Tweaking Windows Vista

A guide to Tweak & Optimize Vista.

Version 3.0, last updated June, 2009



- to change slightly, esp. in order to make something more effective or correct.


- get the most out of, make optimal

- modify to achieve maximum efficiency in storage capacity or time or cost


   Welcome to the SP2 Edition of  Tweaking Windows Vista. This is version 3.0 and includes several additions and clarifications. Tweaking your computer is about more than just speed tweaks. It is also about proper configuration, customizing, and maintenance. Like the XP tweak guide before it I've done my best to explain the tweaks without going overboard. I hope this guide will help you to make your Vista experience a little better.


I've set up a place for comments and feedback here.


Important Notes On Tweaking & This Guide


1 - Tweaking is best done on a fresh install.


2 - Get as much memory (RAM) as you can afford. RAM is fast and Vista will take advantage of it.

      You'll hear people whine that Vista hogs RAM...Yep it does, and it's a GOOD THING (RAM is faster than a hard drive).


3 - Use 2 (or more) hard drives. This will speed up access to files and provide a good backup location. (more on this later)


4 - "If you're gonna tweak you gotta be a Geek." (didn't know I was a poet did ya?!) This means:

   -You know how to recover from problems. Backup, Backup, Backup, Backup

   -You should understand the effect a tweak will have before you do it. (Google)

   -The "G" in Geek stands for "Grownup". You take responsibility for your actions, don't whine at me when you ignore the above two points.


5 - Proper Hard Drive Configuration

Properly setting up your hard drive(s) allows for both increased performance and reliable backups.

To better understand what I mean, see how I do it: How My Drives Are Setup (I use Acronis Disk Director for partitioning.)

I'll guarantee you that if you didn't build your own computer or completely wiped the drive then your hard drive isn't properly partitioned.

Partitions - A quick example of a proper partition strategy for Vista:

Single Drive - Vista / Docs, or Vista / Docs / Other

Dual Drives - First Disk, Vista /Other

                   - Second Disk, Page File / Docs


If you have a Desktop:

-Add a second or even a third hard drive.

-Move your Page File and your Documents (and any other non-installed stuff) off the OS drive (I'll show you how later in this guide).

-Partition / Repartition your disks.


If you have a Laptop:

-Partition / Repartition your disks.


6 - Maintain Your Computer. Disk cleanup and defrag is the fastest and easiest way to speed up your computer.


7 - In this guide I show you a few keyboard shortcuts. Learning these can save you an incredible amount of time, you could call it self-tweaking.

   - For a list of these you don't need to look anywhere but your own computer.

     Go to Start > Help & Support > in the Search help box type keyboard shortcut. It'll even show you how to create your own shortcuts.


8 - In no way is any of this intended for any computer that is in or connects to a domain or corporate network.


9 - ***Please see: Bad Tweaks (most of this applies to Vista too)


10 - For my fellow geeky Geeks. I've provided as many registry settings as I can. For the most part they are written in grey.


11 - Read through this entire guide before doing anything.


12 - I've worked my butt off on this guide (hours and hours and hours and...). Please don't rip-off my work.


13 - You can purchase a printable PDF for $5. Details here.

        You get a 3 PDF's totaling 143 pages. The money helps me keep this site going.






Misc Notes


Tools used in the research for this guide:

Sysinternals Process Explorer & Process Monitor

Google Advanced Search

System Information for Windows (SIW)

Lavalys EVEREST Ultimate Edition

Sandra Lite

PCMark 2005



Other Vista Tweak Sites:

(Got a good link to a good Vista tweak site or article? Please submit it in the comments and feedback blog post. Don't bother submitting forum posts. I will not include them as they are usually an uncredited collection of someone else's work.)







Software I Use


I use True Image 2011 for all my OS backups and Disk Director 11.0 for all my partitioning requirements.

TweakHound readers often get a discount off Acronis Products. Check the links for more info.

acronis disk director