Windows 7 De-bloatingEditThis article will focus on the slimming down of a Windows 7 installation. Out of the box there's a lot of useless features installed and enabled. This article tells you what you can safely change and remove, and proposes some lightweight alternatives to popular applications.
This article is based on Wise-San's infographic, to which we owe many thanks.
Before we beginEdit
This guide could screw up your Windows installation. Handle with care and perhaps make a system restore point before beginning.
Removing unneeded windows programsEdit
When you visit the "Programs & Features" section of the Control Panel, there's a nice and tiny link called "turn Windows features on & off". This allows you to remove the unneeded programs that shipped with the OS.
Some you can easily disable include:
- Games: Because who plays those stupid games that shipped with Windows when you have a whole Steam library of unplayed games?
- Internet Explorer: Be sure to use it to download Chrome or Firefox first!
- IIS > FTP Server: There are better alternatives.
- Media Features: Leave the "Media features" entry checked, but uncheck the sub-entries you don't need/use.
- Tablet PC components: Unless you use Windows 7 on a tablet PC of course.
- Windows Gadget Platform: If you REALLY need somthing like this, rainmeter is a better alternative.
- XPS everything: If you don't know what an .XPS file is you probably have no need for this.
- Windows Search: There are alternatives for this, but unless you really want to use them, best leave it checked. This will remove the ability to search using the Start Menu, or in Explorer.
- Internet Explorer -> Chrome or Firefox
- Media Features:
- Windows Gadget Platform: Rainmeter
- Windows Search: Launchy
Note: Disabling these won't actually fully remove them from the system. They are still there, but not enabled. Though they still take up space, they are never used or called upon.
This is an extensive process which shouldn't be taken too lightly. A pretty cool guy who goes by the name of BlackViper has written a pretty extensive page on this topic, so I would gladly link you there, as it will allow you to better understand what you are doing and what should and shouldn't be changed.
Tweaking Startup programsEdit
When running "msconfig" (with WinKey+R), you can navigate to the Startup tab to have an overview of all your startup programs.
This most of the time includes a lot of things you don't need. Google everything you're not sure of, and try to keep the checked list as small as possible. Mostly Drivers and programs you really need.
Visuals & PerformanceEdit
Aero in Windows 7 sure provides some eyecandy, but it also has an impact on performance.
In Control Panel, under the "System" entry, choose "Advanced System Settings". Under the Advanced tab, there's a Performance box. You can open a menu and choose custom settings for the visuals of your system. You can play around a bit, see what you like to change, and how your system behaves. After making changes, you may need to restart your system to make it take effect.
You can also install a nice theme without transparancy to get a lighter system that still looks nice.
Start orbs are also a nice addition to make your windows 7 theming complete. Start orbs can be added easily using the start orb changer
- Feel free to check the original image, at the top of the article, sometimes it has other, or more in-depth information
- Prebuilts and laptops come with more bloat, so you may have more work with the startup items, and may need to remove some programs you don't need as well. Consult a search engine before taking drastic measures