How to Speed up Windows Vista

windows Vista
Speed Up Windows Vista.

Disabling unused features in Windows Vista will speed up your computer system. Some of the features that come with Vista are not normally useful for home users. If you do not use these functions, the Windows system is loading programs that you do not need and consuming system resources — namely, memory — that could be better used for other purposes.

The following steps will explain many of these features, how they work, and most importantly, how to disable them if they are not ones you need.

After you have made these changes to your system, gauge the improvement in your system's performance. If your computer is still not as fast as you think it should be, you can also try reducing the visual effects in Vista, which can lessen the resources required for graphics in Windows. If you still aren't seeing a difference, there are a few more methods for improving your computer's speed.

As of April 2017, Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows Vista. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support.

First Steps: Go to Windows Control Panel

Most of the features below will be accessed through the Windows Control Panel. For each, follow these initial steps to reach the features list: 

  1. Select Start.

    Windows Vista desktop
  2. Select Control Panel Programs.

    Control Panel in Windows Vista
  3. Select Turn Windows Features on or off.

    Programs and features in Windows Vista Control Panel
  4. User Account Control may prompt for permission. Select Continue.

    UAC confirming running Windows Features
  5. Jump to a feature below and complete the steps to disable it.

After you disable a feature, you will be prompted to restart your computer. Restarting your computer will likely take some time to complete as Windows removes the component. After the computer has restarted and returns to Windows, you should notice some speed improvement.

Internet Printing Client

Internet Printing Client is a utility that lets users print documents over the internet to any printer in the world using the HTTP protocol and established permissions. You may want to keep this feature if you do this type of worldwide printing or you access print servers on a business network. However, if you only use printers attached to computers in your local network, like a shared printer connected to another computer in your house, you do not need this feature.

To disable this feature, follow the steps at the top of this article and then perform the following additional steps:

  1. Uncheck Internet Printing Client.

    Internet Printing Client in Windows Features
  2. Select OK. It may take some time for Windows to finish disabling the feature.

    Selecting OK to remove Internet Print Client
  3. Select Restart. If you want to continue working and restart later, select Restart Later.

    Selecting to restart to finish changes

Tablet PC Optional Components

Tablet PC Optional Components is a feature that enables different pointing devices specific to a Tablet PC. It adds or removes accessories like the Tablet PC Input Panel, Windows Journal, and the Snipping Tool. If you can’t live without the Snipping Tool or you have a Tablet PC keep this feature. Otherwise, you can disable it.

To disable this feature, perform the following procedure:

  1. Uncheck Tablet PC Optional Components.

    Unchecking Tablet PC options
  2. Select OK. It may take some time for Windows to finish disabling the feature.

    Confirming the removal of Table PC features
  3. Select Restart. If you want to continue working and restart later, select Restart Later.

    Selecting when to restart

Next, disable this feature in the Services panel — you can perform this either before or after restarting your computer:

  1. Select Start.

    Windows Vista desktop
  2. Type services in Start Search and press Enter.

    Searching for services in Windows Vista
  3. Select Continue if User Account Control appears.

    Confirming UAC for running Services
  4. In the list of commands find and double-click Tablet PC Input Services.

    Tablet PC Input Service in Services
  5. On the Startup type select Disabled.

    Disabling Tablet Input Services
  6. Select OK.

    Confirming disabling Tablet Input Services

Windows Meeting Space

Windows Meeting Space is a program that enables real-time peer-to-peer collaboration, editing, and sharing of files across a network, as well as create a meeting and invite remote users to join it. It's a great feature, but if you don't use it, you might as well disable it:

  1. Uncheck Windows Meeting Space.

    Viewing Windows Meeting Space feature
  2. Select OK.

    Turning off Windows Meeting Space
  3. Select Restart. If you want to continue working and restart later, select Restart Later.

    Selecting when to restart PC for changes

ReadyBoost

ReadyBoost is a feature that was supposed to speed up Windows by caching information between operating memory and a flash drive. Actually, it may slow down a computer. A better solution is having the right amount of operating memory for your computer.

To disable this feature, perform the following procedure in Services:

  1. Select Start.

    Windows Vista desktop
  2. Type services in Start Search and press Enter.

    Searching for services in Windows Vista
  3. In the list of commands find and double-click ReadyBoost.

    ReadyBoost setting in Services
  4. On the Startup type select Disabled.

    Disabling ReadyBoost in Services
  5. Select OK.

    Confirming disabling ReadyBoost

Windows Error Reporting Service

Windows Error Reporting Service is an annoying service that alerts a user every time Windows experiences any type of error in its own processes or with other third party programs. If you want to know about every little thing, keep it. Otherwise, you can disable this feature.

To disable this feature, perform the following procedure in Services:

  1. Select Start.

    Windows Vista desktop
  2. Type services in Start Search and press Enter.

    Searching for services in Windows Vista
  3. In the list of commands find and double-click Windows Error Reporting Service.

    Windows Error Reporting setting in Services
  4. Select on the Startup type dropdown menu and select Disabled.

    Disabling Windows Error Reporting Service
  5. Select OK.

    Confirming disabling Windows Error Reporting

Windows DFS Replication Service and Remote Differential Component

Windows DFS Replication Service is a utility that allows users to replicate or copy data files between two or more computers on the same network and keep them synchronized so that the same files are on more than one computer.

Remote Differential Component is a program that helps DFS Replication work faster by transmitting only changed or different files between computers. This process saves time and bandwidth because only the data that is different between the two computers is sent.

If you use these features keep them. If you do not use them, you can disable them:

  1. Uncheck the box next to Windows DFS Replication Service and Remote Differential Component.

    Remote Differential Compression settings
  2. Select OK.

    Confirming removing Windows DFS settings
  3. Select Restart. If you want to continue working and restart later, select Restart Later.

    Selecting when to reboot

User Account Control (UAC)

User Account Control (UAC) is a security feature that is supposed to provide better protection for a computer by asking the user for confirmation every time an action is performed. This feature is not only annoying, but it also wastes a lot of time stopping processes that are not threats to the computer — this is why Windows 7 has a much more scaled-back version of UAC.

You can only enable or disable UAC for Vista Home Basic and Home Premium. It is your choice: Computer security is very important, but you do have other choices; for example, Norton UAC and other third-party utilities. 

We do not recommend disabling UAC, but we do recommend using an alternative. However, if you don't want to do either, here is how to disable the Windows UAC:

  1. Select Start.

    Windows Vista desktop
  2. Select Control Panel User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts.

    User Accounts in Windows Vista
  3. Select Turn User Account Control on or off.

    User Accounts in Windows Vista
  4. Select Continue at the UAC prompt.

    Confirming UAC prompt
  5. Uncheck the box Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer.

    Disabling UAC in Windows Vista
  6. Select OK.

    Confirming disabling UAC
  7. Select Restart Now and reboot your computer.

    Selecting when to reboot for changes to take place