A Free and Easy Way To Improve Your Vista's Performance

Did you recently upgrade your desktop or laptop to Vista and you aren’t getting the performance you expected? Or maybe you just bought a new computer and it’s just not as fast as you thought it would be.

Want to help boost your performance without purchasing any extra hardware? Don’t worry, there is still hope!

Vista has a ton of new services that run in the background, but the majority of us either don’t know what they do, or don’t use them. These services can use a portion of your memory, so disabling them can help boost performance.

A hardware upgrade would be the best thing to boost your performance, but if that isn’t an option, you can try disabling some of these services — it’s easy and, best of all, free!

Improving Vista’s Performance by Disabling Unnecessary Services

Depending on the version of Vista you have, you might not see all of the services listed. Use good judgment and caution when disabling services and always make a backup before doing anything.

To view all of the Services on your computer click Start, type “services.msc”, and press Enter. The Services window will appear.

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Now you’re ready to start disabling some unnecessary services and start freeing up some memory. Make sure to change the Startup Type to “Disabled” when changing these services.

Also, don’t forget to write down the Services you decide to disable, just in case you need to revert back to the previous settings. And when you’re done disabling the services remember to restart your computer.

10 Unnecessary Services that Can Be Safely Disabled

1. ReadyBoost

ReadyBoost is a great idea from Microsoft. Unfortunately most of us don’t use it, don’t know how to use it, or don’t even know what it does.

ReadyBoost is a new feature in Vista that allows users to use a USB flash drive, SD card, or any other type of portable memory as disk cache. It is also used in conjunction with Superfetch (the beefed up version of Prefetch from XP) which stores cache of boot up programs to help speed boot times.

If you are like me and don’t use ReadyBoost you can safely disable this service and free up any memory it is using. So locate ReadyBoost in your Services list and double click on it:

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Now under Startup type change Automatic to Disabled and click OK:

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2. Windows Defender

If you are like me you already have 3rd party software running for spyware and virus protection. Plus, Microsoft has a built in utility called the Malicious Software Removal Tool. So why do you need Windows Defender running too?

Disabling this service also requires removing it from startup so you don’t get an error every time you log in. To do this, click Start and type “msconfig” and press Enter. The System Configuration Utility will appear.

Click on the Startup Tab and uncheck Windows Defender.

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Then you can disable the Service from the Services console, just like you did with ReadyBoost.

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3. Tablet PC Input Service

Wait a minute?!?! I don’t have a Tablet PC! Why in the world is this running in the background? This service is used for the touch screen and pen functions of a Tablet PC.

This should automatically disable itself if you don’t have a Tablet PC, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. If you don’t have a Tablet PC then you can safely disable this service.

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4. Secondary Logon

Are you the only person that uses your computer? If so then you don’t need the Secondary Logon service running. If you have multiple people logging into the same computer then you should not disable this service.

Secondary Logon allows processes to run under alternate credentials. In other words, you can run programs under 2 different user accounts, at the same time. If you are the only one using your computer then you can safely disable this service.

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5. IPsec Policy Agent

Do you use a VPN? If not, then you can safely disable this service. IPsec is used when connecting to a VPN most of the time. There are other situations where IPsec can be used but not likely for the average user.

Note: This also disables remote management of the Windows Firewall.

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6. IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules

Going with the same VPN theme — this is another service that can be safely disabled as long as you are not using a VPN. This service is used for Authentication and key exchange in IPsec. If you’re an average user the you’re probably not using this service.

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7. Offline Files

Offline Files are used in network environments for mobile users that need access to files when they are outside of the network. Using Offline Files allows a mobile user to store a local copy of company documents. The documents will synchronize when the mobile user reconnects to the company network. If you don’t fit into this scenario then you can safely disable this service.

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8. Windows Error Reporting Service

This service is used to send specific error reports to Microsoft for analysis. Sending the error reports will sometimes yield good results for fixing different issues.

If you are a novice pc user then you might consider leaving this service running. You will also see a message to "Send Error Report" when this service is enabled. Those messages can get annoying sometimes and I don’t really want to be prompted every time I close a non-responsive program.

If you don’t want to report errors to Microsoft, then you can safely disable this service.

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9. Telephony

Do you still have a modem? If you use a dial-up connection of any kind, or a fax server, then you will need to keep this service running. The majority of us don’t use a modem for any reason nowadays. Fax servers are fairly common in offices, but hopefully people will start using email instead of faxing in the future.

If you don’t use dial-up or a fax server, then you can safely disable this service.

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10. Windows DFS Replication Service

This is another service most basic users won’t use. DFS, or Distributed File System, is used for synchronizing files and folders, usually between servers. This could be used in some office environments as a means of backing up documents from a workstation to the server. This could also use a considerable amount of bandwidth if you have a large number of computers synchronizing with your servers using DFS.

For most of us DFS is not something we will use regularly, so you can safely disable this service.

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There Might Be Others …

There might be other services that you can disable that are unnecessarily running and taking up memory.

The 10 listed above will help improve your Vista’s performance but there could be a few more depending on your version of Vista, and your network environment.

When you are done disabling all of the services you want to restart your computer to free up any additional memory you can.

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