How to Speed Up Windows by Disabling Unnecessary Services and Tasks

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Do you have a feeling that your Windows could be speedier? Maybe you are right. There might be dozens of unnecessary processes, such as tasks and services, running on your system, taking up precious memory and processing time, without you even being aware of them.

What Is a Service?

A service is an application type that runs in the system background without a user interface. Services provide core operating system features, such as Web serving, event logging, file serving, printing, cryptography, and error reporting.

In Windows, there are lots of services. To see how many exactly, go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Computer Management.

Within the Computer Management window, click on Services and Applications > Services in the left pane.

Computer Management — Services

Computer Management — Services

A service can be enabled or disabled. An enabled service can be started or stopped. And a service can be set to start automatically, automatically but delayed, or manually.

Disable and Stop

To get rid of unnecessary services, you need to right-click on each of them individually, then select Properties from the context menu.

In the Properties window of the service, select Disabled next to Startup type: and click on the Stop button.

service-disable-stop

Service disabled and stopped

To save these changes for the selected service, click Apply and OK.

You can repeat this process for a lot of services. On my system, I disabled and stopped:

  • Adobe Acrobat Update Service
  • Adobe Active File Monitor V10
  • Diagnostic Tracking Service
  • Google Update Service (gupdate)
  • HPSupportSolutionsFrameworkService

Furthermore, in case you don’t have any bluetooth devices connected to your computer, you can also stop and disable:

  • Bluetooth Device Monitor
  • Bluetooth Media Service
  • Bluetooth OBEX Service
  • Bluetooth Support Service

Scheduled Tasks

Next, you can disable or even delete a number of scheduled tasks.

To do this, go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Computer Management.

Within the Computer Management window, click on Services and Applications > System Tools > Task Scheduler > Task Scheduler Library in the left pane.

On my system, I deleted all tasks scheduled by software updaters, such as Adobe Reader, Adobe AAM, Opera, Google, etc. You can always do update their software manually from within programs such as Adobe Reader, Opera, or Google Chrome.

To delete a task, right-click on its name in the right pane and select Delete from the context menu.

Task Scheduler

Task Scheduler

But I didn’t stop there.

Within the Computer Management window, click on Services and Applications > System Tools > Task Scheduler > Microsoft > Windows in the left pane.

There you can check task after task and decide whether you need them or not.

Here is a rundown of the tasks I decided to disable and never missed them for a second.

These are data collection tasks by the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program:

  • Application Experience
  • Autochk
  • Customer Experience Improvement Program
  • DiskDiagnostic

If you use SSD drives or use another defragmentation tool such as Ccleaner, you can disable the scheduled defragmentation task:

  • Defrag

Then I disabled:

  • NetTrace — the network information collector
  • Power Efficiency Diagnostics — the power efficiency analyzer
  • RAC — the system reliability monitoring tool
  • RemoteAssistance — the remote assistance tool
  • SideShow — tasks associated with Windows SideShow-compatible devices
  • Windows Error Reporting — the Windows Error Reporting task
  • WindowsBackup — the Windows Backup reminder

And, finally, I also disabled the Windows Live Social Object Extractor Engine located at Services and Applications > System Tools > Task Scheduler > Microsoft > Windows Live > SOXE. If you don’t use Windows Live Messenger, you don’t need it.

Should there be an access error, close the Computer Management window and run it again, this time as the administrator.

To disable a Windows task, click on its folder in the left pane. Then right-click on the task’s name in the right pane and select Disable in the context menu.

Windows task disabled

Windows task disabled

Startup Loggers

I include this as a bonus feature. I really don’t care for Microsoft’s event loggers, tracers and data collection tools.

The incredible lengths Microsoft went to obfuscate its data collection settings in Windows 10 is the main reason I won’t be upgrading to that operating system.

And, to be honest, if Microsoft is serious about going the way of social networks regarding user data and privacy, well, then I guess Windows 7 will be the last OS created by Microsoft that I will be using.

To disable these data collectors, go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Computer Management.

Within the Computer Management window, click on System Tools > Performance > Startup Event Trace Sessions in the left pane.

Now right-click on the items listed in the right pane of the window one by one and select Properties in the context menu.

In the Properties window, select the Trace Session tab and untick the Enabled box.

disable-event-logger

Disable Startup Event Trace Session

Don’t stop until all the loggers are disabled:

Computer Management — Startup Event Trace Sessions

Computer Management — Startup Event Trace Sessions (all disabled)

The Results

The results of this cleansing process should be noticeable. They were for me.

It now takes less than 30 seconds from the pressing of the power on button on my laptop until I can click on Notepad’s icon and start typing something.

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