Windows Vista Tweaks

Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about all of the Windows Vista users out there. Vista got a lot of bad hype but its really not all that bad. We used it for many years in our office and for the most part it performed pretty well. With a few simple tweaks, performance can be excellent.

So if you find that your Vista is running slow or if you have lower spec hardware, these tweaks will most likely give you a quick gain in performance. They only take a couple of minutes to implement, so its well worth your time.

These tweaks are all related to minimizing the use of resources. Vista does provide various services that unfortunately use a lot of CPU. By switching these off, you don't really lose out on any crucial features, but you do gain in performance.

Turn off Windows Search Indexing

To help make your searching faster, Windows Vista keeps an up-to-date index of all the files and folders on your system. This index is updated on a regular basis and during the update it can use up CPU and really slow things down. If you only perform occasional searches, then try turning this off.

  • Click Start -> Computer
  • Right click on c:
  • Select the “General” tab -> uncheck Index this drive for faster searching
  • Perform the same steps to turn it back on

Turn off Remote Differential Compression (RDC)

Remote Differential Compression (RDC) allows applications to synchronize data between two computers in an effective manner. The synchronization efficiency is made possible by using compression techniques to minimize the amount of data sent across the network. A nice feature and it sounds really cool, but not much use if you don't need it. Turn it off and boost the performance.

Turn off RDC:

  • Open Control Panel -> Programs and Features
  • On the left menu click on “Turn Windows features on and off”
  • Uncheck Remote Differential Compression

Change hibernation settings

Hibernation in Vista is pretty cool, but we find that not many users are using it too often. So if you aren't using it, switch it off. Performance gains can vary, so its all about trial and error.

  • Open Control Panel -> Power Options
  • Click on "Change Plan Settings"
  • Click "Change Advanced Power Settings"
  • Go to Sleep -> Hibernate After
  • Move the selector to 0
  • Click "Apply"

These tweaks should give a noticeable gain in performance, but you can also turn off features like Aero for added performance. You may also want to try out the new download of Total PC Health, which can fully optimize Vista systems and provide gains of up to 400% in performance.