WINDOWS 7 TWEAK GUIDE

May 26, 2009 by in The Pit Blog

the-one1

The recent confirmation by Microsoft that Windows7 will reach retail outlets in 2009 continues to feed the frenzy that is pushing public acceptance of Windows 7. Our very first Tips & Tweaks article went out in the March 25th newsletter but was mostly Features and Tips.

I’m following up now with a more agressive Tweak Guide. Not for the faint of heart, this is a tweak guide and not a Features Guide. If you are into gaming, overclocking and benchmarking, this is for you. The purpose of the suggested tweaks is to increase speed and potential performance by lowering the drain of unnecessary processes and services. This is not about adding secret, hard to find functions, This is not about doing more, it’s about doing less and doing it faster.

After some pretty exhaustive research I was surprised at the lack of real tweaks and suggestions for Windows 7, so here’s your chance. Put your proven and personal tweaks in the comments section and I will add them to the article as a part of our Windows 7 Tweak Guide.

Keep in mind that there are many suggestions on the WWW that are completely bogus. For example there are several articles outlining how to use the msconfig utility to enable multicore processing on startup. This is not a tweak. It does nothing to increase performance as the correct number of processors are enabled after boot as they are needed. Also, If you are going to suggest a tweak to reduce boot times be sure you’ve tested it. I’ve tried several suggestons that just don’t do a thing.

Some of the suggestions will be the same as were used for previous operating systems but don’t believe it when you read, “if it worked for Vista it will work for Windows 7″. There are too many basic changes to follow that line of thought successfully.

Windows 7 SuperTweaks

1. Best Performance. This is still the biggest and easiest of all the SuperTweaks available. This tweak works for XP, Vista, and now Windows 7. It’s super easy, carries little to no risk, and shows super results. bestperfmThe results are easily measured using the PC Pitstop OverDrive Test and many other benchmarks. Be sure to run an OverDrive scan before using this tweak and then again after. You will see an immediate jump in you overall score. Start/Right Click Computer/Properties/Advanced System Settings/Performance Settings/Adjust for best performance/OK/OK.

2. Turn off UAC. Even though it is less intrusive than it was on the dreaded Vista abomination, it can still be a pain. This is an easy to perform and easy to reverse tweak that carries no risk as far as how the tweak will affect the system. UAC on the strongest setting offers fantastic protection, but anything less and your system can be hacked as easily as XP. uacfinal Great protection with all the inconvenience of Vista or the half-baked protection offered by the default setting, why bother? Turn it off. Start/Control Panel/User Accounts/Change User Account Control setting/Set slider to Never Notify/ OK.

3. Turn off System Restore. Simply go to Start/Right Click Computer /Properties/ System Protection/ Highlight the correct drive/Configure/Turn off sytem protection/OK/OK. Keep in mind that I think this is a great feature and I have it enabled on my work box but for performance and benchmarking it’s just not needed. Turning the feature off carries no risk to your system, in fact it removes a safe haven for Virus and malware activity.

4. Disable services. The big question is how many and which ones. There is no better site for this than Black Viper. Find complete information on every service with the defaults shown for each one. This is followed by some “Safe” suggestions and then some “Tweaked” suggestions. In each case remember that you are disabling a service. That means it won’t work. Make these changes at your own risk. Be sure to keep track of the changes so you don’t have to go through every one to figure out why something isn’t working later.

5. Use Ready Boost. Unlike previous versions, W7 puts Ready Boost to work. If your system is marginal on memory this may be just what you need. Grab a USB, flash, or thumb drive, stick it in and let Windows use it as memory cache. This should reduce the cpu usage, disc activity, and help apps and files to load faster.

No more 4 Gigabyte restriction as was imposed by Vista. Ready Boost now allows for multiple devices to be used at the same time. Once inserted, Windows 7 will tell you if your flash drive is acceptable. Give it a try.

Readers Tweaks

6. We Will Add Your Windows 7 Tweak here.

7. We Will Add Your Windows 7 Tweak here.

64 Responses to WINDOWS 7 TWEAK GUIDE

  1. Chuck says:

    Every tweaker knows the risks, go easy on the first bloods and give them easy solid and sound explanations to what to do !!!. Before jumping in head first create an all important restore point so you can rectify any mistakes, otherwise you’ll lose it and wish you the universe wasn’t so big !!!.


  2. schijon says:

    You can free up a nice chunk of memory by simply switching your theme to Windows Classic rather than using an Aero supported theme. Just right click on the desktop, click Personalize, and choose the Windows Classic theme.


