5 Quick and Easy Registry Tweaks to Speed up Windows XP and Vista

Remember how fast your computer used to run when you first got it?

Here’s a surprise: There’s no reason why it shouldn’t run as fast as that RIGHT NOW. All you have to know about is one part of your computer’s system called the Registry.

Did you know the registry is what every program uses whenever it needs to start up and continues to use it constantly while it is running. I’m talking sometimes hundreds of times per minute.

What’s worse is that every time a new program is installed or uninstalled or even runs on your computer, it leaves a stray piece of information in your computer’s registry. All these stray pieces “clog up” and slow down the registry until your computer runs MUCH SLOWER than it is meant to. This makes the Registry the most common “bottle-neck” that slows down your computer. How can knowing this make your computer faster?

Imagine there was a main pipe in your computer that EVERY single program, every single process had to go through. The more dirty and “clogged up” this pipe was, the slower your computer would run. Now, this is obviously an oversimplification, but it’s basically how your computer’s registry works, why it is the main cause of a computer’s slowness, and also the simplest and fastest thing to optimize if you want a lightning fast computer.

In this article I’ll show you five simple settings you can change to speed up your computer, but first…

Here’s How to Speed Up Your Computer With Just 2 Clicks (Really!)

I might be a “geek”, but I know most people aren’t. I understand that, so if you don’t want to mess around with your computers advanced settings at all, that’s fine with me.

However, I REALLY don’t recommend leaving your registry(which may be the most important part of your computer) as it is now. If it is like most of computers out there, it is full of useless “leftover information” that is slowing down your computer from the efficient machine it should be. At worst, it may be infested with viruses, adware and other malicious software!

Fortunately you can now scan for these errors without knowing anything about computers. There’s a program called RegistryFix I recommend to everyone, and use it on my own computer when I’m feeling too lazy to do the advanced stuff. Simply click here for a FREE scan.

You’ll get 80% of the benefits of the steps I describe below, with just one click. Go to RegistryFix.com and get a free scan.

Tweak One: Force Windows to Shut Down Faster

Have you ever clicked Shut Down expecting the computer to turn off immediately only to have to wait up to a minute (or more!) for it to finally turn off the lights? Believe it or not this is a common problem. This first tweak tells Windows to shut down the computer within 3000 milliseconds. That means that Windows gives programs on your computer 3000 milliseconds to finish up what their doing, after that it’s light out.

Here is the registry tweak:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control]
“WaitToKillServiceTimeout”=”3000”

Note: Some websites give a value of 1000-2000 milliseconds for the timeout however this can cause problems with some applications so I recommend we use 3000 milliseconds.

Tweak Two: Prevent Fragmentation of MFT

The NT File System that Windows XP and Vista use has a database called the Master File Table (MFT). What this database holds is a record of every single file stored on your hard drive. As you can imagine this database can become quite large depending on how many files you add to your computer.

Windows, by default, sets aside a small amount of space for the MFT and allows that space to grow as the MFT does. Unfortunately this system is vulnerable to fragmentation. Since the MFT is used constantly by your computer system you want to keep it optimized. The following registry tweak simply increases the size of the space devoted to the MFT so that fragmentation does not occur if the MFT grows larger then it currently is.

Here is the registry tweak:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem]
“NtfsMftZoneReservation”=dword: 00000002

Tweak Three: Speed up the Start Menu

The Windows Operating System has several nice interface effects, the windows minimize smoothly, they close with a fade, there are shadows under icons and generally everything looks nice. However, there are some effects that are useless. One of them attempts to make the Start Menu open more “smoothly” by delaying it a few moments. This tweak gets rid of the delay and opens the Start Menu instantaneously.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
“MenuShowDelay”=”0”

Tweak Four: Enable/Disable Thumbnails

See all those great looking icons in your Pictures folder? Pretty cool how they’re little mini-versions of the pictures that they represent, huh? For each picture/video on your computer Windows generates a miniature version to display in those icons. This tweak has two settings and I’ll explain both.

For those of you who have a lot of pictures and regularly browse folders containing many pictures¬† you want to enable Thumbnail caching. This will allow your computer to “memorize” the miniature versions of your pictures so that your computer does not have to regenerate those small versions every time you open the folder. This saves computer power for other tasks.

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
“DisableThumbnailCache”=dword:00000000

For those of you who do not have a lot of pictures on your computer or don’t use the thumbnail view offered by Windows you can safely disable thumbnail caching in order to free up hard drive space and reduce fragmentation. Apply this Tweak:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
“DisableThumbnailCache”=dword:00000001

Tweak Five: Disable Indexing

The last tweak in this article is the one that will make the most difference. Windows XP and Vista both offer a Search program that you can use to find files on your hard drive. Having a search program in an Operating System is a great idea (and necessary for some users). However, the way Windows hopes to speed up searches is by running an “Indexing” program all the time in order to keep track of where most of the files on your computer are located.

This takes up a lot of processing power.

Simply disable the Indexing program and suddenly your hard drive and computer will operate much faster. You may notice that searching is a bit slower but, really, how many times have you actually used that Search tool? I’m willing to bet not many.

Here’s the tweak:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WSearch]
“Start”=dword: 00000004

And:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\cisvc]
“Start”=dword: 00000004

BONUS Tweak (Instant and No Technical Knowledge Required!)

After applying all five tweaks you should notice your computer running a little bit faster. However there is more to be done. The next step that I recommend you take is cleaning your registry. As you use your computer you are continually installing and uninstalling software cluttering your computer. Even if you use your computer just for the Internet the registry is still being accessed hundreds of times per minute.

If you notice that your computer is running slower then it used to it’s most likely because of all the junk that’s accumulated through the months and years and I encourage you to go ahead and scan your computer for FREE by clicking here: SCAN NOW.

6 thoughts on “5 Quick and Easy Registry Tweaks to Speed up Windows XP and Vista

  1. How do I know all your tweeks isnt simply to mess up the registry to try and make me get or buy a registry cleaner? Sorry, but that seems to be a common theme.
  2. How do I know all your tweeks isnt simply to mess up the registry to try and make me get or buy a registry cleaner? Sorry, but that seems to be a common theme.
    Why no awnser?
  3. The tweaks do exactly what I wrote that they do. I can assure you that they don’t “mess up the registry” and I have no interest in forcing you to buy some registry cleaner. The ads exist to pay for the site hosting costs.
  4. Apparently Richard doesnt know muck about registries!! Those tweaks are legit..I know these also..
  5. I know my pc is running soo much slower than when I bought it and I think these tweaks are worth a shot. And for anyone worried about “messing things up”.. how about a backup of your registry before you start? It’s always a good idea to make backups and add restore points before you start making changes.

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