appwiz.cpl in the Search box.
  4. Tap or click Appwiz.cpl on the left side of your screen.
  5. In the list of installed programs, uninstall the Internet security programs you don’t need.
  6. Restart your device.
Windows 7
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Run.
  3. Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter.
  4. In the list of installed programs, uninstall the Internet security programs you don’t need.
  5. Restart your device.
Windows Vista
  1. Click Start.
  2. In the Start Search box, type appwiz.cpl and press Enter.
  3. In the list of installed programs, uninstall the Internet security programs you don’t need.
  4. Restart your device.
Windows XP
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Run.
  3. Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter.
  4. In the list of installed programs, uninstall the Internet security programs you don’t need.
  5. Restart your device.

Solutions for your version of Windows

Click on the version of Windows that matches the one installed on your device and follow the series of suggested solutions to try and resolve your device’s performance issue.
Windows 8.1 and Windows 8
Close programs in the notification area running with startup
If your device takes a long time to start up, one of the causes could be having a large number of startup apps or a few apps that have a high impact on startup time.

Some of these programs add an icon to the notification area on the taskbar to show that they are running with startup.

To stop a program that has one of these icons from automatically running on startup, follow these instructions:
  1. On the Start screen, tap or click Desktop image to see the icon tray.
  2. Point to each icon to see the program name.
  3. To ensure that you can see icons for all running programs, tap or click Show hidden icons.
  4. Open a program that you do not want to run on startup. In the options for that program, find a setting similar to Run at startup. Set the option to Off or No.
Note: You must open any program that you do not want to run on startup and change the setting.
View Startup items
To see what programs run at startup and disable any, follow these instructions:
  1. Press and hold or right-click in the blank area on Taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Tap or click More details in the lower-left corner of Task Manager.
  3. Under the Startup tab in Task Manager, you can view a list of applications that start automatically every time you turn on your device and sign in to Windows.
  4. If you see any programs in this list that you do not want to run when Windows starts, tap or click the application and then tap or click Disable.
Note: Disabling a program from running at startup doesn't stop the program from running if you need it. If you tap or click the program after startup, it will start and run normally.
Change a program
Sometimes, by adding or removing certain program options, you can prevent a program from running at startup.

Note: If you cannot stop the program from running on startup and the program does not have the option to change the configuration, you must talk to the program manufacturer for a solution.

To change the configuration of a program, follow these instructions:
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).
  2. Tap or click Search.
  3. Type appwiz.cpl in the Search box.
  4. Tap or click Apps.
  5. Tap or click Appwiz.cpl on the left side of your screen.
  6. Tap or click a program, and then tap or click Uninstall, Change, or Repair.
Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
Clean up disk errors
Over time, your device may create errors on its hard drive. These errors can slow your device. The Check Disk program identifies and cleans any errors.

To run Check Disk, follow these instructions:
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).
  2. Tap or click Search.
  3. Type computer in the Search box.
  4. Tap or click Apps.
  5. Tap or click Computer on the left side of your screen.
  6. Press and hold or right-click the drive you want to repair, and then tap or click Properties.
  7. Tap or click the Tools tab.
  8. Under Error checking, tap or click Check. Depending upon the size of your hard disk, this may take several minutes. For best results, don't use your device for any other tasks while it's checking for errors.
    Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  9. You may need to restart your device after error checking is complete.
Defragment your hard disk
One of the best ways to help improve your device’s performance is by optimizing the hard drive. Optimize Drives, previously known as Disk Defragmenter, is a Windows feature that helps optimize different types of drives. The feature runs automatically on a weekly schedule, but you can also run Optimize Drives manually.

To run Optimize Drives manually, follow these instructions:
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).
  2. Tap or click Search.
  3. Type computer in the Search box.
  4. Tap or click Apps.
  5. Tap or click Computer on the left side of your screen.
  6. Press and hold or right-click the drive you want to repair, and then tap or click Properties.
  7. Tap or click the Tools tab.
  8. Tap or click Optimize under Optimize and defragment drive.
  9. Under Status, tap or click the drive you want to optimize. (The Media type column tells you what type of drive you're optimizing.)
  10. To determine if the drive needs to be optimized, tap or click Analyze. Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  11. After Windows finishes analyzing the drive, check the Current status column to see whether you need to optimize the drive. If the drive is more than 10 percent fragmented, you should optimize it.
  12. Tap or click Optimize.
Notes
  • Optimizing a drive can take anywhere from several minutes to several hours to finish, depending on the size of the drive and degree of optimization required. You can still use your device during the optimization process.
  • If the drive is being used by another program or is formatted using a file system other than NTFS, FAT, or FAT32, it can't be optimized.
  • Network drives can't be optimized.
  • If a drive doesn’t appear in Optimize Drives, it might be because it contains an error. Try to repair the drive first, then return to Optimize Drives to try again.

