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7 Things to Do After Installing Windows 7 RC

This is a guest post by Liz from Auslogics Blog.

windows logo I’m sure that a lot of you have already downloaded and installed Windows 7 RC. If not, then I strongly recommend trying it out. Compared with Beta, the Release Candidate hasn’t slowed down and it takes a bit less time to install. But, of course, there is room for improvement. Let me tell you what you can do to improve Windows 7 performance and customize it to your liking.

1. Make Windows 7 Faster

There is a simple way to make Windows 7 faster. Like in any previous Windows versions, you can disable visual effects for maximum performance.

  1. Go to System Properties (press Windows + Pause/Break keys)
  2. Select Advanced
  3. Then press the Settings button in the Performance section
  4. A new window will open
  5. Select the Adjust for best performance radio button

If you don’t like the minimalistic look, choose the Custom radio button, disable the effects you don’t need, and leave the effects you like.

performance options

Another thing you can do is customize folder and search options:

  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Go to Organize Folder and Search Options
  3. Disable the following:
  • Hide extensions for known file types
  • Show pop-up description for folder and desktop items
  • Display file size information in folder tips
  • Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in colour

2. Improve Performance With ReadyBoost

I’m sure that Vista users are familiar with this feature. It’s really useful if your computer is running low on RAM. The good thing about ReadyBoost in Windows 7 is that you can use several flash drives simultaneously, whereas in Vista you could use only one. To enable ReadyBoost, follow these steps:

  1. Plug in the USB storage device
  2. Go to Computer, right-click on the device and select Properties
  3. If your USB drive is compatible, you will see a ReadyBoost tab. Click on it.
  4. Select Use this device and then specify the amount of space you want ReadyBoost to use
  5. Click OK to finish

3. Disable Minimize – Maximize Animation

The Minimize – Maximize window animation was first introduced in Windows Vista and made its way into Windows 7. Yes, it looks cool, but it also creates a delay and makes your PC slower. Disabling this effect is really easy. It will speed up your computer and make it more responsive.

  • Go to Start, type in SystemPropertiesPerformance and hit Enter
  • Go to the Visual Effects tab
  • Uncheck Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
  • Click OK

4. Enable Hidden “Send to” Menu

By default the Windows 7 “Send to” menu gives you a choice of very few locations:

send to

The good news is that you can expand it by pressing Shift before right-clicking and the “Send to” menu will expand:

send to2

5. Customize UAC

You can make Windows 7 UAC less or more intrusive, or even turn it off. All you need to do is:

  1. Go to the Control PanelUser Accounts and Family Settings
  2. Click User Accounts and then Change User Account Control settings
  3. A new window will open
  4. uac window
  5. Use the slider to set the protection level
  6. Click OK.
  7. You may need to restart. Depends on what you selected.

If you have UAC completely turned off, you won’t be able to run your desktop gadgets, because Windows thinks they are a potential threat. Here’s what you can do to be able to use gadgets with UAC turned off:

  1. First of all create a Restore point or backup the Registry
  2. Type regedit in the Search bar and press Enter to launch Registry Editor
  3. Find HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Sidebar\Settings
  4. Create a new DWORD value called AllowElevatedProcess. To do that select Edit New DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it AllowElevatedProcess
  5. Set its value to 1
  6. Close Registry Editor. Right-click on desktop and select Gadgets. Now you will be able to add and use gadgets as you would normally.

6. Open Folders in New Process

By default Windows 7 opens folders in the same process. While this saves system resources, it can lead to the entire system crashing because of one crashed folder. If you are afraid that your system is unstable or if some folders crash regularly, you can open it in new process. Here’s how:

  1. Open Computer
  2. Hold down Shift and right-click on your drive
  3. Select Open in New Process

Now the folder will be launched in a separate process.

7. Get Free Windows 7 Guides and Videos

And last, but not least Microsoft offers several free guides and videos that will help you understand Windows 7 better. You can find them here:

  1. Power Management in Windows 7
  2. Windows 7 Manageability Overview
  3. Enterprise Search in Windows 7 Overview
  4. Demonstration: Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7
  5. Demonstration: Windows 7 VHD Boot

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  • http://disruptions.wordpress.com/ JP.Thompson

    Good post. Another tip that may help speed up PC to PC file copies is to turn off Remote Differential Compression. You can find this in the Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows features on or off.

    If this post was about Vista, then I would agree with turning off the UAC. However I would recommend at least leaving the UAC turned on at the lowest level on Windows 7. (You could recommend turning off Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, and not installing a Virus Scanner in order to speed up your system, but I wouldn’t recommend it [from personal experience and having to clean up other malware infested disasters.] )

    • Liz

      @JP. Thompson Thanks :) Glad you liked it. In my post I don’t recommend turning off UAC – I just added some tips for people who like having it turned off.
      I totally agree with you that a small speed increase is not worth making your computer vulnerable :)

  • http://www.dscomic.com Rob

    Good tips… thanks for posting these. I could use with with my aging beast PC.

  • http://firefoxninjas.com srikanth ad

    Nice tips
    thanks

  • http://www.ithinkdiff.com Imran Hussain

    “Hide extensions for known file types”
    What does this have to do with performance?

  • John – TechListReport.com

    Great tips. I haven’t had a chance to use the beta yet, but can’t wait for the launch. I have put a link to this article on my site.

  • jason

    top of the list should read “shoot yourself in the foot” then find a real operating system.

  • http://canadaprogrammers.com matthew

    I agree, these are good tips for people that are just trying out the RC.

  • aaron

    8. Uninstall Windows Vista and install Linux

  • ha

    LOL at all of the recommendations being about improving performance and making it fail less. #8 Remove Windows 7 for best performance.

  • contrast

    8. Realize that no matter how many steps you take to improve your OS, Windows is still inherently flawed (security, permissions, drivers…).
    9. Uninstall.
    10. Install Linux.
    11. Unlearn the old way of doing things.
    12. Achieve computing bliss.

  • W

    1 thing to do after installing W7 RC… Get Windows 7 Ultimate or another OS cause RC is shutting down…

    PS: Linux Sucks Balls… No matter how many times u fix problems, it still has even bigger problems. I personally would go for triple booting, W7, Mac OS X and Linux…

  • linux = fail

    seriously… linux is an excuse of an os compared to os x or windows. seriously, think about it. windows and os x earn money to develp their os while linux earns pennies compared to windows and os x. win and os x are the real os. the only reason why linux SEEMS secure is because nobody cares about develping viruses for it. the more successful an os, the more viruses, worms, and etc are developed against it. windows receives a lot of viruses and that indicates that it is a successful os and they are doing a good job surviving and still surviving. os x is different. its not as big as windows but still big. even if os x could become bigger than windows they don’t to avoid being targeted by hackers and viruses and this is part of their marketing plan. linux on their other hand has no real profit, development, marketing plan. linux is an excuse of an os. you may like it but all your doing is moving out of the big successful niche and moving into a smaller niche that won’t be as successful.

  • chad

    Linux works Windows over like no tomorrow. Every one is just stuck in there ways of windows and never take the time to learn the difference of Linux. If you like being locked in to a virus magnet and love blowing you money on something you could do for free. keep using windows.

    There is no way I will ever go back to that crap

  • brad

    yeah windows has done a successful job of creating a monopoly and a very insecure OS.

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