A Guide To Turbo-Charging Windows 8

Microsoft’s release of Windows 8 might not have impressed everyone, but nobody can deny the solid boost in speed one gets after upgrading to the new operating system. It almost makes you feel like something’s wrong! As time passes, however, you’ll probably start to notice a slower boot time among other things. There were ways to counter this in Windows 7, but a lot of the features that you used to speed up that version of Windows are no longer in the same location in Windows 8. That’s why we’re here today to discuss how you can find ways to tweak Microsoft’s new OS in a way that you’ll find familiar!

In case you haven’t tried it out yet, check out the new task manager in Windows 8. You can easily access this task manager by pressing the “Ctrl+Shift+Esc” key combination on your keyboard. Once you click “More details” on the bottom of the little window that shows up, you see something like this:

win8speed-taskman

Compare that to the previous task manager that you had in Windows 7. This is much easier on the eyes, since you can tell which applications are using more resources by the shade of color that’s on them. The darker the shade, the more resources that application uses. Close any applications you know you don’t need that are consuming more of your resources and you immediately will notice a slight speed boost.

Technically, MSConfig didn’t go anywhere, but it’s a tad more inconvenient to reach than what I’m about to show you: Go to the task manager again, and click the “Startup” tab. It’s not a replacement for MSConfig, but it shows you what you need for system optimization. Here, you can disable applications that run on startup. Disable anything you know you don’t need and you’re set! This makes the boot process a bit faster.

You must feel at least a little wary of using Microsoft’s own security software, but it’s not the same thing you found in Windows 7 with Security Essentials. Microsoft’s security suite that comes with Windows 8 is a tad more sophisticated and more capable of fending off threats. The new product is known as “Windows Defender.”

win8speed-windefender

You’ll find that it offers more than enough protection from threats in a home and small business environment. Configuration is much more extensive and definitions are updated by default. It’s just as effective as any other anti-virus software and uses less resources. Third-party products have a tendency to use a lot of RAM because of their overly bloated graphical interfaces and inefficient memory allocation. Use whatever comes with Windows 8 if you want to avoid trouble with your computer’s performance.

Windows 8 indexes files for search by default. It’s quite annoying if you don’t have a system that has strong hardware. So, if you feel like getting rid of this feature, enter the “Start” screen and type “services.msc.” Press “Enter” once you’re done. You’ll see a big window with all your Windows services. Just search for “Windows Search,” right-click on it, and click “Properties.” You’ll get to a window where you can configure the service. Just select “Disable” from the drop-down list in the middle of the window, like so:

win8speed-winsearchdisable

Click “OK,” but don’t close the services window. We still got work to do. Right-click the “Windows Search” service and click “Stop.” It will tell you that another service will be stopped when you stop this service. Just continue the process. Once that happens, your computer should be able to stretch its legs.

These were just the four biggest suggestions that knock the largest chunks off of the problem. If you need more solutions, here are 7 more ways you can improve your Windows 8. If you feel like you’ve got a tip you’d like to add for our readers, go ahead and comment below!