To change the optimization schedule, follow these instructions:
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).
  2. Tap or click Search.
  3. Type computer in the Search box.
  4. Tap or click Apps.
  5. Tap or click Computer on the left side of your screen.
  6. Press and hold or right-click the drive you want to repair, and then tap or click Properties.
  7. Tap or click the Tools tab.
  8. Tap or click Optimize under Optimize and defragment drive.
  9. Tap or click Change settings. Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  10. Select one of the following:
    • To turn off scheduled optimization, clear the Run on a schedule check box.
    • To change the frequency of scheduled optimization, tap or click the drop-down list next to Frequency, and then tap or click Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. The default schedule for optimization is weekly and runs during Automatic Maintenance.
    • To select the drives you want to include or exclude in scheduled optimization, tap or click Choose next to Drives. Select or clear the check boxes next to the drives and then tap or click OK. You can also clear the Automatically optimize new drives check box if you don't want new drives added to scheduled optimization. If Windows can't optimize a drive, it won't offer the drive as an option for Automatic Maintenance.
  11. Tap or click OK.
Clean your hard disk
Disk Cleanup reduces the number of unnecessary files on your drives by deleting temporary files and system files, emptying the Recycle Bin, and removing a variety of other items that you may no longer need.

To clean your hard disk, follow these instructions:
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).
  2. Tap or click Search.
  3. Type free up disk space in the Search box.
  4. Tap or click Settings.
  5. Tap or click Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files on the left side of your screen.
  6. In the Drives list, tap or click the drive that you want to clean up.
  7. Tap or click OK.
  8. In the message that appears, tap or click Delete files.

To clean up system files associated with your account, follow these instructions:
  1. In the Drives list, tap or click the drive that you want to clean up and then tap or click OK.
  2. In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, tap or click Clean up system files. Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  3. The More Options tab is available when you opt to clean up system files from your device. This tab includes two additional options for freeing up space:
    • Programs and Features. This option opens Programs and Features in Control Panel, where you can uninstall programs that you no longer use. The Size column in Programs and Features shows how much space each program uses.
    • System Restore and Shadow Copies. System Restore uses restore points to return your system files to an earlier point in time. If your device is running normally, you can save space by deleting earlier restore points.

Turn off visual effects
If Windows is running slowly, you can speed it up by disabling certain visual effects. You can select which visual effects to turn off one by one or you can let Windows select for you.

To turn off visual effects, follow these instructions:
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move the mouse pointer down).
  2. Tap or click Search.
  3. Type Performance Information and Tools in the Search box.
  4. Tap or click Settings.
  5. Tap or click Performance Information and Tools on the left side of your screen.
  6. Tap or click Adjust visual effects. Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  7. Under Visual Effects tab, check on Adjust for best performance, and then tap or click OK. (For a less drastic option, select Let Windows choose what's best for my computer.
Run fewer programs at the same time
Sometimes you can improve system performance by changing your computing behavior. Running four or more programs while leaving multiple browser windows and email messages open may be more than your device can handle.

If you find your device slowing down, decide whether you really need to keep all of your programs and windows open at the same time. Also, find a way to remind yourself to reply to email messages later instead of keeping them open until you reply.
Use ReadyBoost
ReadyBoost can speed up your device by using storage space on flash memory cards and USB flash drives. If you have a storage device that will work with ReadyBoost, you'll see an option to use ReadyBoost when you plug it into your device. If you select this option, you can select how much memory to use.
Adjust indexing options
Windows uses an index to perform very fast searches of the most common files on your device. If it's taking too long to search for things on your device, you can narrow your search to focus on the files and folders that you most commonly use. For more information, see Indexing and Search: Frequently asked questions.
Adjust power plan
A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings (such as display, sleep, and so on) that manages how your device uses power. The power plans you can use depend on the kind of device you have. For more information, see Power plan: Frequently asked questions.
Other resources

Post a question or search for solutions in the Microsoft Community forums.
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
Close running programs in the notification area
If your device takes a long time to start up, one of the causes could be having a large number of startup apps or a few apps that have a high impact on startup time.

