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Enhancing Windows performance

How to improve Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1 performance for free

By . Last modified: 2013-10-24.

Many users feels that Microsoft Windows performance degrades over time. Extremists tend to format disks and reinstall Windows completely, but that is hardly the correct choice.

Follow these guides to speed up Windows:

Additionally, you can get some performance gain by disabling unneeded services. You might also want to check if file system is fine - messed up files or unreadable blocks do slow down Windows.

Windows XP users can also read the Use UPHC for faster logoffs in Windows XP article to get rid of sluggish log off times.

Oh, and don't forget to run full anti-virus and anti-malware scans if nothing helps!

Using Windows Experience Index (WEI) in Windows Vista, 7 and 8 for identifying weak points in hardware

Windows Experience Index rates performance of your computer's processor (CPU), memory (RAM), graphics adapter (video card, aka GPU) and primary hard disk (the drive where Windows is installed). The index can reveal slow hardware that should be upgraded to enhance Windows performance. You can also use it to determine if using ReadyBoost is necessary.

Windows 8.1 does not have this feature anymore.

Windows Experience Index is displayed in System Properties window of Windows Vista, 7 and 8. The easiest way to access it is to use keyboard shortcut Windows Key+Pause/Break. You can also right-click Computer in Start menu or on Desktop and click Properties; or type "wei" into Start menu/Start screen Search box and click the appropriate result.
Windows Vista, Computer right-click menu. Click Properties.

In the System Properties/View basic information about your computer window, see the Rating line in System section.
If the line states Windows Experience Index: Unrated (in Vista) or System rating is not available, you need to run the assessment tool first by clicking the link. System Assessment Tool actually runs automatically from time to time, so your PC might have a score even if you have not run the tool it manually.
Otherwise, a number is displayed with Windows Experience Index link. If the number's background is gray, hardware configuration has changed and you need to update WEI. Click the link to see individual subscores.
Windows Vista, System Properties. WEI rating is in the System section. Windows 7, System Properties. WEI rating is in the System section.

The Rate and improve your computer's performance window opens. In Windows Vista, Windows Experience Index gives ratings from 1.0 to 5.9; in Windows 7 from 1.0 to 7.9; and in Windows 8 from 1.0 to 9.9. The higher the score, the better the performance.
If WEI has not yet been established, click Rate this computer. The Windows System Assessment Tool will take a few minutes to complete.
Windows 7, Rate and improve your computer's performance, Your Windows Experience Index has not yet been established. Click Rate this computer.

If there is a rating, check the subscores for each component. The final result (Base score) is always determined by the lowest subscore - so even if only one component is rated at 1.5 and all others at 5, the Base score will still be 1.5.
Windows 8, Rate and improve your computer's performance. Base Score is determined by the lowest subscore.

In the example above, it is clear that graphics card needs to be replaced. This is quite easy on desktop computers, but impossible on most laptops (and tablets).
After you've replaced some hardware, click Re-run the assessment to update Windows Experience Index.

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