Super UserWhich Windows tweaks do you use and they actually work?
[+41] [16] NighTerrorX
[2009-07-15 21:29:30]
[ windows-7 windows windows-vista tweaks ]

Too many times I get a good "tip" on a good registry tweak or a good thing to remove or do, and some times it does not work.

What are some good tweaks for Windows Vista/XP/7 that actually works and you find the most useful?

[+42] [2009-07-15 22:10:01] Adam Gibbins [ACCEPTED]

Copied from a response I posted on Server Fault, a collection of useful Windows XP registry tweaks:

Use classic login:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon]

Remove Windows Tour popup:


Disable autorun:


Disable search assistant:

"Use Search Asst"="no"

Set Google as Internet Explorer homepage:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
"Start Page"=""

Put volume icon in the tray:


Remove Windows Messenger from startup:


Show file extensions:


Classic control panel:


Disable Desktop Cleanup Wizard


An awesome .reg-file to run on first install. - Stefan Thyberg
Excellent list, +1! - Stewbob
[+14] [2009-07-15 21:50:52] gnavi

Microsoft's PowerToys [1] have included a bunch of useful Windows tweaks:
"Open Command Window Here" is simple, but startlingly useful!


(1) +1 for "open command window here" - Artur Carvalho
(4) Starting with Vista, you can get "Open Command Window Here" by Shift-Right-Clicking the folder - balpha
[+10] [2009-07-21 22:12:49] Adam Matan

Powertoys has an option to change the actual location of the My Document\Pictures\Music folders.

It is remarkably useful. When I install a new computer, I put all the user data on D:, and the system folders and installed software on C:. After pointing the "My" directories to D:\home\username\My-Whatever, I create an image of C:.

Now, after some months the computer is slow and buggy. I simply restore the image - all the users' data is on D:. They just need to install some software.

Saved my so many hours on friends' computers.

+1 so true! - scraimer
+1: Good stuff. - Jim G.
[+9] [2009-08-25 09:49:58] community_owned

In regedit

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse\MouseHoverTime

Change from 400 to anything below 20 to make the superbar in Windows 7 bearable (sets the time, in milliseconds, that it takes for the previews to pop up).

[+6] [2009-07-15 21:31:36] moshen

I typically set my pagefile to a static size and turn off all visual enchantments by turning off everything in the right click my computer -> properties -> advanced -> performance menu.

These do affect performance in Windows XP.

EDIT: I install TweakUI [1] typically for easy access to other options. I usually have my My Documents and Desktop folders on another drive to make rebuilds more seamless.


(1) And have it unfragmented. - Mercer Traieste
(1) unfragmented... Using Mark Russinovich's PageDefrag tool - nik
[+3] [2009-07-15 21:40:12] frgtn

Apart from static pagefile size and disabled visuals I also fire up gpedic.msc and disable autoruns from all devices under Windows XP.

Unfortunately this step doesn't fully disable autoruns on removable devices, only their autoplay features. They can still override the "open" action. To take care of that I use this registry script:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\Autorun.inf] @=”@SYS:DoesNotExist”

[+3] [2009-08-26 16:21:20] M1CH43L P4VL

For XP/Vista/7, [1] knows what he's talking about. OS Guides, service configurations for newbs through "super geek" users, you name it. He is always up to date, always adding content. Every time I reload an OS, I refer to his site.


Its black background makes my eyes pain to read. No RSS either. Good content though. :) - kentchen
[+3] [2009-08-26 19:00:58] Jonathan

There are lots of tricks you can do with Windows 7, but the most useful one I found is Changing User Profile Default Location in Windows 7 [1].

This way you can isolate your documents from the OS partition. Its a great way to keep your OS clean and up to speed.


[+3] [2009-07-16 07:37:34] John T

With the classic start menu and XP start menu, the menu fades in and out. Some people find the effect unnecessary. It's a simple registry tweak to make the menu show instantly:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\MenuShowDelay

set it to 0.

[+3] [2009-07-21 22:08:09] Larry

This site tweakguides [1] covers it all, has a PDF that covers everything for XP and Vista.