Some of these programs add an icon to the notification area on the taskbar to show that they are running with startup.

To prevent a program in the notification area from running on startup, open the program and find program options. Find a setting that resembles “Run at startup” and then set the option to Off or No.
View the Start folder
To see what programs run at startup and disable any, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. Click Startup.
  4. If you see any programs in this folder that you do not want to run when Windows starts, right-click the icon for that program and click Delete.
Note: This action does not remove the program. It only deletes the options that starts the program automatically.
Use System Configuration
System Configuration helps you identify programs that run at startup and discover programs that slowdown your device.

Note: If you disable programs that normally run at startup, related applications may start more slowly or not run as expected. If you are not sure what a program in System Configuration does, do not disable the program.

To run System Configuration, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click System and Security.
  4. Click Administrative Tools.
  5. Double-click System Configuration. Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  6. In System Configuration, click the Startup tab. Important: Do not click Disable All. This could make Windows run without some programs you may need.
  7. Review the programs that are set to run at startup. Click to clear the check box beside any program that you do not need to have running all the time.
    Note: Changes that you make in System Configuration do not take effect until you restart your device.
Change or uninstall a program
Sometimes, by adding or removing certain program options, you can prevent a program from running at startup.

Note: If you cannot stop the program from running on startup and the program does not have the option to change the configuration, you must talk to the program manufacturer for a solution.

To change the configuration of a program, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Programs.
  4. Click Programs and Features.
  5. Select a program, and then right-click the program. Some programs include the option to change, repair, or uninstall programs. To change a program, click Change or Repair. If there is no Change or Repair option, click Uninstall.
Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
Clean up disk errors
Over time, your device may create errors on its hard drive. These errors can slow your device. The Check Disk program identifies and cleans any errors. Note: You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps. If you are not logged on as an administrator, you can only change settings that apply to your user account.

To run Check Disk, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Computers andright-click the hard disk drive that you want to check.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Click the Tools tab.
  5. Click Check now under Error-checking.
    • To automatically repair detected problems with files and folders, select Automatically fix file system errors.
    • To perform a thorough disk check, select Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. This scan, which attempts to find and repair physical errors on the hard disk itself, can take much longer to complete.
    • To check for file errors and physical errors, select Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
  6. Click Start.
Depending on the size of your hard disk, this procedure may take several minutes. For best results, don't use your device for any other tasks while it's checking for errors.

Note: If you select Automatically fix file system errors for a disk that is in use, you will be prompted to reschedule the disk check for the next time you restart your device.
Defragment your hard disk
Disk Defragmenter rearranges fragmented data so that your hard disk drive can work more efficiently.

Note: Disk Defragmenter can take anywhere from several minutes to several hours to complete, depending on how much data on your disk is fragmented. You can use your device during defragmentation, but the system may respond slowly until defragmentation is finished.

To run Disk Defragmenter, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Type disk defragmenter in the Search box and press Enter.
  3. Click Disk Defragmenter.
  4. Select the disk that you want to defragment under Current status.
  5. Click Analyze disk. Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  6. When Windows finishes analyzing the disk, the Last Run column shows the percentage of fragmentation on the disk. If the number is above 10 percent, click Defragment disk.
Clean your hard disk
Disk Cleanup reduces the number of unnecessary files on your drives by deleting temporary files and system files, emptying the Recycle Bin, and removing a variety of other items that you may no longer need.

To clean your hard disk, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Type disk cleanup in the Search box and press Enter.
  3. Click Disk Cleanup.
  4. In the Drives list, click the hard disk drive that you want to clean up, and then click OK. Disk Cleanup will calculate how much space you can free up on the drive. This may take a few minutes.
  5. In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, click the Disk Cleanup tab, select the check boxes for the file types that you want to delete and click OK.
  6. In the message that appears, click Delete files.
Turn off visual effects
If Windows is running slowly, you can speed it up by disabling certain visual effects. You can select which visual effects to turn off one by one or you can let Windows select for you.

To turn off visual effects, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Type Performance Information and Tools in the Search box.
  3. In the list of results, click Performance Information and Tools.
  4. Click Adjust visual effects.
  5. Select the disk that you want to defragment under Current status.
  6. Click Analyze disk. Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  7. Click the Visual Effects tab.
  8. Click Adjust for best performance.
  9. Click OK. (For a less drastic option, select Let Windows select what's best for my computer).
Run fewer programs at the same time
Sometimes you can improve system performance by changing your computing behavior. Running four or more programs while leaving multiple browser windows and email messages open may be more than your device can handle.

