One of the quickest and easiest things anyone can do to make their windows-based computer faster is to set the computer to “Performance Mode”. From the factory, computers are set to look pretty – not necessarily be the fastest they can be. They come with cutesy animated windows with smooth round corners that show you their contents as you drag and resize them. All of this is great for the user-impression of the Windows Operating System, but none of it does anything good for performance. In a business, where time is money, the best thing you can do to your computers to increase the productivity of your employees is to set Windows to Performance Mode.
This may sound complicated, but it literally takes seconds and makes a night-and-day difference to the performance of your computer. Best of all, it’s completely and totally free, and if you’re unhappy with the results, you can revert back very easily.
1) Click on the Start button and Right-click on Computer.
Windows XP users will have My Computer, and in the rare instances where it’s not found in the Start menu, it can usually be found on the desktop.
When the Right-click menu appears, click Properties as shown in the picture to the left.
2) Click Advanced System Settings on a Windows 7/Vista computer.
On Windows XP, you will already be looking at the advanced screen.
3) On the screen that appears next, choose the Advanced Tab and click the Settings button under the Performance heading.
4) At this point you’ll most likely find that your computer is set to Let Windows Choose What’s Best for My Computer. This is a poor choice for business, as Windows will always choose what makes it look the best, and not necessarily what makes it perform the best.
Sorry, but in my world, performance is far more important.
Choose Adjust for Best Performance which will clear ALL of the check boxes below.
5) If your goal is to have the absolute best performing computer you can have, and you don’t care about cosmetics, you can skip this step. However, over the years we’ve found that there are 4 options that still allow for a high-performance user experience while keeping the cosmetic features users miss most when they’re gone.
- Show thumbnails instead of icons
- Smooth edges of screen fonts
- Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop
- Use visual styles on windows and buttons
Select the 4 options above and click Apply.
Don’t hit OK just yet – we have more to do here.
BTW, Windows XP users will only have 3 options to check, and Show Thumbnails instead of Icons didn’t come around until Windows Vista.
You won’t notice them but you’ll surely notice the increase in speed.
We need to do one last thing before we close out of this screen.
Click the Advanced tab on the same window that’s already open (Performance Options).
Windows 7 and Vista users will want the top check box to be checked, as in the picture below.
Windows XP users will want to check the radio button in the middle that says System Managed Size. Both accomplish the same thing. This really helps some older programs utilize your computer’s memory to the fullest potential.
Hit OK, and it will ask you to reboot.
That’s it! That’s the easiest thing you can do to increase productivity on workplace computers. It makes a huge difference in performance speed, with a minimal decrease in cosmetic features built into Windows platforms.
After all, you bought this computer as a tool, not a work of art – wouldn’t you want it running as fast as it can be?