  3. ksgog says:

    Also, it is amazing how much it can affect on all the loading and startup times if you simply defrag your disk(s) regularly…


  4. Populous says:

    I always jump to the comments before I read the article to save time and get my opinions out there… I guess I can start bashing the article now?

    It is amazing how fast 7 runs with the tweaks listed here and I like it, but I am neither stupid or faint hearted, can do manual maintenance tasks. Absolutely I will continue to flag articles like this one on my websites every time you ramp it up or go out of the box.


  5. Mo says:

    Hello dear readers:
    I am a fan of any thing that stop hackers from attacking my computers. This is why I installed a very good anti virus program and also an anti spy and adware program, however windows 7 doesn’t like it when I try to clean my system from al the ad wares and spy wares that i get in a form of cookies from the internet. even when I try to use the simple spy ware prog that comes with yahoo tool bar it always asks for an admin permisson to delete any add ware or spy ware. I turned the UAC off, butt my stupid window 7 Ultimate still doesn’t want me to remove anything from the system.


  6. Joseph says:

    UAC IS POO… THIS IS FOR TWEAKING…

    If you are into gaming, overclocking and benchmarking, this is for you.

    FOR GAMERS … IDIOTS

    # truth Says:
    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:48 am

    lol, already name says it all…

    UAC = Unnecessary Annoying Crap

    AGREED…

    AND FINAL IF YOU ARE A NOOB IDIOT WHO DOESN’T”T KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING OR HAVE KIDS THAT LIKE TO RUIN YOUR COMPUTER…. OR AN IDIOT WHO DOESN’T”T READ THE BEGINNING OF THIS …. LEAVE IT ON AND STFU GO TO THE NEXT THREAD!


  7. Si says:

    Should have added this above.

    UAC is useless anyway – if it doesn’t require a password (ie for admin permissions in corportate enviroment) the user will just blindly click yes for everything.

    Do they always understand what it means? Probably not
    Do they know that clicking accept will let them get on with what they are doing? Yes

    Extra messages asking “do you want to”, “are you sure”, “are you double sure” will not stop people, it will make them just learn the pattern to click through to clear them as fast as possible.

    (OR instantly cry off to some tech savvy relation about the most mundane message that explains what it is for in the message).


  8. Si says:

    @Howard

    Users will never read the message anyway and will always click accept, making the whole point usless.

    Most large offices will already be disabling the Security Center service in XP already, and I suggest it to anyone with half a brain or more.


  9. Oz says:

    Really poor article. Leave UAC on, especially in light of today’s attack vectors:
    1. Click-jacking – Imagine two Web pages: one benign and one malicious. The benign page might be from an ecommerce site or any other page often accessed in everyday activity. The malicious site could be nothing more than links and buttons on an otherwise blank page that serve to launch malware executables. If the malicious page has been formatted to place its links in the same spot as the links on the benign page, users are actually executing the malicious links without realizing it. This is referred to as Click-jacking by many within the security industry.
    2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) poisoning – occurs when hackers manipulate search engine results to make their links appear higher than legitimate results. As a user searches for related terms, infected links appear near the top of the search results resulting in users unknowingly being redirected to an infected website to get the information they’re seeking, only to have Malware automatically downloaded to their system. Recent versions do not require the user to accept or click a download or popup dialogue window, simply browsing to the web site is enough to infect the system.


  10. Medyo says:

    BOTTOMLINE: IF YOU ARE A DAM AS THEN LEAVE THE DEFAULT FEATURES ON BUT IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND YOU DON’T DO ANYTHING STUPID TO CRASH YOUR MACHINE, TURN THOSE FEATURES OFF!

    ONLY STUPID USERS WOULD WANT THOSE ANNOYING FEATURES TURNED ON!


  11. Bentobaku says:

    Simply enough, those who are not smart enough to operate without the UAC are also dumb enough to allow the virus/malware/toolbar to install with the UAC on. I Game and a lot of new game security feature rename the program constantly. I don’t want to be ask constantly asked if i am sure if i want to do the action i just told the PC to do. It is my experience that most people will allow everything anyways cause you get annoyed with being asked if your sure. Secondly I work as a PC repairman, and I can tell you i have come across quite a few PC’s that have locked up cause the awesome UAC interrupted the install and corrupted files. I understand peoples opinion that the UAC is there for your protection, and idealistically its a great invention. The reality is it isn’t an ideal world and it does not function as smooth as it should. I run win7 and just use my usual protection programs without the UAC and i have no problems… unfortunately I cant say the same (even with win7) thing with the UAC on. Bottom line, if you feel comfortable without it, disable it, if you still need a security blanket to sleep, keep it. As with most all of windows features, some people need them some don’t.