If you find your device slowing down, decide whether you really need to keep all of your programs and windows open at the same time. Also, find a way to remind yourself to reply to email messages later instead of keeping them open until you reply.
Use ReadyBoost
If you have a USB drive or a memory card with at least 1 gigabyte (GB) of available space, you may be able to make your system faster by using ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost uses available storage space on a removable device to boost your system speed.

Note: If your drive or card doesn't have enough available space for ReadyBoost, you'll see a message telling you to free some space.
Adjust indexing options
Windows uses an index to perform very fast searches of the most common files on your device. To learn more see Improve Windows searches using the index.
Adjust power settings
A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings that manages how your device uses and conserves power. Power plans can save energy, maximize system performance, or balance energy conservation with performance. The default power plans—Balanced and Power saver—meet most people's needs. But you can modify settings for existing plans or create your own plan.

To adjust power settings, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Hardware and Sound.
  4. Click Power Options.
  5. On the Select a power plan page, select a power plan. If you don't see the power plan that you want to use, click Show additional plans.
Other resources

Post a question or search for solutions in the Microsoft Community forums.
Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008
Close running programs in the notification area
If your device takes a long time to start up, one of the causes could be having a large number of startup apps or a few apps that have a high impact on startup time.

Some of these programs add an icon to the notification area on the taskbar to show that they are running with startup.

To prevent a program in the notification area from running on startup, open the program and find program options. Find a setting that resembles “Run at startup” and then set the option to Off or No.
Use Software Explorer in Windows Defender
To stop a program from running automatically at startup, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start .
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. Click Windows Defender.
    Note: If you are notified that this program is turned off, please follow the pop-up window to turn it on.
  4. Click the Tools button and then click Software Explorer.
  5. In the Category box, click Startup Programs.
  6. Select the program that you want to prevent from running and click Disable.
  7. Click Yes to confirm that you want to stop that program from running.
  8. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for every program that you want to stop from running.
Use System Configuration
System Configuration helps you identify programs that run at startup and discover programs that slowdown your device.

Note: If you disable programs that normally run at startup, related applications may start more slowly or not run as expected. If you are not sure what a program in System Configuration does, do not disable the program.

To start the System Configuration utility, follow these instructions:
  1. Press [Windows] +R on the keyboard to access the Run dialog box.
  2. Type msconfig.exe in the Open box and click OK.
    Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  3. In System Configuration, click the Startup tab.
    Note: Do not click Disable All. This could make Windows run without some programs that you may need.
  4. Review the programs that are running at startup. Click to clear the check box beside any program that you do not need to have running all the time.
    Note: Removing the check box in System Configuration will not take effect until you restart your system.
Change or uninstall a program
Sometimes, by adding or removing certain program options, you can prevent a program from running at startup.

Note: If you cannot stop the program from running on startup and the program does not have the option to change the configuration, you must talk to the program manufacturer for a solution.

To change or uninstall a program, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Programs.
  4. Click Programs and Features.
  5. Select a program, and then right-click the program. Some programs include the option to change, repair, or uninstall programs. To change a program, click Change or Repair. If there is no Change or Repair option, click Uninstall.
    Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
Clean up disk errors
Over time, your device may create errors on its hard drive. These errors can slow your device. The Check Disk program identifies and cleans any errors.

Note: You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps. If you are not logged on as an administrator, you can only change settings that apply to your user account.

To run Check Disk, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Computers andright-click the hard disk drive that you want to check.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Click the Tools tab.
  5. Click Check now under Error-checking.
    • To automatically repair detected problems with files and folders, select Automatically fix file system errors.
    • To perform a thorough disk check, select Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. This scan, which attempts to find and repair physical errors on the hard disk itself, can take much longer to complete.
    • To check for file errors and physical errors, select Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
  6. Click Start.
Depending upon the size of your hard disk, this procedure may take several minutes. For best results, don't use your device for any other tasks while checking for errors.

Note: If you select Automatically fix file system errors for a disk that is in use, you will be prompted to reschedule the disk check for the next time you restart your device.
Defragment your hard disk
Disk Defragmenter rearranges fragmented data so that your hard disk drive can work more efficiently.

