Here is a list of items that I apply to optimize a Windows 7 system.
Safety first! Before you apply any of these changes it is recommended to make a windows restore point.
1) Review the System Properties – Adjust the Performance Options in the Advanced Systems Settings:
Adjust for best performance.
In case you want to keep the look and feel of Windows 7, then tag:
enable desktop composition, enable transparent glass, show thumbnails instead of icons, smooth edges of screen fonts, use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop, use visual styles on windows and buttons
Virtual Memory (Advanced Tab):
Adjust the pagefile size used for Virtual Memory (a.k.a. swap file). The recommended size is equivalent to 1.5 times the amount of physical installed memory (RAM) on your system.
In case you have a (fast) secondary or subsequent physical internal drive installed in your system (not an external drive), you may opt to move the paging file to one of these drives.
2) Adjust Visuals and Sounds:
- Disable slide show on your desktop and tidy up your Windows desktop
- Disable (untag) transparency for windows borders in Window Colour and Appearance:
- Use solid colours
- Turn off system sounds
3) Adjust the Windows Update settings
disable Automatic Updates and select notification only
4) Disable the User Account Control Settings (Never Notify):
5) Set the Power Options to High Performance