  12. truth says:

    lol, already name says it all…

    UAC = Unnecessary Annoying Crap


  13. For those who are curious: UAC should be ON if you don’t have correct protection software. UAC can be off with the correct knowledge and protection. It’s a question of resources and user intelligence. As for credentials, I’m one of the Senior Program Managers for Microsoft Windows Development. Feel free to Google my name if so needed. Thanks.


  14. Taevious says:

    Fishlove has it right.

    If you’re an idiot, a casual user or somewhere in between….then, yes…the UAC is definitely for you. However, these tweaks are NOT for idiots, casual users or anyone in between.

    These are for people pretty well-versed in using computers and/or want to crank out more performance. Yes, the increases are usually small but they add up and if you fell under the demographic they were aiming at, you’d already know this.

    The fact that some of you don’t yet insist on whining with ignorance tells me you have far too much time on your hands and probably enjoy being right far too much.


  15. Fishlove says:

    to the people whining about UAC..yes, your right, if this is a PC your setting up for Grandma or something, keep UAC on. But, if your a relatively knowledgeable person, you can turn it right off. If you have your AV/Spyware set up right, and you know what signs to look for, and if your not asking for trouble by leaving the net on while your away from your PC, then you should be ok. as for System Restore, while having a backup is a good idea, System Restore is a BIG TIME target for Trojans and other forms of viruses. So, I’d disable it and look for one of the many free/paid backup solutions rather than a bullseye for a hacker.


  16. yep says:

    UAC would be a hell of alot better if it was a complete classic HIPS (host intrusion protection system) like Process Guard was or what is in some pof todays security suits like comodo as mentioned above and Outpost firewall’s host protection. Better in that these other HiPs’ allow you to build a database of whitelisted apps/programs or blacklisted programs. Allows you to clear the database and start over, a learning mode, etc. A way to browse allowed apps and also see what has run from tmp folders or what temp files ran. There are alot of similar things that could have been implemented to UAC to get it to work correctly.
    Lowest uac setting here, as I use a more in depth hips and outpost’s host protection.
    I believe in a layered approach to security.

    The guy above mentioning qos tweak, just uninstall it from network properties and there is no need to edit it’s settings.

    Turning indexing completly off for those gamers who never use/need a search feature will give more power and resources, thus a better tweak. I have not used search since win3.1, I know where everything is, how to create shortcuts and symbolic links.No need for it.


  17. Mr-Fiero says:

    Yep, UAC is for anyone who does not really understand computer security, but it is also limited giving a false sense of protection! But that being said, other than games on Windows, using direct x, well, windows is bloated and slow. I am finding more productivity in several flavors of Linux with more security that has been done properly!

    Windows has only remaining value for a few games, what a joke Visa and 7 are! Junk, Junk, Junk.


  18. RJ says:

    Why is everyone always so concerned with performance? Are all your machines really running that poorly?

    1.) Buy RAM
    2.) Don’t install 200 freeware programs loaded with crapware. How many programs do you really need? Take an inventory, format your drive, build from scratch and be aware of what you install.
    3.) Windows 7 out of the box runs far far better than Vista did, and is most likely not the root of your performance issues.


    • campdude says:

      some people upgrade and pay(or even overclock) for an extra 10 – 20 Frames Per Second.
      Others…Do not. Some people just try to optimize background services ect.

      Free up some CPU.


  19. Dave says:

    Exactly what I was looking for. Just updating WIN7 from install has been a pain in the ass with UAC.

    I am a gamer and I have adjusted all your tips. Thank You.

    I was having a hard time finding anything of value with tips.

    Thanks again!
    Dave


  20. max says:

    seriously why are people saying you need uac on?

    becasue if you have a decent antivirus program it wont affect your pc and if you still dont think it is secure use sandboxie simpel as its not as intrusive as uac and is easier to use you just right click on the shortcut or program and click open sandboxed


  21. Ryan says:

    I must be the only person in the world that liked Vista’s UAC. If a program is trying to change a setting, install a service, use elevated privileges for any reason… anything, I want to know. If I have to click a button so be it.

    In fact, I turned up the UAC settings on my new Windows 7 installation.