Note: Disk Defragmenter can take anywhere from several minutes to several hours to complete, depending on how much data on your disk is fragmented. You can use your device during defragmentation, but the system may respond slowly until defragmentation is finished.

To run Disk Defragmenter, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. Click Accessories.
  4. Click System Tools.
  5. Click Disk Defragmenter.
    Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  6. Click Defragment Now
Clean your hard disk
Disk Cleanup reduces the number of unnecessary files on your drives by deleting temporary files and system files, emptying the Recycle Bin, and removing a variety of other items that you may no longer need.

To clean your hard disk, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start .
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. Click Accessories.
  4. Click System Tools.
  5. Click Disk Cleanup.
  6. In the Disk Cleanup Options dialog box, select the files that you want to clean up under File to delete.
    Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  7. If the Disk Cleanup: Drive Selection dialog box appears, select the hard disk drive that you want to clean up and click OK.
  8. Click the Disk Cleanup tab and then select the check boxes for the files that you want to delete.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Click Delete files to confirm the operation.
Turn off visual effects
If Windows is running slowly, you can speed it up by disabling certain visual effects. You can select which visual effects to turn off one by one or you can let Windows select for you.

To turn off visual effects, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start .
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click System and Maintenance.
  4. Click Performance Information and Tools.
  5. Click Adjust visual effects.
    Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
  6. Click the Visual Effects tab.
  7. Click Adjust for best performance.
  8. Click OK. (For a less drastic option, select Let Windows choose what's best for my computer.)
Run fewer programs at the same time
Sometimes you can improve system performance by changing your computing behavior. Running four or more programs while leaving multiple browser windows and email messages open may be more than your device can handle.

If you find your device slowing down, decide whether you really need to keep all of your programs and windows open at the same time. Also, find a way to remind yourself to reply to email messages later instead of keeping them open until you reply.
Use ReadyBoost
If you have a USB drive or a memory card with at least 1 gigabyte (GB) of available space, you may be able to make your system faster using ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost uses available storage space on a removable device to boost your system speed.

Note: If your drive or card doesn't have enough available space for ReadyBoost, you'll see a message telling you to free some space.

For more information, see Using memory in your storage device to speed up your computer.
Adjust indexing options
Windows uses an index to perform very fast searches of the most common files on your device. To learn more see Improve Windows searches using the index.
Adjust power settings
A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings that manages how your device uses and conserves power. Power plans can save energy, maximize system performance, or balance energy conservation with performance. The default power plans—Balanced and Power saver—meet most people's needs. But you can modify settings for existing plans or create your own plan.

To adjust power settings, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start .
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click System and Maintenance.
  4. Click Power Options.
  5. On the Select a power plan page, select the power plan that you want. If you don't see the power plan that you want to use, click Show additional plans. Some of the custom plans from the device manufacturer may also appear by default on the battery meter on a mobile device or as one of the preferred plans on a desktop computer.
Other resources

Post a question or search for solutions in the Microsoft Community forums.
Windows XP
Close running programs in the notification area
If your device takes a long time to start up, one of the causes could be having a large number of startup apps or a few apps that have a high impact on startup time.

Some of these programs add an icon to the notification area on the taskbar to show that they are running with startup. To make sure that you can see icons for all the running programs, click the Show hidden icons button.

To prevent a program in the notification area from running on startup, open the program and find program options. Find a setting that resembles “Run at startup” and then set the option to Off or No.
View the Start folder
Some programs include themselves in the Startup folder so that they start automatically every time that you start Windows.

To see what programs run at startup and disable any, follow these instructions:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. Click Startup.
  4. If you see any programs in this folder that you are certain you do not want to run when Windows starts, right-click the icon for that program and click Delete.
    Note: This action does not remove the program. It only deletes the option that starts the program automatically.
 
Use System Configuration
System Configuration helps you identify programs that run at startup and discover if a program is slowing down your device.

Note: If you disable programs that normally run at startup, related applications may start more slowly or not run as expected. If you are not sure what a program in System Configuration does, do not disable the program.

To open System Configuration, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Run.
  3. Type msconfig.
  4. Click OK.
  5. In System Configuration, click the Startup tab.
    Note: Do not click Disable All. This could make Windows run without some programs that you may need.
  6. Review the programs that are running at startup. Click to clear the check box beside any program that you do not need to have running all the time.
    Note: Removing the check box in System Configuration will not take effect until you restart your system.
Change or uninstall a program
You can change a program's configuration by adding or removing certain options. If you cannot stop the program from running on startup and the program does not have the option to change the configuration, you must talk to the program manufacturer for a solution.

