I Remember the Time: Increasing Memory Performance in Windows

Has your Windows gotten older, slower, and short on memory? Maybe you aren’t ready to migrate to Windows 10 and you’re still trying to glean as much life as possible off of your beloved Windows 7. If so, there are some ways to improve the memory and performance of Windows. These tricks don’t cost anything and can be done even by a user with minimal tech skills.

Turn Off Aero

Aero is a visual experience in Windows, but it does take up memory and bring a downtick in performance. If you’re more into speed and performance and less into how the Windows desktop looks, you can turn off Aero. Go to your Desktop and right-click on an open area. Select the option “Personalize” on the menu, and then choose one of the “Basic and High Contrast Themes”.

Increase the Virtual Memory

Heavy computer users who open lots of windows and programs all at the same time can boost the performance of their system by allowing Windows 7 to utilize more virtual memory in the RAM. Right-click on My Computer on the Desktop. Choose the option “Properties”. Select the Advanced tab, and choose Performance. In the next window, navigate to the Advanced tab and click on the Change button under the option “Virtual Memory”. This might also be called “Paging File”. This will likely be set at 1.5 of the RAM. Try something like 4605 MB in the Initial Size and Maximum Size fields. Be sure to hit the Set button to save the changes. You might also play around with this number to get the speed and performance you want, just don’t go under the recommended size.

Turn Off Visual Effects

Visual Effects is another Windows feature that adds a whole lot of looks, but does put a hit on memory and performance. It particularly sucks RAM and VGA. Right-click on My Computer and go to Properties. Choose the Advanced tab and select “Performance”. There, hit the “Settings” button. Navigate to Visual Effects and choose the option to Adjust for Best Performance. This will cause all visual effects to revert to a standard level, but the performance difference should be noticeable.

Turn Off Sidebar Gadgets

Sidebar gadgets not only consume too much RAM and deteriorate the performance of Windows, but they have also been identified as serious security vulnerabilities and have been eliminated on the latest versions of Windows. You can turn off sidebar gadgets yourself by closing each of the gadgets on the sidebar individually. This shuts down the entire sidebar process.

Turn Off Windows Defender

Most users (and you should be one) are using third-party antivirus software and Windows Defender is no longer necessary. You can turn this feature off by clicking the Start menu and navigating to the Control Panel. There, you can choose to disable Windows Defender. While you’re at it, update your antivirus software and run a scan…just to be sure.

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