    Disabling services is also a great idea since it can increase performance and reduce your computer’s attack surface area.


  22. really? says:

    Why is everyone arguing about UAC? If you don’t like their advice, don’t listen to it. If you know what you are doing then disable it, and if you dont, then don’t mess with it. Its that simple. Everyone is arguing about the dumbest stuff. You cant spell, he make’s stupid comparisons. Who cares? Just let it go.


  23. Larry Bentley says:

    Sorry. UAC (along with Vista deleting the MBR on a computer I built for it) was one of the main reasons I totally bypassed Vista. Well aside from other issues I had with wireless networking, bluetooth integration, ect, ect, ect.

    I ran XP for three years without an anti-virus or malware program. And when I did finally get reputable software to do such scans I had three viruses and no malware/adware/spyware. How did I perform such a feat without these wonderful levels of protection and the crappy windows firewall? Self control on the net. Going to reputable sites and avoiding the shadier lesser known sites and porn sites. Not opening e-mail and files that I didn’t recognize. Ect, ect.

    Seriously. If you can’t police yourself then by all means leave that infernal UAC up.


  24. Brandon Schultz says:

    I don’t what all the hub bub is about turning off UAC. I did and I have no problem. I’m not a programmer, just an ex construction worker now student who got Win 7 Pro for free thru school.

    I’ve also applied XP tweaks to the 7 OS as well—-again no problem.

    I guess if some are paranoid about the UAC option, well play with the firewall or just pay attention to what you’re doing—duh!

    By the way, the UAC in 7 ain’t as bad as it was in Vista


  25. sm0ke42o says:

    @ Andrew

    Uhh.. quite a few of us are using the RTM or as you put it, “the real deal” All it takes is a TechNet or MSDN subscription, being an official beta tester, or having internet access and a torrent client. You don’t have to be in a special club or anything.

    @ all

    Regarding the article, if you know what you are doing chances are you don’t need a crappy blog article with a handful of very old and commonly used techniques to tell you how to speed up your OS. If you don’t know what you are doing chances are you aren’t running Windows 7 anyway and if you are its best you leave it alone. Moreover, if you decide to turn UAC off do so at your own risk and be bloody aware of the shit you download and install, if you get a virus it’s your fault. Lastly, if you are nervous about disabling UAC leave it on but don’t bitch about having to take 1/10th of a second to click “yes” or “no”.

    Christ folks when you whine about having to move your mouse and click something it makes you, and consequently humans in general, appear extraordinarily lazy


  26. Kristian Picon says:

    @DivineSolution
    There are some things I wanted to point out after reading your post.

    1. It’s obvious that some people will want to turn off UAC, especially gamers. If you understand the risks you’re taking, that’s fine.

    2. Unfortunately, it seems as though you and a number of other gamers don’t understand the secondary purpose of UAC. UAC is designed to do two things: the first is to prevent stupid people from doing stupid things (this one is laughed at a lot), the second and less obvious purpose is to prevent questionable programs from doing questionable things. If you have UAC turned off a program you might not even have meant to install (let’s say a toolbar that got installed with a game) will be able to modify your system files at will. If you have UAC turned on the “toolbar” which you accidentally installed will try to modify your system files, but UAC will pop up, tell you what it’s trying to do, and you (the knowledgeable power user that you are) will click no, end of story, the toolbar did no harm. (and don’t say you’ve never accidentally ended up with a questionable piece of software on your computer, because it happens to everybody, no matter how careful or knowledgeable).

    3. Why on earth are you jeering at people who drive well? It takes two seconds to put on your seat belt, it takes two seconds to go flying through the windshield and break your neck if you’re not wearing it. The speed limit is there to make sure that people have time to respond to sudden breaking. Using turn signals when shifting lanes tells the person behind you in the next lane that you’re going into their lane and to slow down. If you’re too impatient to drive well you should take the train or the bus. The laws aren’t there to piss you off, and they’re definitely not there so you can break them and tell us all how we’re breast-feeders because we followed them. Think about that the next time someone veers in front of you without using their turn signal on the highway and you start honking at them like crazy.

    –This is meant not to offend you, but just to offer some insight as to why disabling UAC as a speed tweak is kind of dumb, and as to why your comparisons with driving were kind of unfair to the people around you. —

    For the record, I have UAC disabled on my Vista machine.


  27. Andrew says:

    Hi,

    Just wanted to let you guys/girls know, I’ve had Windows 7 Enterprise (That right, the “real deal”. not a beta or an RC) for about a month now. Running on an eee PC 1000h 1.6Ghz atom, 2g RAM.