To change or uninstall a program, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Double-click Add or Remove Programs.
  4. In the Currently installed programs box, click the program that you want to remove and then click Remove.
  5. If you are prompted to confirm the removal of the program, click Yes.
    Note: If prompted, type an administrator password or confirmation.
Check disk errors
You can solve some certain device problems or improve performance by making sure that your hard disk has no errors.

To check for disk errors, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Run.
  3. In Open, type cmd, and then press Enter.
  4. Use one of the following procedures:
    • To run Chkdsk in read-only mode, at the command prompt, type chkdsk, and then press Enter.
    • To repair errors without scanning the volume for bad sectors, at the command prompt, type chkdsk volume:/f, and then press Enter.
    • To repair errors, locate bad sectors, and recover readable information, at the command prompt, type chkdsk volume:/r, and then press Enter.
    Note: If one or more of the files on the hard disk are open, you will receive the following message: 

    Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N) 

    Type Y, and then press Enter to schedule the disk check. Restart your device to start the disk check.
Defragment your hard disk
Disk Defragmenter rearranges fragmented data so that your hard disk drive can work more efficiently.

Note: Disk Defragmenter can take anywhere from several minutes to several hours to complete, depending on how much data on your disk is fragmented. You can use your device during defragmentation, but the system may respond slowly until defragmentation is finished.

To run Disk Defragmenter, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click My Computer.
  3. Right-click Local Disk.
  4. Click Properties.
  5. Click the Tools tab.
  6. Click Defragment Now.
  7. The Disk Defragmenter dialog box appears. Click your hard disk drive and then click Defragment.
  8. Disk Defragmenter will work for at least several minutes, although it might take several hours. When prompted, click Close.
Note: If you have more than one hard disk drive, repeat this process for each hard disk drive listed.
Clean your hard disk
Disk Cleanup reduces the number of unnecessary files on your drives by deleting temporary files and system files, emptying the Recycle Bin, and removing a variety of other items that you may no longer need.

To clean your hard disk, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click My Computer.
  3. Right-click Local Disk.
  4. Click Properties.
  5. On the General tab, click the Disk Cleanup button. Disk Cleanup will spend a few minutes examining your disk.
  6. The Disk Cleanup dialog box will appear. Select each of the check boxes in the Files to delete list and click OK.
  7. When prompted, click Yes. Disk Cleanup will spend several minutes removing these files. 
Note: If you have more than one hard disk drive, repeat this process for each hard disk drive listed in My Computer.
Turn off Visual effects
If Windows is running slowly, you can speed it up by disabling certain visual effects. You can select which visual effects to turn off one by one or you can let Windows select for you.

To turn off visual effects, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Right-click My Computer.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Click the Advanced tab.
  5. In the section labeled Performance, click the Settings button to open the Performance Options window.
  6. Under the Visual Effects tab, select Adjust for best performance.
  7. Click OK. The system could take a minute or so to make the adjustment and the screen may briefly go black and white during the process. After the process is complete, the Performance Options window will close.
  8. Click OK.
Run fewer programs at the same time
Sometimes you can improve system performance by changing your computing behavior. Running four or more programs while leaving multiple browser windows and email messages open may be more than your device can handle.

If you find your device slowing down, decide whether you really need to keep all of your programs and windows open at the same time. Also, find a way to remind yourself to reply to email messages later instead of keeping them open until you reply.
Adjust indexing options
Windows uses an index to perform fast searches of the most common files on your device. For more information, see Adjust indexing options.
Adjust power settings
A power plan is a collection of hardware and system settings that manages how your device uses and conserves power. Power plans can save energy, maximize system performance, or balance energy conservation with performance. The default power plans—Balanced and Power saver—meet most people's needs. But you can modify settings for existing plans or create your own plan.

To adjust power settings, follow these instructions:
  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Switch to Classic View.
  4. Click Power Options.
  5. Review the power plan options to see whether you want to change to the high performance option.
Other resources



Properties

Article ID: 3064207 - Last Review: 07/14/2015 07:46:00 - Revision: 1.0

Windows 8, Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 with Bing, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional

  • kbsmbportal kbinfo kbsurveynew KB3064207
Feedback