The TweakGuides Tweaking Companion (TGTC) is the complete system optimization guide for Windows users. Designed for novice and advanced users alike, it is written in plain English to help you genuinely understand all aspects of Windows and your PC. The guide covers every major topic, from the correct installation of Windows and critical drivers and software, through to recommendations for every significant setting and feature, all the major performance and convenience tweaks and customizations, as well as detailed troubleshooting advice. There are also links to a range of reliable free applications for optimizing and maintaining your system, as well as to important resources for finding out even more about Windows and your PC.


[+3] [2011-07-17 07:30:53] Abraxas

Most "tweaks" either really do nothing, or cause some harm. The GUI can be changed as much as you want, of course. But as far as speed goes, the system already runs as fast as the people who know it best could make it run.

That being said, there are certainly some things that some users will never use. But that is something fairly individual to users and very hard to generalize about. Some people may never use the Fax service, while others use it all the time, for example. So turning off unnecessary things is an individual choice.

Also, Windows is now a service-based OS and not a resources-based OS like Windows 95 and 98. Many people are still living in the past. That means that turning off services saves absolutely nothing of the CPU because services that are not doing something do not use the CPU. That is why NT systems have virtually no upper limit on resources. The only time shutting down services is a help is when RAM is too low.

The idea that turning off services will speed the system is based on a complete lack of understanding about how the NT kernel operates. As an experiment, I turned on all services and compared the speed of the machine to the reduced, BlackViper set. There was no difference whatsoever.

Most of the "tweaks" floating around are not even for the NT system and do nothing at all.

(2) turning off unneeded services can improve boot time, because those service take time to load and require resources such as RAM. Registry tweaks are not going to help, they may hurt more than help, as you may change a value that is used by Windows or another application. The best thing you can do is to upgrade your ram and upgrade to an SSD.… - Sean
[+1] [2009-10-13 09:15:04] WebDevHobo

Increase the number of simultaneous downloads in IE8 [1]
Menu Delay Time in Windows 7 [2]


[+1] [2009-07-16 07:34:30] Ivo Flipse

Under Windows XP I would have a registry tweak [1] to shutdown faster, it worked but in the end I think I changed the 1000 to 100: bad idea! Windows 7 luckily doesn't need it, shutdown is pretty rapid.

1) Start - Run - Regedit Navigate to the following Registry key: HKEY CURRENT USER\Control Panel\Desktop Double click on the AutoEndTasks entry and replace the 0 with a 1 in the Value data text box

For the next two, if the dword value indicated does not exist, create it:

Double click on the WaitToKillAppTimeout entry in the right pane and change the Value data to 2000

Double click on the HungAppTimeout entry in the right pane and change the Value data to 1000


If still having a problem, make the next change:

2) HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control Right-click on WaitToKillServiceTimeout and change it to 2000

NOTE: The lowest value Windows will recognize is 1000 (1 second)

ADVISORY: While rare, the "WaitToKillService" tweak can cause problems. If an application is in the process of saving data and the associated service is stopped prematurely, the data will not be saved and may be lost. (Tweak, Note and Advisory from Forum Admin)


[0] [2010-07-26 20:35:53] kokbira has a lot of apps to monitor processes, network connections etc.

I often use:
- ProcessExplorer
- Autoruns
- TcpView

You can downlosd SysInternals Suite with all apps.

[0] [2010-11-08 17:28:41] Rob Kam

Add a shortcut to Notepad in the SendTo folder.

[0] [2011-07-17 12:44:37] KCotreau

I agree that screwing around with things you don't know about can cause problems, and frankly, in all my years, I have not really once gone in to turn off services, etc. I do have some tweaks that I like.

1) Set Control Panel to small icons
2) Open Computer>Organize>Layout>Menu Bar Click to turn on
3) Control Panel>Folder Options>View and uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types"
4) Right-Click Start>Properties>Start Menu>Customize and check "Run command", and display System Administrative Tools
5) Turn off annoying Internet Explorer sound when you navigate in Control Panel>Sound>Sounds>"Start Navigation" (sound) set the sound to None

My last one is to kill the slides, fades, etc. that slow down what I want to do. Right-click Computer>Properties>Advanced System Settings>Advanced>Performance and set them like I have them in the screenshot. You can also experiment with unchecking others to see if you like that too. This last one will actually improve performance.

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