    The only tweaks I made were pitching UAC the middle finger, and turning off almost all visual effects (except for the old windows 2000 looking visual elements) and it runs like a champ. Vista bogged it down, XP was ok, but windows 7 with an 8Gig flash drive used for Readyboost works flawlessly. Not one driver issue, no errors, nothing but windows 7 and AVG running. Running on an atom netbook, that is not bad. It flies on the quad core!


  28. Wow says:

    The people that say UAC is some godsend uber defense against viruses are a joke. Just as malware programmers know that no one is going to click on Vundo.Trojan, There will rarely be an instance when malware will not be packaged. i.e., you will never see:
    Do you wish to let Intpd.trojan horribly infect your system with rootkits and adware?”


  29. Alphonse says:

    This is the last post!!!
    If UAC annoys you & you don’t mind taking chances, kill it!
    The rest of you, cautious, afraid, or whatever, keep it on!

    Either way, ALL of you people… GET A LIFE !!!!!


  30. Dalton robert schwartzkopf says:

    as to the UAC, personally and professionally as a sys admin, and security pro, kill the UAC because its annoying and it doesnt do its job correctly, instead use COMODO firewall, its free and learns with your system so after about a week its not annoying, at all. plus in my own tests ive even downloaded a trojan and several other viruses manually and been able to stop them with the firewall before any real harm could be done, comodo even tells you if its a “bad” application, and tracks its “call home” protocols, plus it has a built-in anti-virus, so yeah….thats what needs to happen, and as far as sys restore, kill it, and create a sys restore disc with acronis true image, witch is less than $30, or use a free version under the GNU GPL “GO-LINUX” and its just like having company restore discs, except you do it after you have the OS the way you want it, so you dont have to reinstall and re-tweak, and all that other bs. Thank You


  31. Hacker15 says:

    Agree on dumping UAC – I turned it off after one day with Vista and I’ve been running it (if you want to call it that for the first few versions!!!!) since it first became available. Preordered Win7 and will turn it off if it gets anywhere near as annoying as it did in Vista. If it’s an occasional “Do you really want to…” I might leave it on. As I’m the sole user of the PCs I have Vista installed on, I don’t believe I’m taking a risk (high level firewall behind a router, solid updated antivirus programs on each machine, antivirus on the server, anti malware programs, etc., etc…..).


  32. Gungistoker says:

    To Tom, who said:

    “To Ken,
    I used to respond to spelling, grammar errors, etc., but, like your response, mine always seemed to have spelling and grammar errors also, and I ended up feeling kinda sheepish (ot instead of to, your instead of you’re).”

    Lets not forget ‘ridence’ instead of ‘riddance’. I’m hoping the last sentence was done sarcastically but with the use of the word ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’, I’m not so sure.

    By the way, I am always tinkering with the registry and Windows settings. I just couldn’t take the constant nagging by the UAC. So it’s one of the first things I change after installing Windows. Probably not too smart but my personal data is backed up daily and I have an Acronis True Image backup that can be reinstalled in 10-15 minutes. Nothing better.


  33. God says:

    @jg007

    does that mean then everytime you get cookies/spyware etc your gonna get teh crappy UAC message just browsing the internet : / i cant see UAC stopping the all the malware etc i mean, we have spyware for that btw which runs in the background and it wont halt your system completly untill you choose an option allow/deny…


  34. jg007 says:

    @Rob Clarke sorry to tell you but I just cleaned a malware infected system this weakend for ‘ somebody who knows what they are doing ‘ , just because you ‘think’ you know exactly what you are doing does not mean that you have no chance of getting infected.


  35. Rob Clarke says:

    Apparantly, right… and this is just a rumour, I think… but there was this operating system called Windows XP that didn’t have UAC and apparantly, people were still able to use it and not destroy their computers.

    I know, I know, it sounds mad! I’m sure it’s probably not true. I mean, UAC is without doubt the only thing that is saving us from a complete technological meltdown. I’m not sure how I could even turn on my PC every day without enjoying the comfort of knowing that my operating system will double guess every single move I make when I’m trying to work.

    …Seriously guys, UAC is only useful if you don’t know what you are doing. This site has EVERY RIGHT to tell users to turn it off, especially in a guide that specfically mentions it’s to be used by people who understand what computers do.


