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21 Ways to Speed Up Vista: Part 9 - Disable Unnecessary Services

written by: Dianna Monda Dill•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 4/24/2009

This step-by-step Windows Vista tutorial provides instruction on how to speed up system performance by disabling services that you do not use or need.

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    Tip #20 Disable Unneeded Services

    Windows Vista comes bundled with many services and features that you don’t need and may never even use. Several of these services are turned on by default when you install this operating system. When you boot up your computer, more than 100 of these services are launched and quietly run in the background until you shut down. They can be quite a drain on system resources, and disabling any that you do not need will help improve performance, speeding up your computer.

    There are a number of these services that you can safely disable so as to conserve system memory and processor power. Some of the secure services can't be disabled, but several of the others can. Follow the steps below to learn how:

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    How to Disable Unnecessary Services

    1. Click on the Start button in the bottom right-hand corner.

    2. Type in services.msc into the Search text box. Hit Enter. This opens the Services window.

    3. Review the services that are listed. In the Status column, you can see whether or not a particular service is currently running. The Startup Type column indicates how the service is launched:

    • Automatic: indicates that the service is launched whenever Windows starts.
    • Manual: indicates that the service is launched only if Windows detects that it is needed.
    • Disabled: indicates that the service does not start at all.

    4. Decide which services you can safely disable. Most of the services listed are set either to Automatic or Manual.

    • You do not need to change any services that are set to manual, because they will only be launched when it is necessary for them to run.
    • If you are not sure about the effect of disabling a service, then set to set it to Manual. This way, in the event that it is needed, Windows will be able to launch it.

    5. Right click on each service that you want to disable. Select Properties from the drop-down menu that opens.

    6. Change the Startup type to Disabled in the properties box. Press the OK button.

    Now, when you reboot your computer, the service will no longer be launched.

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    CAUTION

    • Some services have value-added features associated with them. Disabling this service will likewise disable these features.
    • Never turn off any service unless you definitely understand its purpose and are sure that you do not need it. You will find an overview of Windows Vista services at the Microsoft website.

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    Tip #21: Turn System Protection Off for Other Disk Drives

    Vista uses the System Protection utility to create restore points, which enable you to recover older versions your files via a System Restore. By default, this utility is enabled for all hard discs on your PC. You can save CPU cycles as well as disk space by limiting which disk has System Protection turned on.

    1. Click on the Vista Orb to open the Start menu. Select Control Panel and then double click on System.
    2. Click on System Protection in the task list in the left-hand pane.
    3. Clear the checkboxes next to the hard drive that you want to turn System Protection off.
    4. Click the Turn System Protection Off button for the disk.
    5. Click the Apply button. Click the OK button.
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    More Tips?

    Want even more useful tips about how to speed up Windows Vista? You're in luck. We've added 21 more tips by this author, and you find the beginning article here:

    21 More Ways to Speed Up Vista - Here are some creative, careful, thoughtful, and useful tips for improving the performance of a Vista PC. From the quick and simple to the detailed, Dianna Monda Dill show you how it's done.