9 Useful Tweaks For Windows Vista
How to fix the 9 most annoying things in Windows Vista...
Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows Vista, has received a lot of bad press since it’s release. It’s no secret that the Vista OS is rather bloated and uses much more RAM than previous installments of Windows, but then again, the architecture does support larger RAM upgrades to cope with this.
Software wise, there are several annoyances that many users complain about, but again, most of these settings can be modified to suit your tastes.
9 useful tweaks for Windows Vista:
1. Disable The UAC
The User Account Control security prompts can get a little tedious. To disable the security prompts go to:
- Control Panel > User Account and Family Safety > Turn User Account Control On or Off.
Note: By disabling the UAC you are decreasing the computers security. If you share your computer with inexperienced users, it maybe a good idea to keep the UAC enabled.
2. Start Menu Power Icon Doesn’t Switch Off The Power
You will have noticed that the power icon in the Start Menu does not power down the computer, instead it sends it to sleep.
Do change this setting go to:
- Click Start > type ‘cmd’ (this opens the command prompt) > type ‘powercfg.cpl.1’ (this opens the advanced powers settings) > click on the + next to the ‘Power Buttons and Lid’ field > click on the + next to the ‘Start Menu and Buttons’ field > change the setting from ‘Sleep’ to ‘Shut Down’.
3. Disable USB Wake UP
USB device can sometimes make your computer ‘wake up’ when you don’t want it too. This is because Vista has a default setting telling the computer to power on if a USB device is plugged in. This can be useful, but it can also be a pain. To disable this go to:
- Device Manager > find the device that you don’t want to wake up your computer, right click and choose ‘Properties’ > Under the ‘Power Management’ tab, uncheck the ‘Allow this device to wake the computer’ box.
4. Disable Click Sounds
If you have your computer connected to loud speakers, the clicking sound effect that can be heard every time you make a selection, can become quite annoying. To disable this:
- Right click the speaker icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen > select Sounds > scroll down and select ‘Start Navigation’ > in the drop down menu ‘Sounds’ select ‘None’.
5. Folder View Keeps Changing
If you change the size of your icon view, when you return at a later date, you may find it has reverted back to the original size. To keep the size and view you specified go to:
- Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options > View > scroll down and check the ‘Remember each folder’s view’ settings option.
Sometimes the folder settings can get corrupted, if this happens click:
- Start > type ‘regedit’ > then navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Classes > Local Settings > Software > Microsoft > Windows > Shell > click ‘Bags’ and select ‘Edit’ > Delete > Yes. Delete the ‘BagMRU’ key as well, then restart.
To avoid problems in the future, increase your folder view cache by navigating to:
- HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > Shell > then double-click ‘BagMRU Size’ select ‘Decimal’ and set it to 10000. This uses more RAM, but should prevent future memory loss.
6. Can’t Tell Whats Happening When I Defrag
The handy little time bar found in the Windows XP disk defrag feature has be removed in Vista. This means you no longer know how long it’s going to take the defrag to finish. Unfortunately the only real solution is to use a third-party application such as Power Defragmenter.
7. Restoring Deleted Desktop Icons
If you have accidentally deleted a useful desktop item Windows Vista makes it very easy to restore them:
- Right click anywhere on the desktop > select Personalize > click the ‘Change desktop icons’ link in the left hand area under ‘Tasks’ > click the check box next to the icon you want to restore.
8. Disable Automatic Restart After Windows Update
After your computer has installed all recent Windows Updates, it ask you to restart the machine. You can postpone the restart anywhere from 10 min to four hours, but you can also disable it for good. To do this go to:
- Start > type ‘cmd’, don’t press Enter, instead press Ctrl + Shift + Enter > type net stop ‘windows update’ to disable to automatic restart.
9. Speed Up Logging In Time
If you more concern about speed than security and you are the only person using your computer, it might be an idea to speed up the log-in time by removing the access password. To do this go to:
- Start > type ‘control userpasswords2’ > then deselect the tick next to ‘Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer’.
For me, the only real problem with Windows Vista is the compatibility issues with Audio/Visual production and editing programs. If you have no need for these type of professional applications, use these handy tweaks and you should get along with Vista just fine.
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