  36. Derf says:

    I dont know if this is known but you can turn off the bandwidth microsoft reserves for its own usage such as background updates and patches. Even though you see it greyed out or not set it has a hidden settings default value of 20%.

    I like the full usage of my bandwidth so this firstly click Start / Run / Type in, GPEDIT.MSC

    GPEDIT.MSC

    then a Group Policy Object Editor will popup.

    Under Local Computer Policy

    click or expand Adminstrative Templates

    next click or expand Network

    then click on Qos Packet Scheduler (remember dont click on the expander here just click on Qos Packer Scheduler)

    Now double click Limit reservable bandwidth

    (You will see Not configured which is the default settings but in reality Vista has already taken 20% of your bandwidth to reserve for updates and stuff like that.)

    Now click on Enabled then in the Bandwidth limit (%) set it to 0 then click apply then reboot.


  37. jg007 says:

    two links which give a little better explanation of UAC –

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc512679.aspx

    http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/93358/vista-2007s-user-account-control-examined.html

    there are plenty more indepth articles on the web and I apologies for sticking so many comments on this post regarding UAC but I really feel that it should not be classed as a tweak and that it is a dangerous sugestion for such a widely read site to make.


  38. pegleg pete says:

    No one has commented about tweak #5 — using USB flash drive as Ready Boost. I don’t have Vista, so I have never used Ready Boost, but I have read in a number of articles that because these devices have a life limited by a certain number of write cycles, while they are OK for storing programs or data files, they would “wear out” relatively quickly when used as an extension of general system memory. Does anyone have any experience with this?

    Of course, one could say that MS would not have provided such a feature if it were unviable — but then we are talking about MS!

    Or maybe in this application the flash drive is treated like an AA battery cell — when it no longer works, you whip it out and plug in a fresh one. Flash drives are getting almost as cheap as batteries anyway!?


  39. jg007 says:

    the thing about that is that UAC prompts when a process is launched that requires elevated access , just because a process has started does not mean that it is because you have clicked on it it could be a simulated click or a hidden process or just a program that you have launched trying to use a command like .

    yes you clicked on an icon but this was in a less secure ‘ mode ‘ of windows so windows has now switched to a more protected ‘mode’ so that it can verify that you actually did click on this . the UAC ‘process’ is more protected and programs should not be able to interact with it or bypass it

    this might be a lousy description and Microsoft may not have made UAC very clear but there is a benefit to it for a lot of people, maybe not everybody but how many people on here have multiple family members on the computer and for me I really can’t see a problem clicking on an occasional prompt and even if it only catches one piece of malware out in 5 years it is worth it for me.


  40. Jimmie says:

    I’m going to disagree that UAC is useful. In my oppinion UAC is a peice of Crap. If I wanted some one to hold my hand every time I wanted to do something on my computer I’d ask a family member to do it. UAC is the most annoying pice of crap that came out from Microsoft. Are you sure you want to do this did you orthorize this how annoying. If I didn’t want to do it I wouldn’t have started the process anyway.


  41. jg007 says:

    oh and I am also a gamer and have probably been a gamer a lot longer than most of the posters on here and UAC has never caused me gaming problems but then that might be because I know how to use a pc and I’m not just a console kiddie with a shop built overpriced rig looking for extra braging rights!


  42. jg007 says:

    @leigh sorry dud but a beter sugestion for you than turning off UAC would be to ditch that piece of bloatware junk Zonealarm.

    a Windows 7 system with up to date software checked by secunia and combined with a free virus / spyware scanner should be pretty well protected as long as you follow basic security practices.


  43. mike says:

    UAC – not needed. Although Win7 made it more tolerable, I ended up turning it off because it annoyed me. It should only be instigated when an unknown program tries to change the system, not the end user.

    But, this post is weak, I was thinking of something more profound, not simple tweaks that I have been doing since the inception of Win XP.


  44. jg007 says:

    Sorry guys but when I type quickly I tend to make spelling mistakes and as I can’t be bothered to use a spell check add on it certainly saves me more time leaving the mistakes in than turning off UAC, also if you want to compare my spelling to the vast majority of posters on here and the inet I think you will find it of a slightly beter standard !

    PC Pitstop is not only read by tech savy people and sugesting that people turn off the UAC is a big mistake especially , as I said I regularly patch and make changes to my PC and haved never felt that it was any kind of slow down having the very ocasional check from the OS that I want the program to have elevated access

    sorry but some of the people on here really need to read up on what UAC is as they do not seem to have a clue, it is not just a pretty pop up that wastes time it is a useful security feature for the 80% or so standard everyday users


  45. ez says:

    i don’t see what everyone is getting their panties in such a wad about. if the noobs and lamers need billy to aim their little peewee for them maybe they are just insecure. they shouldn’t be bragging about it tho.


  46. j says:

    DivineSolution? More like MundaneProblem.UAC on-computer works. UAC off- computer works. For those of you who are your families “Tech Guy” the UAC helps and you know it. Stop complaining about something that helps. Bring on real solutions not “tweaks.”


  47. DivineSolution says:

    Furst, eye din’t spull check dis here sheet. on a completly dif note, why all you nerds/wanna-bes harrassing the guy about turning off UAC? like someone said who was more clever then I, most gamers turn it off. That’s because mostly WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING AND UNDERSTAND THE RISK. All you babies, keep UAC on and go back to sucking on yo’ mommas teet. Most of youy complainers prob drive the speed limit, wear seatbelts, and drive under the speedlimit whith your left hand signal on in the left lane. If you/re a novice, or not smart enough to turn on your PC without your mom’s help or calling the windows help desk, LEAVE UAC on. in fact, download SPYBOT SEARCH & DESTROY and use that tea timer too.

    DONT complain about my post-me and your mom already talked about it last nightin her bed while you were down stairs in the basement touching yourself while watching Adult Swim and scooby doo.

    –My name ain’t Fred Flintstone, but I can make your BEDROCK!


  48. God says:

    …wtf lol, UAC is the worst feature ever, pops up for the most ridiculous thing…most people have a firewall and antivirus for protection, UAC ISNT Needed its a hinderance just popping up randomly when your in the middle of something and interrupting.


  49. zrtom says:

    Yes, I understand the warning:
    “Not for the faint of heart, this is a tweak guide and not a Features Guide. If you are into gaming, overclocking and benchmarking, this is for you.”

    Nonetheless, disabling UAC is a bad idea for anyone. Poor article.


  50. foozlesprite says:

    I’ve turned off UAC on my W7 computer because I am a gamer…the sheer number of popups I get between the patcher (every time it updates I have to re-allow it, since it’s a new file version), the client, Ventrilo, in-game voice chat, updating my parser program, etc. was just ridiculous. Certainly not helping my performance!

    The first time I opened the game, it opened in full screen by default. This means that UAC+firewall notices popped up where I couldn’t see them and nearly froze my computer. I’ll pass on UAC, in favor of useability :)


  51. Nik says:

    That was a very bad tweak proposed by PC PitStop and it should be revised, as the default setting is less intrusive and any less experienced computer user may take the advice wrong and disable a crucial security component.

    I know UAC was a pain on Vista but I have tested the beta of Windows 7 (I haven’t gotten around to download the RC) and it seems that the Windows 7 UAC is LESS intrusive and I would get a UAC pop-up once or twice a week (after I got the system to the regular use phase after installing all the apps and configuring the settings).


  52. tom says:

    To Ken,
    I used to respond to spelling, grammar errors, etc., but, like your response, mine always seemed to have spelling and grammar errors also, and I ended up feeling kinda sheepish (ot instead of to, your instead of you’re).
    Sadly, most seem to think spelling and grammar are unimportant in these posts, but it sure makes them easier to read.


  53. Bill says:

    Didn’t you UAC lovers read the article before the tweaks? He said right up front:

    “Not for the faint of heart, this is a tweak guide and not a Features Guide. If you are into gaming, overclocking and benchmarking, this is for you.”

    Gamers, overclockers, and benchmarkers are usually the type of people who neither need nor want the intrusiveness of the UAC to begin with.

    The only thing I hated about Vista when I got it was being asked with almost every mouse-click “Do you really want to…”. If I didn’t to do go to the bathroom I wouldn’t have unzipped my pants. Quit asking me stupid question!! UAC was disabled the second day I had Vista, and it will be disabled on Win7.


  54. KillBot says:

    Turn off UAC in Win7???

    Not worth the time spent turning it off in the first place.

    Day One: Configure settings and Software.
    Every Day After: Never heard from UAC again!

    This is a matter of preference for people and it’s really up to the individual on what that preference is. Don’t pass this off as a tweak though. If you happen to find it strenuous clicking an extra button on screen on the odd occasion then give people a separate document called
    “Turn Off UAC”


  55. Andrew says:

    Turning off System Restore is also another dubious suggestion. It has been shown that System Restore impacts a system minimally and the safety of a rollback in an emergency cannot be stressed. First, you give kudos to (bloated) Adobe Reader and now a suggestion to turn-off System Restore? Massive fissures in your credibility are undeniably visible.


  56. Leigh says:

    UAC a turn-off worth turning off – YES
    IF you have a good firewall and anti-virus programme, and not a brand new computer novice, and don’t want to be constantly muttering to yourself during the day “Do you really want a cup of tea?”, “Do you really want to use the bathroom?”, “Do you really want to have lunch?”, or, to your dearly beloved, “Do you really want to go shopping?” (The last may produce a marital ‘blue-screen/language’ effect) then turn UAC off before you get turned off.

    With regard Win7, the only thing I’m not enamoured with is the new Windows Media Player. As for the rest of it, a month of using Win7, I love it. There are a couple of other niggley problems but it is, after all, an evaluation copy (build 7100). Oh, A big irritation is ZoneAlarm will not install on Win7 – get a pop-up warning that SP1 is required. ZoneAlarm’s vista page advises the same thing. I didn’t know there was and can’t find SP1 for Win7??!

    Thank you PC Pitstop for your other tweek suggestions


  57. soonerproud says:

    In my prior post I meant “do not run until triggered”.


  58. soonerproud says:

    First I want to say with the new services triggers in Windows 7, there is no need even for the power user to turn off services they don’t need, unless that service is a security risk. Services in Windows 7 do run until they are triggered, and only run as long as needed and then turn right back off.

    http://www.osnews.com/story/20858/Windows_7_Runs_Faster_Thanks_to_New_Service_Controller

    Second, the suggested tweak I want to cover is how to tweak indexing and searching to be meaner, leaner and more powerful.

    Hit the Winkey and start typing indexing and then look for and select “Indexing Options” in the start menu. It should be the first selection after the first three letters typed. Then select “Modify” and then “Show All Locations”. Up on the top part of the dialog is the “Change selected locations” box. Deselect every thing but the particular folders you want searched and leave the start menu box checked so you have fast access to your programs. The bottom box will display only the folders you selected to index and nothing more.

    Now you will want to select “Advanced”. First select the “File Types” tab. Now look through that box and deselect extensions you know you will never need to search. If you don’t have a clue what an extension is, it doesn’t hurt to leave it selected or to experiment. Use your own discretion either way since deselecting extensions you know you will never need to search will greatly reduce indexing time and frequency.

    Now you want to change “How should this file be indexed?” to “Index Properties and File Contents”. This will allow you to search for not only documents, but the contents of documents, pictures, music, zip, rar and even executable files among other file types.

    This leads us to the last part and that is to install appropriate ifilters to enable content search. Go to ifilter.org and browse and select the appropriate ifilters for the contents you think you may search. You will also need to go to Foxit Readers site to install the appropriate PDF ifilter if you use Foxit Reader. (Adobe Reader users already have the PDF ifilter for Adobe Reader.)

    Now Windows Search will be lean, mean and more powerful. Once you learn to use the search function instead of traditional navigation, you will find your self more productive and spending less time manually searching for and navigating programs and files.


  59. Howard says:

    I’m sorry but I thought PC Pitstop would provide practical – and useful advice.

    Turning UAC off is a horrible suggestion and if PC Pitstop seriously endorses this information I’m going to have to think second about sending traffic this way.

    For the uninformed: UAC Prevents programs from writing to system-critical areas of the computer without proper permissions. This means if you receive a virus it cannot harm your windows installations or your programs unless you explicitly give it permission to.

    I’m horribly ashamed to have read this here.


  60. Ken says:

    In response to jg007, you would think a programmer would know how to use SPELL CHECK. His spelling is atrocious. Look that one up jg007! One of the first things I did when I installed Vista was to disable UAC. What a pain in the ass! If I didn’t intend to do something, I wouldn’t have done it in the first place! Leaving it on is a good idea if you have numerous inept users and you want to protect your system from inadvertent changes, but if your like me, a single user, and know what your doing in the first place, you certainly don’t need the obnoxious UAC intervening in your affairs. Good ridence ot UAC!!!


  61. jg007 says:

    Sorry but what an insanely stupid sugestion !!!

    2. Turn off UAC.

    Do not turn this off , if you wan a sugestion turn it higher, I have been running win 7 and have chose to set it at the highest level , I am a programmer and regularly amend settings but it is far better to have the extremely ocasional prompt than to follow this advice

    people posting sugestions like this just cause problems and sites like pcpitstop should know better


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